Frequently Asked Questions

If you have a question and don't find an answer here, please feel free to contact us

Is Ultraforms® easy to use?
Yes. From the point of view of the end-user, Ultraforms® is completely invisible. From a developer point of view, Ultraforms® only needs basic knowledge of PDF forms, and maybe less than 30 minutes to put a form in production. Finally, from the process owner point of view, the data gathering is simple and accurate, since 2D barcodes can be read by non-skilled operators, always providing for 100% accuracy in the data capture process. (back to top)

What does the end-user need?
The end-user (the person who fills and prints the form) only needs to have a PDF reader installed. No proprietary plug-ins, fonts or libraries are needed. (back to top)

My forms don't have space for a 2D barcode. What can I do?
The first option is to redesign your form in order to provide some blank space for the barcode. Many times, this can be accomplished just by grouping fields together, turning multiple option questions into combo boxes, etc. A lot of space is recovered this way. Keep in mind that that most of the times, you will only have to provide for space in the first page of the form, leaving the rest unedited.
Another option is to place the symbol in a separate blank page. This way, no changes to the form are needed. Depending on the form type, other solutions may also work. (back to top)

How much info can a 2D barcode handle?
A single PDF417 symbol can hold up to 1.850 characters (almost 2Kb). Additionally, symbols can be "chained" together and read as if they were a unique file (Macro PDF standard). Almost 175 Mb can be encoded this way
For more info about 2D barcodes read our 2D Barcodes Technology Overview. (back to top)

Is it compatible with XML?
Absolutely. The data embedded inside the barcode can be customized to fit the needs of any back end system. Any data format can be used, including XML. (back to top)

What types of barcode can Ultraforms® generate?
Ultraforms® technology is able to generate most of the known types of 1D and 2D barcodes. (back to top)

My forms have more than one page: where should I place the symbol?
Normally, you would place it in the first page of the form, or in a blank page. However, there are cases in which "a symbol per page" is required, containing all the info from that page. Ultraforms® will let you do any kind of combination of symbols/pages. If needed, the symbols can be chained so they perform all together as one "big" symbol containing all the data from the form. (back to top)

Do I have to be connected to the Internet to use UF?
No. Ultraforms® can work locally as well as online. This means you can upload your forms to the Internet, or deliver them in a CD, or USB memory. (back to top)

What are "control characters"?
When entering data into a back-end application through a data entry screen, it is common to use different control keys (such as TAB, ENTER, Function keys - F2, F3, etc) to perform certain actions. For example, you press TAB (or ENTER) to move to the next field, or use F4 to show the contents of a combo box, etc. Ultraforms® can invisibly combine those control characters with the form's data in a way that, when the 2D barcode is read, the data enters the back-end application data entry screen exactly the same way as if there was someone keying it. But much faster! (back to top)

Can I choose the data export format?
Yes. You can choose between predefined standard formats (XML, Tab Delimited, CSV, etc.), or you can define your own. You can combine the whole ASCII character set (0-255) in your custom built export format. Ultraforms® lets you choose the data format that best suits your data capture operation (back to top)

How long does it take to embed Ultraforms® in a PDF Form?
Once you determine the maximum number of characters for a form and the desired export format, the required time is less than ten minutes. (back to top)

Can I use Ultraforms® in my Internet browser?
Yes. Ultraforms® runs on most of the PDF readers (Foxit, Nitro PDF and of course in the free Adobe Acrobat® Reader platform. This means that it will work in any internet browser (Explorer, Netscape, Opera, etc), and in any platform (PC, MAC, UNIX, etc). (back to top)

What kind of printer do I need?
Ultraforms® is compatible with laser or inkjet common printers. Though it can work at lower resolutions, 300 dpi is recommended. (back to top)

How many people can use my forms?
Once you've licensed Ultraforms® for a single PDF form, the number of people allowed to use that particular form is unlimited. (back to top)

I just bought my High End data capture system...
Perfect! Ultraforms® will help you squeeze the power of high end data capture systems from firms such as Captiva, Cardiff, Kofax, IBM, Kodak, ReadSoft, etc. All these top data capture systems can read 2D barcodes, and will for sure perform much better on forms with 2D barcodes. (back to top)

Why do high end OCR systems perform better with Ultraforms®?
OCR (Optical Character Recognition) systems have never achieved a read rate that is 100% perfect. Error processing is always a problem because it delays the completion of the job entry (and costs a lot of money in HR). Of even greater concern is the problem of misreading a character (false positives). These two problems disappear when Ultraforms® is used. The worst thing that can happen to a form generated with Ultraforms® is that the symbol can't be read because is poorly printed or heavily surface damaged. What will never occur is an error reading a symbol, or a false positive.
Ultraforms® provides for 100% guaranteed accuracy in the data capture process. (back to top)

If I fax the form once printed, will the symbol be read?
Yes. However, faxes are low resolution devices (96-200dpi). This means that if you're planning to fax your forms once printed, you have to choose an adequate symbol resolution at design time. (back to top)

How do I read the 2D barcode?
There are two ways to do this:
-Through software: many high end data capture systems allow for 2D barcode reading. Besides, there are several standalone applications that will detect and read 2D barcodes from scanned documents.
-With Hardware: If you only need the form data and don't need to scan the document, we suggest you use a hand held barcode scanner. They're very fast and accurate, and are priced around 350$, far below more complex data capture systems. Plug one of these handhelds in the COM port of your computer, and you're done. Also, there are some document scanners capable of reading barcodes at runtime through hardware. (back to top)

How much is Ultraforms®?
Ultraforms® is licensed on a per-form basis. There are also different special pricing options for government agencies and educational institutions. For further info on pricing, please contact our sales Team (back to top)

What are the main differences between Ultraforms® and the other technologies that produce 2D barcodes?
Most of the technologies that produce 2D barcodes are based in libraries, fonts or a combination of both. This kind of software components must be embedded in an executable application, and installed at the end-user computer before they can be used.

What makes Ultraforms® radically different from this approach is that, since the barcode generation engine is embedded inside the PDF file, no additional software installation needs to be performed at the end-user computer. Any user with a PDF reader installed in his machine will be able to use, immediately, any form that has Ultraforms® embedded.

Additionally, the time to market and costs derived from embedding Ultraforms® in a PDF form are very low, compared to the costs and time needed to develop and maintain a custom application.
To end, many OCR systems are capable, today, of reading 2D barcodes. But current technologies do not provide for a barcode generator flexible enough that could be easily used by the general public. Ultraforms® is the perfect complement for solutions that need open platform, massive 2D barcode generation. (back to top)

Can errors occur in the reading process?
The attractiveness of 2D barcode technology is that with all the checks and balances within the symbols, the chance of a misread character averages about 1 in 10,000,000! Compared to key-entry systems that have an average of 1 in 300 misreads, barcode scanning is virtually flawless. (back to top)

What does PDF stand for?
When we refer to a document format, PDF stands for "Portable Document Format" (Adobe® Systems). If we are talking about a barcode symbology such as "PDF 417", PDF means "Portable Data File" (Symbol® Technologies). (back to top)

My forms already have document-level scripts (functions). Will this be a problem when embedding Ultraforms®?
No, it will not be a problem. Ultraforms® is compatible with any function, validation, calculation and/or formatting script already present in the PDF form. What is more, after embedding Ultraforms® you can continue adding additional functionality and scripts to your PDF fillable form. (back to top)