• Yogi


There are various kinds of files/documents in an advocate’s office. They might range from loose papers to your case files containing office copies of pleadings/documents filed in Court.

Therefore, during the scanning process you are confronted with multiple variations of documents, each requiring a different treatment in the post scanning clerical process.

I explained how the functional differences between a physical file and a digital file can be eliminated by implementing CPBH.

As each document is different, naturally CPBH also varies depending on the file type. CPBH is only a common name to denote all 4 steps. However, there may not be necessity or possibility to perform all 4 steps of CPBH on all kinds of files/documents.

This post deals with common file variants that one comes across during scanning. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list. This analysis is only aimed at explaining CPBH in different scenarios so that the rationale behind CPBH’s implementation is understood.

Please note that, whatever be the file format, ‘Cleaning the PDF’ is compulsory after scanning. The first step after scanning should always be aimed at ensuring that the scanned file has all the pages, in the exact same order and orientation, as the source file.

Following are common file variants and the possible permutations to implement CPBH on each variant.


Paper-book is essentially an indexed compilation of various documents, with running page number. The most common example of this format is your pleadings and/or documents that form part of your case files.

A paper-book does not necessarily mean a large document with lot of annexures. A small document (for example a simple bail application without any annexures) with index and running page numbers is also a paper-book.

While nomenclature and formats vary depending on your practice area, this document type is the predominant variant in any advocate’s office.

Naturally, while digitising your office, this is the most common document format that you come across while scanning.

In this case, as applicable for any document, you should immediately clean your PDF after scanning.

This should be followed by page-labelling and bookmarking only your ‘Index’ page. With these 2 steps (cleaning and page-labelling), your digital paper-book is as good as your physical paper-book.

As page-labelling is complete, you can effectively execute a ‘go to page’ command. Similarly, whenever you have to go to a specific section, you go to Index page (which is bookmarked) and then input the respective page in the ‘go to page’ command box.

Note that bookmarking all index contents, and hyperlinking them in the index page, is not mandatory in all paper-books. Bookmarking and hyperlinking definitely enhance the file’s user experience. But these steps are optional, especially when you are pressed for time. Alternatively, you can either bookmark or hyperlink as both offer same functionality with respect to index contents.


You often come across a compilation of documents arranged in a specific order. The documents might be delineated though paper-flags or page separators. However, there is neither running page numbering nor an index.

In this scenario, after cleaning the PDF, the only task that should be performed is bookmarking. As there is no running page number or index, there is no possibility of page-labelling or hyperlinking.


A classic example of this variant is a judgment compilation without running page numbers. Commonly, a judgment compilation only contains an index followed by judgments, with each judgment delineated though a paper-flag or page separators.

Many advocates do not add running page number on judgment compilations because frequent changes are made to the number, and order, of judgements. Such changes cannot be made if there is running page numbers as the entire set, and copies thereof, should be discarded whenever any change is made.

In case of this variant, after cleaning the PDF, you can bookmark and hyperlink the digital file


Following rationale can be culled out from above analysis

1. ‘Cleaning the PDF’ is mandatory after scanning, whatever be the document type.

2. If the source document has running page number, page labelling is mandatory. If there is no running page number, there is no requirement or possibility of page labelling. If there are several sections, bookmarking and hyperlinking are optional.

3. If the source document has no page numbering or index but several sections, the only available option after cleaning, is bookmaking.

4. If the source document has an index and several sections, then bookmarking and hyperlinking are required.