Alternative Format Services Database

Alternative Format Services Database

Version 1.0

I.     Purpose

a.     Provide general users with an interface to view current assigned             tasks and to record time spent on each task.

b.     Provide team leaders and administrative users with an interface to             create, modify, and assign tasks to other users as well as to                 categorize tasks according to student and class.

c.     Record user-inputted data for time spent on different tasks.          Provide on-line accessible reports showing cost analyses of production     hours and administrative overhead.

II.     Interface

a.     Navigation

b.     User list and user management.

c.     Student work management
    1. Student, class, work and task structure
    2. Task assignment and user data entry

III.     Reports

a.     Online production reports

b.     Online administrative reports

I.     Purpose

The AltFormat online database is designed to function within three essential areas of operation:

•    To provide general users with an interface to view current assigned     tasks and to record time spent on each task.

•    To provide team leaders and administrative users with an interface to create, modify and assign tasks to other users as well as to categorize tasks according to student and class.

•    To record user-inputted data for time spent on different tasks and to provide online accessible reports showing cost analyses of production hours and administrative overhead.

Converting classroom material into an electronically accessible format is one of the key duties of the Alternative Format Services.  Since the average Alternative Format Services editor may convert or edit a high volume of material per day, the database must therefore serve as a portal for users to track and manage the various amount of tasks associated with e-text conversion.

II.     Interface


Navigation throughout the database is facilitated by the sidebar located at the left of the page.

The navigation sidebar allows users to access different functional areas of the database.  The sidebar will appear different; however, to users with different privileges.

A standard user will only be able to access those links, which are outlined here in green.  These links will allow the standard user to view and enter data for currently assigned tasks, as well as access the Daily Tasks/Admin Work form for recording time not directly related to production.

A team leader is able to view the links outlined in blue.  Aside from being able to view the online production reports, a team leader is also able to create and edit students, classes and work as well as creating and editing individual tasks for different work.

The admin user has access to the link outlined in red.  This is the Manage Users link.  The admin user has privilege to create new database users, as well as determining the privilege level for other users.

User List and User Management

A team leader or admin user, after logging in, will automatically be directed to the User List page, shown next.

Media Access Group: User List page

From here, one is able to view the number of tasks or jobs currently assigned to each database user.  The Details link enables the user to view the specific details about the tasks that are assigned.

A user with admin privileges is able to create users and modify user information in the Manage Users screen.

Manage Users Screen

The screen above shows the different privileges assigned to each database user.  An admin user can click the Edit link next to any user name to change their information and privileges.

Student Work Management

For each student the Alternative Format Services, a set of work is assigned.  The work for the student is any course material that needs to be converted: course books, class notes, handouts, articles, etc...

 Structure of classes and work for students

Team leaders and admin users have access to the Work link, which allows them to view a list of the work associated with each student and class.

Active Work List

The active work list is a list of the work for all students and classes.  By clicking the Classes link under Work in the sidebar, it is possible to view the list sorted by class.

Class List

By clicking on the link for the class, the user will arrive to the Active Work List screen for that particular class.

For any given work there exist a number of tasks, separated into chapters, sections or page ranges, to which a database user will be assigned.  For each of these tasks there are editing, correction, scanning and possibly tactile graphics tasks to be carried out by database users.

In the Active Work List page, clicking on the title of the work will bring up the Active Tasks page.  This page shows a list of the tasks that are associated with that given work.  Below is a sample of what the Active Tasks page might look like for a sample course book.

Active Tasks Page

Clicking on the name of the task will show the user(s) to whom a certain task is assigned.  Normally one user is assigned to scan the book, so that it is done all at once and not section-by-section.

Task Assignment Page

In this page, users are assigned to work on different parts of the task (also referred to as “tasks”).  For example, a user may be assigned to edit or convert the task into e-text.  Another user is then assigned to correct this task by proof-reading it.  Given the student’s preference for the representation of figures and diagrams, a tactile graphics or photocopy task may also be assigned.

Once a task has been assigned, the user can view his or tasks by clicking the User Tasks link on the sidebar.  The screen below shows the tasks assigned to the current user.  It is also the default screen when a standard user logs in.

User Active Tasks Page

This screen also includes the form for entering the number of hours and pages worked on.  A comment field is also provided.  After the task has been completed, the user can click the close link, which marks the task as complete.

