Benefits of using a standard file format
Converting documents to a standard file format before entering them into the electronic document management system will make it easier for the entire organization to use them. Users will be able to view, comment and reuse documents regardless of what device and office application that is being used.
Converting paper to electronic documents
Paper documents are converted to electronic form using a document scanner or a multifunction printer (digital copy machine). Choosing the right file format in which to store them is important. The documents should be readable on any type of device and in the future. The most common format today is the portable document format, PDF, which can store both scanned material and born-digital. PDF/A is a specialized version of this, an ISO standard for long term preservation of documents
Converting electronic documents from one format to another
Previously scanned documents may have been stored in a different file format than the one you want in your current database. Older document databases often use formats such as TIFF, CALS, Edmics or even JPEG, while newer databases mostly use PDF. With the right software, you can convert these files to your standard file format without having to rescan.
Born-digital documents, such as Office documents, may also be converted to a standard file format. This will make your document database platform and application independent. Any user can view the documents on their device with just the standard software.
When converting both paper and electronic documents to a standard file format, it is important to make them text-searchable. This will let your document management system index their content and make them a lot easier to find. To make scanned documents text-searchable, the software uses OCR, optical character recognition.