Appendix IV - Importing Other Document Types into halFILE

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Importing Other Document Types into halFILE

halFILE lets you import documents from other application using a feature called 'Associated Documents.' Associated documents are documents in which an association has been defined in Windows based on the document extension. In other words, in Windows, you can associate anything with a .DOC extension to Microsoft Word, anything with an .XLS extension to Excel and so forth. By adding this support, halFILE can support numerous document types.

Setting up Associations


Within Windows, associations can be set up within Explorer. Select the View_Options menu and then the File Types tab. This will show you existing associations as well as let you add new ones.

Importing Associated Documents


There are several ways to import Associated Documents into halFILE including:

  1. Use Tools_Import menu selection within halFILE.
  2. Using the Explorer Send To feature.
  3. Using HALMAIL when a document is attached to an e-mail message.

Importing using File_Import


To import Associated Documents using File_Import:

  1. Set File Type the 'associated.' By default this is set to 'image.' If you fail to change the File Type and import documents you will receive an error when you try to view the documents.
  2. Find the document or documents to import and add them into the import list using the Add to List or Add All buttons. Note that all documents must exist in the same directory.
  3. Select the menu File_Begin Import.
  4. Answer the 'After importing documents, do you wish to delete the original image files?' question. Answer yes if you want document to be removed after it has been imported into the halFILE basket.
  5. The import screen is displayed. Here you can:
  6. To view a document, double click the document number in the import list. This will look up the File Associated and run the Associated Application, automatically loading the document. For example, if you import a Word document and double click on the document in the Import List, then Word loads and shows the document.
  7. Press the Import All Documents button to import all the documents in the Import List.
  8. Select a document and press the Import Document button to import only the selected document.
  9. Press the Remove Document button to remove a document from the Import List. This does not remove the actual document file.
  10. Press the Close button to close the import window.

IMPORTANT: You are responsible for closing the Associated Document application when you are finished viewing the document. Failure to do so will result in out or memory errors when too many applications are running at the same time within Windows.

Version Control


halFILE supports version control of Associated Documents as follows. If a document is opened in search with version control active, the document is opened as read-only. This forces the user to save changes to the document to a new file (thus a new version of the document is created). If a document is opened with version control disabled, the document can be modified.

The version control option is set up in the Security/Versions tab of the Tools-Option screen of the halFILE Administrator. Options are:

  • Allow users to save changes made to Associated Document (essentially no version control).
  • Do NOT allow users to save changes to Associated Documents (documents are opened as read-only).
  • Interactive mode which prompts the user when opening an Associated Document.

Reviewing the Basket Contents


To view documents in a basket, use Tools_Basket Status. Click once on images or text files since halFILE is the viewer for those document types and loading is immediate. Double-click associated files to load the target application and view the document.

Archiving Associated Documents


Archive Associated Documents in the same way you archive images or text files.

Searching and Viewing Associated Documents


When you search your halFILE Database and double-click on a document in the hit list, the associated application will be loaded if the file is identified as an association. As noted above, you are responsible for closing the application when you are through viewing the document. In cases where most documents are of the same type, you may want to leave the target application open to speed up load time.

If the document is on a rewritable device, you can change the document using the target application and save it back to disk. If the document is on a read-only device such as a CD, you can change the document and save it as a new document name. You could then import to new document into halFILE and now have versions of the same document. To provide a tracking of the versions, add a version or date field to your halFILE database.

Document Types Tested


In our labs, we have successfully imported the following document types:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Adobe Acrobat (PDF)
  • HTML Internet web pages
  • TIFF Images using the Wang Viewer as the target application
  • Windows Bitmaps (BMP)
  • JPEG Images
  • WAV Sound Files
  • MIDI Music Files
  • AVI Videos

Organizing Documents


Use halFILE as your Document Binder. Set up a database containing search fields needed to find and group your documents. Archive your documents to CD and share them across the network. A sample Document Binder database in file could consist of:

Field Name Field Description
Binder Name Description of documents in the Binder. This could be a table driven and validated field such as SIM01 for the Simmons Account.
OriginalDocumentName The original document name
CreationDate Date document was created
ModifyDate Date document was last modified
Owner Person responsible for the document
Remarks Comments about the document

Of course, the database can be customized to suit your needs. Then, using this Binder concept, you could search for the Simmons Account and find Word documents, scanned images, Excel spreadsheets all having to do with that account.

Associated Import Utility


The Associated Import Utility can be used to import sets of Associated Documents. This utility is capability of using the document file name to populate index fields. For more information see Supporting Document \#hfw0018 on the web at or contact your sales representative.