III.     Reports

Team leaders and admin users have access to the online reports located under Reports in the navigation sidebar.  The database collects the user inputted data from the User Active Tasks page and displays it sorted either by Student/Book, Student, Book, or Class.  The report below is a sample report sorted by Student/Book.  Other reports contain the average pages per hour column.

Sample report sorted by Student/Book

Just like the time spent on production tasks, the time spent working on administrative and daily tasks must also be accounted for.  Every user has access to the Daily Tasks/Admin Work link, which allows time to be entered for tasks not directly related to production.

These tasks are divided into the following categories: database work, meetings, interviews/hiring, schedule work, training, reports and other.

The report shown is a breakdown of production (editing, correction, scanning and graphics) versus administrative tasks.

Production vs. Admin Tasks sample report

Basic Editing Procedures

Version 5.0

Table of Contents
•    Introduction   
•    Book Cutting and Scanning Directions   
•    Naming Conventions   
•    Before Editing   
•    Page Setup   
•    Page Numbering
•    Chapter/Section
•    Headings
•    Other Headings
•    First-Line Indentations
•    Sidenotes   
•    Footnotes
•    Figures   
•    Tables   
•    Theorems, Equations   
•    All Block-Level Elements
•    Soft Hyphens
•    Foreign-Language Characters
•    Non-WinTriangle Screenreader Procedures   
•    After Editing is Done
•    Miscellaneous   

This document meant to train people in various procedures of the Alternative Format Services. It describes the procedures that are to be followed while editing any document.

The documents to be edited generally fall into three categories based on the type of software used to read/print them. They are:
•    Documents that are read using Triangle.
•    Documents edited using MathType and printed on the Tiger Printer.
•    Documents edited in Plain Text and read using various screen readers such as OpenBook
Scanning Directions
Scan the entire book. If the book is rich in pictures and colors, you may want to use the OmniPage Pro scanning program. Otherwise, use the Abbyy Fine Reader scanning program. Instructions for each program can be found on the Alternative Format Services server in the Scanning\Scanning Items directory.

Capture Perfect 2.0
Quick Reference
This software is used for scanning documents (papers) into images that are Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software compatible. The images that are scanned are saved in “.TIFF” format by default, which works perfectly fine with OCR software such as ABBYY Finereader 7.0. Capture Perfect 2.0 is also very compatible with the Canon Scanner DR9080 (Scanning tips for this device included later in document).

Procedure to Scan Using Capture Perfect 2.0 Software:

1.    Open the “Capture Perfect 2.0” shortcut on the desktop. (If shortcut is not present, ask a Team leader to set it up).

2.    Place the paper in the scanner (details explained in DR9080 tips).

3.    On the Capture Perfect 2.0 menu bar, click “File” then “Scanner Setting… .” A window for scanner settings will appear (this window may read “Canon DR-9080C on STI - 0000”). In this window:
•    According to the paper size you have (please measure using a scale), select “Page size (a)”. If it’s a common size that repeatedly occurs for several books, you can save it in the “User Preference” box. (Common size and settings for Class Notes is saved).

•    Note: If Landscape orientation, it can be selected from the same setting by choosing the (Rotated) Option”.

•    Note: As a reference, A4 (210 x 297 mm) is the size you would select to scan a normal sheet of paper.

•    The “Dots per inch (b)” (dpi) option should be chosen from 600 (if font size in the document is really small) to 400 (normal-sized font in the document), rather than the default of 300 dpi. This is for Compatibility with Finereader.

•    “Mode (c)”, “Brightness (d)” and “Contrast (e)” settings are not to be changed.

•    “Scanning Side (f)” is chosen according to whether the document is double sided (Duplex) or single sided (Simplex).

•    “Feeding Option (g)” and “Scanning Option (h)” are not to be changed. Keep the standard settings (“Standard Feeding” and “Scan Ahead,” respectively).

•    These options in the main settings window are followed by button options (For e.g.: “Area... ,” “More... ,” “About... ,” etc.). Click on “Area...” from these options. In the “Scan Area” window that pops up, you can change the distance from the left and top borders of the page by changing the “Start X: (i)” and “Start Y: (j)” options. The defaults for these options are 0” (inches). Click “OK” when you are done.
•    Note: If you need to use the “Preview” for choosing the scanning area (currently unavailable in Capture Perfect 2.0), please make sure that you place the page that was scanned back on top of your paper stack before hitting the “Scan” button.

