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Position Zone Properties

Use the Position settings to define the Search Region of a Zone. These settings can be configured for all Zone types and they are required for Positional or Directional Zones. The location and dimensions of the Search Region can be specified by document page, by coordinates on the document page, the distance from the edge of another Zone (Zone Anchoring), or a combination of coordinates and Zone Anchoring.

With Zone Anchoring, the coordinates are relative to up to four other Zones. Instead of using coordinates to define the Search Region to extract data, you can create completely dynamic Regions. Additionally, one Anchor can be chained to another. With multiple Anchors, extraction areas will adjust even more dynamically. Note that you cannot anchor a parent Zone to its child Zones.

Position properties are measured from the top-left corner of the page or parent Zone’s Search Region. Left and Right coordinate settings are the number of pixels over from the left edge of the page or Search Region. Top and Bottom are measured from the top edge. Configure these settings by entering a number, using the scroll arrows, or by drawing the Region using the Locator (

) icon on the Zone’s menu bar. You can use the Measure (
) tool on the toolbar to determine how many pixels to enter.

Search Region Left, Top, Right, and Bottom coordinates indicated.

  • Coordinates – Use the Coordinates and Zone Anchor settings to set the dimensions and position of Search Regions. The starting point for measuring the edges of a Search Region depends upon how a Zone is configured:

    • Zones with No Parent Zone – Coordinates are measured in pixels from the top-left corner of the document page. For Zones where Position settings are optional, If no coordinates are set the entire page is searched for data. If an individual position is not set, the page is searched to the edge of the page in that direction.

    • Child Zones – Coordinates are measured in pixels from the top-left corner of the parent’s found data, except for Directional Zones. Coordinates for Directional Zones (which are always child Zones) depend on the direction of search. When configuring Zones, it is recommended that you set the parent Zone’s properties first, and then the child Zone’s properties.

    • Zone Anchors – Click the Anchor (
      ) icon next to one or more of the LeftTopRight, or Bottom text boxes and in the Anchor menu which appears, select a Zone from the list. The input box will then show the name of the anchored Zone in the text box. Any sides of the Search Region which are not defined by anchoring should be defined by coordinates. Note that if you set coordinates first and then select Anchors, you can revert to the coordinates by clicking Anchor again.

      The Position Group in the Zone Properties Panel with the Anchor menu selected.
      The Position Group in the Zone Properties Panel, comparing the Anchor settings with the Zone areas on the document.

Consider Atypical Documents When Configuring Zone Properties

Since the dimensions and position of a Zone Search Region can affect the extraction outcome, consider how to configure a “fallback position” if your Template encounters a document with non-standard content or formatting. For example, Zone Anchors are very dynamic, but if anchor text is not found, the drawn coordinates of the Zone is respected. If there are no drawn coordinates, the Zone checks the entire page. This may be the result that you want, but if you prefer that the Search Region is more specific for those times when the anchor text is not found, first set coordinates (either by drawing the Search Region or by entering coordinates) and then select the anchoring Zone or Zones.

  • Overlap – Sometimes text is only partially in a Search Region. If those cases, you can use Overlap if you want to ensure that it is also picked up for the Zone. To set the directions outside of the drawn Zone Search Region to look for data to extract, in the Overlap subgroup, enable one or more of the LeftTopRightBottom checkboxes. All four are enabled by default. All text must reside at least a pixel within the Search Region for the overlap to pick it up, regardless of the direction. A setting of 0 disables overlap in any direction, while a setting of 15 enables overlap in all directions.

  • Orientation – Use the Orientation slider to set the direction in which data is read for extraction. Move the slider from the default of  (no rotation) to the right to set the orientation to 90°180°, or 270°.

  • Pages  – Use Pages to specify which page to search for data to extract. (Note that settings are unavailable for Separator Zones.) In the Page subgroup, select one of the following:
    • In the Page subgroup, choose the First, Last, or All pages.

    • Or, if there is a designated Parent Zone, to ensure that a child Zone’s data is extracted from the intended location in a multi-page document, you can specify that it must be found on the same page as the parent Zone’s data was found. For repeating Zones, note that the Search Region for their child Zones will be on the same page as the one where the repetition was found, irregardless of their Pages setting, with one exception. If child Zones that are footer Zones are found whose Pages is specified as Last, the repetition will be stopped for the current and any subsequent pages.

    • Specific – To extract from specified pages of the document, enter one or more page numbers in the Specific text box. For more than one page, use a comma to delimit the page numbers  (1,3,5) or use a hyphen to indicate a range of pages (3-5).
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