Optimizing Client File Cabinet Files

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The Client File Cabinet in AWARDS allows agencies to store documents, pictures, sound clips, and other media directly for individual clients which are then accessible via the face sheet, Client History Report, and/or Services-Individual module.  As with other aspects of the face sheet, the Client File Cabinet is shared between programs.  Therefore if a client is admitted to more than one program, the files uploaded by "Program A" will be visible by "Program B."  Also shared between programs is the 10 MB per client cap on the aggregate files stored in the file cabinet.  While 10 MB might seem paltry in a world with 16 GB iPhones and 1 TB hard drives, it's more than enough to store about 500 pages of text-only files, 60 pages of mixed image-text files, 100 images, or 25 minutes of spoken word audio.  In order to maximize your usage of the Client File Cabinet, here are some tips and tricks for optimizing your files to get the most out of the allotted space.

Working with Word Documents

The best place to start with optimizing a file for the Client File Cabinet in AWARDS is the source.  Most documents will typically originate as ".docx" files in Microsoft Word.  So long as a ".docx" file in Microsoft Word is not image heavy, Word does a good job of keeping file sizes as small as possible.  In the event you need to upload a Word document that is image heavy, you can compress the images in the file prior to saving it.  To do so, complete the following steps (in Microsoft Word 2007/2010):

    1. Click File > Save As and the Save As dialog box is opened.
    2. Click Tools > Compress Pictures... and the Compress Pictures dialog box will open atop the Save As window.
    3. Now click OK to compress the pictures in the file, and then click Save to complete the process of saving the file.

Scanning Documents

The other common way of creating a file for the Client File Cabinet is to use a scanner to digitalize a paper document.  When scanning a document it's important to optimize the settings on the scanner for a text document so you don't unnecessarily inflate the file size.  When scanning a document, we recommend using the following settings to keep the size of the file small, while maintaining the readability of the document:

  DPI/Resolution: 200x200

  Quality: Normal

  File Type: PDF

  Document Type: Text (or Mixed if necessary)

Working with PDF Files

If you already have a file that isn't optimized for the Client File Cabinet, there are several utilities available for Windows to manipulate PDF files, both paid and free.  (Please be cautious when downloading files from the internet.)  On Macs with OS X, the "Preview" application displays a "Reduce File Size" option in the Quartz Filter menu of the Save As dialog to decrease the size of an existing PDF.

Using Optical Character Recognition (OCR)

Since Word documents have the inherent advantage of storing the contents as text and not as an image (which takes up much more space), you may want to utilize technology called OCR or Optical Character Recognition.  Much like dictation software can decipher your voice and turn it into text, OCR software will decipher text and images on a piece of paper and turn them into editable characters and images in a Word document.  If you have the option to use OCR on your scanner, we strongly recommend taking advantage of it - and if you don't, there's software available for the desktop that will let you take advantage of this powerful feature.  Please note that your experience may vary based on the application you use and the content of the PDF you're working with.