WIerd question for you (PLEASE help)

A rather open ended question. Here goes.

> scan an image, save that image as a tif, open the ocr software, open
> the tif in the ocr software, ocr it (the output goes to a windows
> notepad window that just pops up), copy the contents of the notepad,
> open ms word, paste it into ms word on top of a template, save that as
> ascii text.
> Is there a way to automate any part of this?

Lets take this stage by stage. I'll come onto Delphi later.

The first bit, scanning images and savings as .TIF files, is I assume not
a major problem. To do anything about the second stage depends on the OCR
software. As a first step, you might be able to start the OCR software
and pass it the name of the file in one operation. Use the Program
manager run command, and try C:\OCR.EXE C:\SOMEDIR\ASCAN.TIF. This might
just run the OCR package and load the TIF in one move. Or, you could
associate .TIF files with the OCR package, in the File manager.

If that doesn't work, then it is hard to see how you can automate the
process much. Unless the OCR software supports some other system, say DDE.

The third stage, popping up the Notepad window, might be changeable, look
at the OCR documentation.

The last bit adding to a Word template, then saving as text, sounds like
a very slow way to solve a problem. If you were saving to .DOC format it
would be alright.

> where to start, or even if delphi would be good to use, .......

If you have much programming experience, you will probably love delphi.
If you haven't done much programming be prepared. You have a steep
learning curve ahead. Delphi is a big and powerful application. It can do
everything that a high level language like say C can do. It does
everything that Visual basic does, only better. It also does everything
that a database development system like dBase or Paradox does.

If you do go the Delphi route, I would suggest you go looking for a few
off the shelf components to make your life easier. (Browse the web for
delphi component sites, lie the Delphi Super Page / Delphi Station) I am
pretty sure there is at least one TWAIN component, this would allow you
to control the scanner from within a delphi program. Also, look out for a
TIF image viewer, that would allow you to have a picture of the scanned
image in your program.

Starting up other programs from within Delphi is perfectly possible, also
having a DDE conversation with other running programs is also perfectly

Nick Moon  ncm...@cix.compulink.co.uk