Zones and backgrounds

Zones define areas on the page to be processed or ignored. Zones are rectangular or irregular, with vertical and horizontal sides. Page images in a document have a background value: process or ignore (the latter is more typical). Background values can be changed with
the tools shown. Zones can be drawn on page backgrounds with the tools shown under Zone Types and Properties (see later).

Process areas (in process zones or backgrounds) are auto-zoned when they are sent to recognition.

Ignore areas (in ignore zones or backgrounds) are dropped from processing. No text is recognized and no image is transferred.

Automatic zoning

Automatic zoning allows the program to detect blocks of text, headings, pictures and other elements on a page and draw zones to enclose them.

You can Auto-zone a whole page or a part of it. Automatically drawn zones and template zones have solid borders. Manually drawn or modified zones have dotted borders.

Auto-zoneAuto-zone a page background

Acquire a page. It appears with a process background. Draw a zone. The background changes to ignore. Draw text, table or graphic zones to enclose areas you want manually zoned. Click the Process background tool (shown) to set a process background. Draw ignore zones over parts of the page you do not need. After recognition the page will return with an ignore background and new zones round all elements found on the background.

Zone types and properties

Each zone has a zone type. Zones containing text can also have a zone contents setting: alphanumeric or numeric. The zone type and zone contents together constitute the zone properties. Right-click in a zone for a shortcut menu allowing you to change the zone’s properties. Select multiple zones with Shift+clicks to change their properties in one move.

The Image toolbar provides six zone drawing tools, one for each type.

Process ZoneProcess zone

Use this to draw a process zone, to define a page area where auto-zoning will run. After recognition, this zone will be replaced by one or more zones with automatically determined zone types.

Ignore ZoneIgnore zone

Use this to draw an ignore zone, to define a page area you do not want transferred to the Text Editor.

Text ZoneText zone

Use this to draw a text zone. Draw it over a single block of text. Zone contents will be treated as flowing text, without columns being found.

Table ZoneTable zone

Use this to have the zone contents treated as a table. Table grids can be automatically detected, or placed manually.

Graphic ZoneGraphic zone

Use this to enclose a picture, diagram, drawing, signature or anything you want transferred to the Text Editor as an embedded image, and not as recognized text.

Form ZoneForm zone

OmniPage ProfessionalUse this to enclose an area of your document containing form elements such as a checkbox, radio button, text field or anything you want transferred to the Text Editor as a form element. Afterwards, in True Page view, you can edit form layout, and modify the properties of form elements. Form zones are available in OmniPage Professional 16 only.

Working with zones

Zone IconsThe Image toolbar provides zone editing tools. Grouped tools can be undocked/floated an redocked as a separate mini toolbar for convenience. One is always selected. When you no longer want the service of a tool, click a different tool. Some tools on this toolbar are grouped. If docked as a single tool, only the last selected tool from the group is visible. To select a visible tool, click it.

To draw a single zone select the zone drawing tool of the desired type, then click and drag the cursor.

To resize a zone, select it by clicking in it, move the cursor to a side or corner, catch a handle and move it to the desired location. It cannot overlap another zone.

To make an irregular zone by addition draw a partially overlapping zone of the same type.

To join two zones of the same type draw an overlapping zone of the same type (drawn zones on the left, resulting zone on the right).

Zone Diagram 1Zone Diagram 2

To make an irregular zone by subtraction draw an overlapping zone of the same type as the background.

To split a zone draw a splitting zone of the same type as the background.

A full set of zoning diagrams appear in the Online Help.

When you draw a new zone that partly overlaps an existing zone of a different type, it does not really overlap it; the new zone replaces the overlapped part of the existing zone.

The following zone types are prohibited:

Zone Shapes

Speed zoning lets you do manual zoning quickly. Activate the zone selection cursor, then move the cursor over the page image. Shaded areas will appear showing the auto-detected zones. Double-click to transform a shaded area into a zone.

Table grids in the image

Zone ButtonsAfter automatic processing you may see table zones placed on a page. They are denoted with a table zone icon in the top left corner of the zone. To change a rectangular zone to or from a table zone, use its shortcut menu. You can also draw table type zones, but they must remain rectangular.

You draw or move table dividers to determine where gridlines will appear when the table is placed in the Text Editor. You can draw or resize a table zone (provided it stays rectangular) to discard unneeded columns or rows from the outer edges of a table.

Using the table tools you can insert row and column dividers; move and remove dividers. Click the Place/Remove all dividers tool to have dividers in a table auto-detected and placed.

You can specify line formatting for table borders and grids from a shortcut menu. You will have greater choice for editing borders and shading in the Text Editor after recognition.

Using zone templates

A template contains a page background value and a set of zones and their properties, stored in a file. A zone template file can be loaded to have template zones used during recognition. Load a template file in the Layout Description drop-down list or from the Tools menu. You can browse to network locations to load templates created by others.

When you load a template, its background and zones are placed:

  • on the current page, replacing any zones already there
  • on all further acquired pages
  • on pre-existing pages sent to (re-)recognition without any zones.

With manual processing the template zones in the first two cases can be viewed and modified before recognition.

With automatic processing the template zones can be viewed and modified only after recognition.

With workflow processing, use the zone images step. This combines two steps: load templates and manual zoning. To use a zone template, click the Add button in the appropriate panel of the Workflow Assistant, and select the zone template file to use. Then make your choice between displaying images for manual zoning; applying the zone template; or applying it and display the images.

Templates accept ignore and process zones and backgrounds. They can therefore be useful to define which parts of the pages to process with auto-zoning, and which parts to ignore. Process zones or process background areas from a template may be replaced during recognition by a set of smaller zones; specific zone types will be assigned to these zones.

How to save a zone template

Select a background value and prepare zones on a page. Check their locations and properties. Click Zone Template... in the Tools menu. In the dialog box, select [zones on page] and click Save, then assign a name and optionally a different path. Choose a network location to share the template file. Click OK. The new zone template remains loaded.

How to modify a zone template

Load the template and acquire a suitable image with manual processing. The template zones appear. Modify the zones and/or properties as desired. Open the Zone Template Files dialog box. The current template is selected. Click Save and then Close.

How to unload a template

Select a non-template setting in the Layout Description drop-down list. The template zones are not removed from the current or existing pages, but template zones will no longer be used for future processing. You can also open the Zone Template Files dialog box, select [none] and click the Set As Current button. In this case, the layout description setting returns to Automatic.

How to replace one template with another

Select a different template in the Layout Description drop-down list, or open the Zone Template Files dialog box, select the desired template and click the Set As Current button. Zones from the new template are applied to the current page, replacing any existing zones. They are also applied as explained above.

How to remove a template file

Open the Zone Template Files dialog box. Select a template and click the Remove button. Zones already placed by this template are not removed. Template files can be deleted only from the operating system.

How to include a template file in an OPD

Open a document, then click Tools and choose Zone Template. Select the one you want to include and click Embed. Then save the document to the OPD format. This means the template will travel with the OPD if it is sent to a new location. When the OPD file is opened later, the included zone template will be shown in the Zone Template Files dialog box as [embedded] and can be saved to a new named template file at the new location by using the Extract button.