•    Hit “OK” in the settings window to save your settings.

4.    Now again from the “File” options choose the “Scan Batch to File” option. Choose the location and the format. (Keep this file on the Desktop and save as a TIFF file) On the “Start scanning” window that appears, click “Start Scanning.”

Note: If you use the word “temp” as the filename (not temp.tif!), the file that you create during scanning will replace “temp0001.tif” on the desktop. Doing this will create a lot less clutter on the desktop and is highly advised. If you choose to do this, click “Yes” when you are asked to over-write the existing file.

5.    When you are asked to continue scanning, click the “Stop Scanning” button. The scanned “image” opens up once scanning is completed and you can choose to look at any page by choosing the “Page” option from the main menu bar. Another method for viewing pages is using the Split View. You can obtain Split View by clicking “View” on the main menu bar, then “Split View,” then a number based on how many pages you want to see on the screen at once. The options are 1, 2, 4, and User Setting.

Using Canon DR9080

1.    Turn on the scanner by hitting the power button at the bottom left corner of the device (Device is usually powered on and usually no buttons on the scanner have to be used).

2.    Place the paper in the bottom feeder tray and adjust the paper size levers so that paper is held between them. This allows the paper to go straight into the scanner. Paper should be placed in the tray with the top of your document pointing towards the scanner and face up.

3.    You can pull out the extension tray at the feeder for larger documents.

4.    Pull out the extension tray at the top for proper collection of documents after scanning.

5.    For manual feed hit the “Bypass Mode” button on the panel and feed in paper manually.

6.    The “Count Only” button does not scan but counts the pages of the document that is fed in.

7.    Another feature is by setting a “Patch code” (example given in the manual) on pages that separate 2 documents. The entire set of documents could be scanned together, but saved in separate files.

8.    Use the software as described above to start scanning.

Note: Always remove staples or any other binding devices from pages before scanning. If the corners are bent, flatten the creases and then put the paper back in the feeder tray. If the paper gets stuck, call a team leader or a tech. The manual for such troubleshooting is kept underneath the scanner.

9.     Save the scanned data in RTF (Rich Text Format).

10 The document should be saved in the corresponding folders  based on the current file naming convention.

Naming Conventions

This process is subject to change. Check with a Senior Editor for the current Naming Conventions.

Note: Some screen readers have problems recognizing periods (.) that are used in the file name, other than those indicating file type (i.e.: .doc, .rtf, .txt, etc. ...). Please use an underscore “_” instead of a dot in these circumstances.

Note: CN stands for class notes and HO stands for handout. Date of class is done in mm_dd_yy format.

The Course Equivalents to be used are...

Physics = PHY    Math = MTH       
Education = ED    Biology = BIO       
Psychology = PSY    History of Science = HSTS       
French = FR    Business Administration = BA   
Computer Science = CS   Communications = COMM        
Engineering = ENGR    English = ENG
Chemistry = CHE    History = HST
German = GER

Before Editing
This is where most tasks start. You will be given an assignment to edit a document that has been already scanned. This is the checklist of all that is to be done before you start editing.
1.    Open the original RTF file of the task that you have been given (should be found in the RTF folder under the term, student, course, and then book of your assigned task).

2.    Copy and paste the entire contents of the file into a new Notepad document (Start button > Programs > Accessories > Notepad). This will get rid of any figures, images, text boxes, and any other unwanted formatting. At this point, copy and paste the entire contents of the Notepad window into a NEW Word document.

3.    Save the file according to the naming conventions listed in the section above. All files editing using TRIANGLE and PLAINTEXT have to be saved as .RTF files. All files edited using MATHTYPE have to be saved as .DOC files.

Editing Procedures
Page Setup: First, select all the text (CTRL + a) in this new document and change the following:
Font Dialogue Box
Open up the Font dialogue box. This can be done by selecting Format from the main menu bar then Font.
Under the Font tab (default)...
Font: Arial
Size: 12pt

Under the Character Spacing tab…
Scale: 100%
Spacing: Normal
Position: Normal

Paragraph Dialogue Box
With the whole document still selected, select Format from the main menu bar then Paragraph. Under the Indents and Spacing (default) tab...

