Creating PDF copies to load to DCS

Caselines DCS accepts documents for loading in PDF and JPG form. The instructions below explain how to create PDF copies of documents on your computer which are not already in PDF or JPG form. 


There are two ways of making PDF copies of emails. 

Method 1: Simply forward each email to PDFEN

If there are just a few emails you can do this for each email:-

1. In your email system, open the email you wish to make a PDF copy of and tap Forward. In To: type in and in Subject: type in the date/ time and sender/addressee detail in this format:  2018-08-20 Email at 09.30 Smith to Jones Then tap Send.  

2. After a couple of minutes the PDFEN service will send you an email with a link. Click on the link and a PDF (containing the email message and any attachments) will be downloaded to your local computer storage.

Note that when you use PDFEN your files are processed on servers outside the United Kingdom which may not be subject to the same standards or data protection as in the UK. If you are concerned about this, use method 2 below.

Method 2: Create MBOX or PST copies of the emails and then use PSTVIEWER on a Windows computer

This method of creating PDF copies of emails can take a little while to set up  - perhaps 30 mins if you are unfamiliar with the software - but once it is set up you can use it to create PDF copies of large numbers of emails very quickly, with each PDF automatically being given the right name e.g. 2018-08-20 Email at 09.30 Smith to Jones. Because this method takes a little while to set up, Method 1 is probably a faster method for up to 30 emails, but for more than 30 emails Method 2 is probably faster.  

1. If the emails are in Gmail create a copy of them in an MBOX file or if they are in Microsoft Outlook on your Windows computer create copies in a PST file.  

2. Use PSTViewer to open the MBOX or PST file and use the Export button in PSTViewer to create a PDF copy of each relevant email appropriately named (e.g. 2018-08-20 Email at 09.30 Smith to Jones).

Other electronic files 

You can use PDFEN Convert option to create PDF copies of the files - a couple of minutes after you tap the Convert button the PDFEN service will send you an email with a link. Click on the link to download the PDFs (one for each document) onto your computer storage.

PDFEN uses default values when creating PDF copies and you may find that some copies are not in the most appropriate format - e.g. a PDF copy of a spreadsheet may lack gridlines. Check each PDF created by PDFEN carefully and if the PDF created is not satisfactory use the print facility to "print to a PDF" instead. When you use PDFEN your files are processed on servers outside the United Kingdom which may not be subject to the same standards or data protection as in the UK. If you are concerned about this, use the print facility instead of PDFEN.   


Scanning paper documents

To scan in paper documents as PDFs you can either use a scanning service or else do it yourself with your own scanner.  

Method 1: Use your scanner to scan to a memory card or USB stick

Many scanners have a slot for a memory card or USB stick and allow you to scan direct to the memory card/USB stick. You then insert the memory card/USB stick in to your computer

Method 2: Use your scanner connected to your computer

You can plug the scanner into your computer, scan documents to PDFs and save them to your computer storage.

Whichever method of scanning you use it is important that all pages of a single document should should be scanned into a single PDF

Whichever method you use, if a document consists of more than one page, make sure that all pages are scanned into a single PDF. Don't produce a separate PDF for each page as it makes it very difficult if you have to keep closing one PDF and opening another to read through the document. 

If you put all the pages of a document in the document feeder on your scanner they should, by default, be scanned into a single multi-page PDF. If you are not using the document feeder but are instead putting each page of a document, in turn, on the glass (e.g. because the pages are fragile) the scanning dialogue you use should prompt you after scanning each page to say whether there are more pages of the document to be scanned (or whether the page you have just scanned is the last page of the document) so that it knows to include the next page in the same PDF as the preceding pages.  

If you have a very old scanner which does not have a document feeder and does not prompt you when scanning from the glass, consider buying a new scanner. The cost of good quality scanners is coming down all the time and you can buy a combined scanner and printer, which can scan and print double-sided, A4 and A3, for less than £150. When buying a scanner make sure that the scanner has a double-sided automatic document feed (ADF) as you may find that many of the documents you need to scan in are printed on both sides. 
Scanner/printer shown above is a Brother MFCJ6530DW 

Method 3: Use a scanning service

There are companies which provide a specialist service of taking boxes of documents and scanning them in as PDFs and providing the PDFs to you on a USB stick. Examples are Tradescanners and Legastat. If you use one of these services make sure that they understand what your requirements are, paying particular attention to the following points.

1. Many customers want their documents to be shredded after scanning but you do not - so make sure that the company knows that the original documents are not to be shredded but are to be carefully preserved and returned to you after scanning for you to keep safely.

2. You want each document to be scanned into a single PDF - not multiple documents per PDF - with the PDF being given a meaningful name such as 2016-11-18 Letter Smith to Jones.pdf  You need to tell them the name format you require. 

Rather than use a specialist scanning company you could go to an ordinary high street print shop and ask them to scan in the documents for you. If you do this, however, you may find that they are not willing to automatically give the PDFs meaningful names based just on your explanation of the name format you require, but that they want you to put a post-it sticker on each document with the exact name that you require for that document (e.g. 2016-11-18 Letter Smith to Jones.pdf). 

Web pages

See here for how to make a PDF copy of the contents of a web page.


The information on this page about specific computer techniques is provided for information purposes only. Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information is accurate and up to date at the time it was written but no responsibility for its accuracy, or for any consequences of relying on it, is assumed by me. Any sample screen layouts are based on the version of software current when the screen shot was taken and may be different now. You should satisfy yourself, before using any of the techniques, software or services described, that the techniques are appropriate for your purposes and that the software or service is reliable.

This page was lasted updated in September 2018. Disclaimer