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Lawyers live on documents and document archives. Documents used to be (and still often are) represented solely on paper, but increasingly documents have digital analogs, in the moment of creation as word processor or electronic spreadsheet files, from the moment of receipt as a fax file, or after receipt as an electronic document scanned into a computer’s memory. Paper documents are archived into file folders and cardboard boxes of some sort, but electronic documents require some sort of document management system (DMS). A medium to large firm will license iManage, DocsOpen, Worldox or the like; the costs are substantial but then, so are the benefits. A solo practitioner’s or very small firm’s DMS can be as simple as setting up a Windows folder for each client or project saving all documents, however they were originated, in that folder or in subfolders created under that folder. Better results can be achieved by activating the option to require the creator of a document to enter a title, creator, subject and so forth into a pop up form before saving. (Such a feature is a part of all modern word processors, but we know of few that voluntarily turn it on.) Finally, the user can command a full-text retrieval program to index all of the documents, so the document needed a year or two later can be found with a Boolean or natural language search. When we first looked at PaperPort, it was free software accompanying and supporting Visioneer scanners. Visioneer still makes scanners, but the software portion of the company went to ScanSoft. ScanSoft has enhanced the program and turned it into a program that permits the user to not only organize firm documents, but to place them into an online archive, courtesy of NetDocuments. It isn’t an online DMS, but it is an interesting combination and useful for collaboration and file sharing. INSTALLATION, DOCUMENTATION, SUPPORT We installed PaperPort 8.0 in a single user configuration, with some difficulties, but a Customer Support line talked us through it. The program comes with a printed manual which is replicated in a sizeable PDF file on the CD-ROM. There is very limited “free” telephone support. Once you have the program up and running you shouldn’t need any support. USING PAPERPORT Version 8.0 still has the basic features of older versions, with some interesting tweaking and a few new enhancements. The basic mode is as a receptacle for scanned documents. Go to the pull down menu, select a scanning source, and tell the program to scan the document in the scanner. (We were using, in addition to a Hewlett Packard OfficeJet fax/scanner/printer, a small Visioneer Strobe Pro scanner; to use the Strobe Pro, we had only slide the first page of the document into the scanner to automatically launch PaperPort.) Shortly after the scan is complete, a very small “thumbnail” version of the document appears on the PaperPort desktop. Click the thumbnail and a full size copy of the document appears on the screen. The user can attach information about the document — title, creator, dates and a large “comment” field — for easy review, and can drop the document into an appropriate folder. A folder can be a PaperPort folder or it can be a folder already existing in your Windows system which can be made accessible to PaperPort. This permits the user to save a word processing file, for example, into the appropriate the client/project folder according to the firm’s usual practice, then automatically review the file using PaperPort. (The program includes the ability to view files created by WordPerfect and Microsoft Word, various electronic spreadsheets, PDF files and other file formats without requiring the user to load the program that created the file, making it easy to browse through the documents in the folder.) There is no direct connection making it possible to store e-mail or fax messages in a PaperPort folder, but the program does come with a print driver which can be used to “print” any electronic document to a PaperPort format, in a PaperPort folder. Once a document is in the PaperPort system, you can drag it to a “Links” bar on the bottom of the screen to coordinate with word processor, spreadsheet, OCR (optical character recognition) programs or similar ones already on your computer, to a program built into PaperPort or to a “Form Filler” program that lets the user fill out a form, then print it to paper. (Adobe PDF forms can have fillable fields, but the PaperPort Form Filler requires no program and builds no database; all it does is eliminate the need for a typewriter in most cases.) Another favorite feature is a “copy to text” module that reads a page of a scanned file, coverts it to text using the build-in OCR module, then pastes it to the Windows clipboard. At that point the user can Paste it into any application program on the computer. Finally, PaperPort’s “Simple Search” facility does an OCR on every image file within the PaperPort system, combines it with the text of every text-based file, and builds an index of the files containing each word. The search facility isn’t as full featured as the dtSearch program on which it is based, but it will point you to each document in the PaperPort system having the word combinations you are seeking. All you have to do is to remember to click on a button to update the indexing once a day or whenever convenient. You can also search for specific document titles or other annotations. Simple Search and placing related documents into the same file doesn’t make a DMS, but if you have only a few lawyers in the firm, it can work well enough, at a reasonable price. PAPERPORT ONLINE PaperPort online is a ScanSoft branded version of NetDocuments ( www.netdocuments.com), an online service known mostly for the promotion of document sharing through secure circuits on the World Wide Web. A single PaperPort user gets 25 megabytes of online storage for a year. (After that, the same privileges cost $60.) After establishing a PaperPort Online account, the user need only establish an Internet connection, drag the documents you wish to upload to a PaperPort Online icon on the PaperPort toolbar and the documents are automatically to an online In box. Create one or more “Shared Folder” areas to hold files to be shared with others. If a person to be added to a Shared Folder is already on the system, you need do nothing more. Once you have established an account, you can get access to your documents from any computer with an acceptable Internet connection and browser. A group membership and a gigabyte of storage space can be purchased for $500 per year for the group, plus a “per user” charge. Obviously, a lawyer who spends a lot of time on the road may find the system very convenient. A PROPOSED EXPERIMENT According to the developer, if a person with whom files are to be shared is not already on the system, the user can add that person to the system with a three megabyte storage area without charge to the added person or the PaperPort user. Both clients and opposing counsel can be provided with important documents on a secure basis. We’re told there is no maximum number that can be added by a single PaperPort user. We’d like to do some testing and are asking each reader to help. We’re going to set up a Shared Folder, add some files, and add as many free users as we can to the system. If you’d like to participate, send an e-mail including your name and phone number, to [email protected]. We’ll add you to the system with a free account and let you play. You might even determine that you like the system enough to pay for it, with or without PaperPort. SUMMARY PaperPort 8.0, an enhanced version of a good program, controls a scanner, lets the user consolidate electronic files from almost any source into a single folder, and lets the user view each file without requiring having the program that created the file. Version 8.0 also comes with a companion online Web site that permits storage of documents and sharing document files attorneys in your firm, opposing counsel and clients. DETAILS PaperPort 8.0. Price: Single user, $99.00. Discounts for 5 user and 25 user packages. Requires: IBM PC running Microsoft Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP/NT 4.0, Twain scanner, 80 megabytes hard disk space. ScanSoft, Inc., 9 Centennial Drive, Peabody, MA 01960. Phone: (978) 977-2000. Fax: (978) 977-9713. www.scansoft.com.

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