Alignment: justified
Indentation Left: 0”
Indentation Right: 0”
Indentation Special: None
Spacing Before: 0pt
Spacing After: 0pt
Line spacing: Single

1)    Page Numbering: Page numbers must be inserted on every page. A page number should be inserted before the first paragraph of a page. However, if the first paragraph of a page doesn’t start until halfway down, and that paragraph only has a few lines on the previous page, you can put the page number in front of that paragraph. DO NOT BREAK PAGES unless it is absolutely necessary (i.e. a single paragraph spans two or more pages). Additionally, these page numbers must be bolded and have a blank line above and below it.


(Page 237 Text)...Whatever its broader implications, the theory of sudden revolutions followed by periods of stability seemed to represent the most obvious interpretation of the facts.

Page 238

    (First paragraph on Page 238) Catastrophism certainly had had ideological overtones - it was often supported by conservatives trying to resist calls for the gradual reform of society. ...

The other two bolded terms are only inserted for example purposes. Don’t put similar phrases into your documents!

Chapter/Section Headings: Chapter and Section headings should have Font Size 14, Center alignment, and bolded text.

2)    Other Headings: All other side headings should be bolded and have Font Size 12. Alignment depends solely on how the text appears in the document.

3)    First-Line Indentations: The first line for the first paragraph under every heading (or sub-heading) should have no tab space, regardless of how it may appear in the text. However, the first line for following paragraphs should have a 0.5-inch indent (just press the Tab key once).

4)    Sidenotes: In certain areas of books, there exist some comments or notes that are not part of any paragraph. They might be formulas, tips, website links, or many other things. Text of this sort should be contained in a Sidenote (shortcut being ALT + r, s). Sidenotes are not numbered. Place sidenotes at the beginning or end of the closest paragraph, depending on how you see it referenced. Sidebar definitions should come before the paragraph in which it is referenced so the reader knows the definition beforehand. Use your judgment for any others.

5)    Footnotes: Move the footnotes from the end of the page (or the footnotes document, as some books will have sections at the end which contain all the footnotes) to the end of the paragraphs in which they are referenced. Use the Footnote shortcut (ALT + r, o) to enclose the footnote text. The number for the footnote (if given) should be placed after Footnote but before the colon with a space separating the number and Footnote.

Inside the text where a footnote is referenced, replace the reference with (Refer to Footnote #), where # is a number. Make sure that this is placed before ending punctuation (periods, question marks, and exclamation points).

Please note that in standard Plaintext editing procedures, the footnote is referenced with the number only (#), where # is the footnote number.

6)    Figures: For all figures (remember that the copy/paste process should have removed these), detailed explanations should be given. Generally, these explanations should go after the paragraph in which it is first referenced. If the figure is placed in the text before the figure reference, place it at the end of the nearest paragraph. If the paragraph before the figure has already ended, you can leave the figure where you find it. Use the figure shortcut (ALT + r, f) to enclose your figure descriptions.

In the case where you find a figure too difficult to describe, consult a Team Leader for assistance. With most students, an explanation, along with a photocopy or tactile graphic request may suffice. If the student has requested to have them explained anyway, just give a general, concise explanation of the figure. Again, a Team Leader will know what the student has requested.
To request a photocopy or graphic, you must send an e-mail to the Alternative Format Services mailing list ( In the Subject line, mention the Student, Course, Book, and Chapter/Section (if given). This aids Team Leaders in organizing and tracking these requests. An example Subject Line would be: “Photocopy Request - S011 BA442 Corrado CH14.” In the body of the e-mail, politely request a photocopy or graphic, making sure to once again mention the information given in the Subject line. In addition, at this point, insert the figure numbers (if given) and the page numbers that coincide with them.


“Hello everyone,

    I would like to request the following figures to be photocopied:

S011 > BA442 > Corrado > CH14
pg 455 - Figure 14.1
pg 456 - Snapshot of Website
pg 461 - Figure 14.4
pg 462 - Figure 14.3, 14.4
pg 463 - Figure 14.5
pg 474 - Figure 14.6

Your Name.”

    When you request a figure or photocopy, you must still insert a figure shortcut, but mention that a figure or photocopy has been requested. If additional text is given next to the figure number, also put this in.

Figure 14.1:
Market analysis of margarine versus butter. A photocopy/graphic of this figure will be provided.
End Figure.

7)    Tables: The method of editing a table can be very intricate. You begin by using the table shortcut (ALT + r, b). If the table is numbered in the text, put that number directly after “Table” with a space separating the number and word. All row and cell headings, as well as table titles, are to be bolded.

Table 2: Cheese consumption
Day    Number    Types
1    5    Gouda, Feta, Cheddar, Asiago, Provolone
2    3    American, Limburger, Swiss

This table should be formatted like this:

Table 2:
Cheese consumption

Day             Number           Types
1               5               Gouda, Feta, Cheddar, Asiago, Provolone
2               3               American, Limburger, Swiss
End Table.

Notice that extra spaces and tabs appear in parts of this table. As long as you use the minimum spacing requirements, you are more than welcome to add spaces and tables to further align rows to make the table look better.

Note: This method is only to be used for Triangle and Plain Text. The method for editing tables in MathType is explained in the MathType Editing Procedures document.
8)    All Block-Level Elements: Here is a list of the shortcuts for all block-level elements (items 6-11 and ones not yet mentioned):

Block Type    Shortcut
Example    Alt + r, x
Problem    Alt + r, p
Figure    Alt + r, f
Table    Alt + r, b
Sidenote    Alt + r, s
Footnote    Alt + r, o
Source code    Alt + r, c
Theorem    Alt + r, t
Equation    Alt + r, e

The Problem shortcut is generally used for problems in the back of sections and chapters. Include the entire problem inside the shortcut. Source code is used for computer-based code. This removes the need for excessive tabbing and formatting of code as it would appear in the text.

9)    Soft-Hyphens: While editing, you may encounter some very unusual shapes that look like hyphens. These are usually found where, in the text, a hyphen was used at the end of a line. These are called soft-hyphens (¬). Some words are meant to have the hyphens, so global replacement is NOT encouraged. If you choose to globally remove these soft-hyphens, insert normal hyphens into words that look like they are meant to keep their hyphens.

10)    Foreign-language Characters: If you encounter any phonetic or foreign-language characters like é, ç, Ǽ etc., replace them with the nearest possible English character. There may be cases in which foreign-language symbols can be used (at the time of this revision, S002 uses a version of OpenBook which recognizes at least German and French letters). A Team Leader will specifically tell you if you can use foreign-language characters.

11)    Non-WinTriangle Screenreader Procedures: In case a student does not use Triangle as their screen reading software, do not use any symbols from Symbol or Triangle fonts for their materials. Use (normal text) exclusively.

After Editing is Done
Once you are finished editing your document, use this checklist to look over the document.
1)    Check the following to see you do not miss any:
a.    Page Numbers
b.    Equation Numbers
c.    Example Numbers
d.    Figure Numbers

2)    Make sure you have either explained all of the figures in the document or requested graphics or photocopies to be made for them.

3)    Double-check all equations to make sure all of the symbols are correct. One wrong symbol in an equation could prove problematic for a student the entire term.

4)    Make sure the file is saved in the appropriate format (RTF for Triangle and Plain Text, DOC for MathType).

5)    Copy the finished file into the appropriate Term > Student > Subject > Book folder. Make sure you keep copies in your own folder and on the Alternative Format Services server until the term is finished.

6)    Indicate in the database that you have completed this work. Don’t forget to log your hours every day, even if your assignment takes more than a day to complete.
1)    When working on exams or quizzes...
a.    Maintain confidentiality.
b.    Do not work on an exam for a class you are taking.
c.    Save these files to a compact disc and label it with the exam and class and that it is for. For Example: MTH252 Spring Midterm 2007.
d.    Also save a second copy to the Supervisor’s folder on the Alternative Format Services server under Tests > Term > Subject.
e.    Delete any working copies you may have.
f.    Give the disk to the Supervisor or Team Leader for delivery.

2)    If you are given high priority work (a Team Leader will tell you if they are assigning it, or in the database the assignment description will indicate it is high priority in the notes), stop the work you are doing and do the high priority work first.

Finally, if you are unsure about something, please ASK QUESTIONS! Any team member will be happy to assist you.

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