Light Table Compliant Documents in a Data-Driven Environment

Companies must reproduce some regulated documents exactly as the government-issued originals. Organizations have attempted to create the documents using their preferred document composition tools, but it’s often a struggle. Small variances in fonts, line spacing, or line length can cause their composed documents to fail a light-table match requirement.

Government agencies scan some forms after they have been filled out and returned. With OCR technology, the agencies extract data from the completed forms. By requiring the forms to match the government-provided examples, the scanning process can be automated, driving efficiency and reducing human error.

In other cases, the documents must follow the government’s specifications exactly to ensure continuity and consistency across multiple industries and geographic boundaries.

Inefficient Practices

Frequently, companies resort to printing the regulated documents as a standalone process. Then they insert them in customer communications when they are required. What companies would really like to do is print the government documents in-line with the rest of the pages included in a mailing or packet distribution. Most document composition software can’t do it.


Local, state, and federal agencies supply PDF documents. The only way for companies to faithfully reproduce them in an automated document generation environment is by merging a compliant PDF into the data-driven document sets. DocOrigin, from Eclipse, does this with a technique we call “stitching”. In DocOrigin, the stitched document can be selectively included in a document set with an explicit indicator in the data file or by establishing rules that inspect variables included in the printed pages.

Banking and insurance regulator forms often fall into the “light table match” category, as do many documents associated with Workers Compensation or other workforce and labor issues. Companies don’t want to convert these types of documents to make them compatible with the document composition software they use to create other, highly variable, business documents.

Composing highly regulated documents from within any document composition software is a time-consuming task. Every detail must match; including margin sizes, fonts, headers, footers, page numbers, or document processing barcodes that appear on every page. Even line-by-line word wrapping must match exactly so the regulated document line references correspond. Inquiries about a document may refer to specific passages according to their position on the page, such as “paragraph 4, line 5”. When document generation software composes a regulated document, it will include application-wide properties-which immediately change the way the document is displayed and causes it to fail the light-table test.

Use the Originals

With DocOrigin, companies avoid the problems and expense of converting government-supplied documents. DocOrigin customers download PDF files from the government entities and load them into a document library. Document designers then use DocOrigin’s stitching functionality to call in those forms at the appropriate times. Companies will not have to worry about the integrity of these documents. The pages they produce will match the government originals because they are the government originals.

The same stitching technology works for large, text-heavy documents such as insurance policies, which may have been composed in a dedicated system. Simply output the policy pages created by the policy authoring software as PDF documents and stitch them into packets destined for customers or agents. Companies won’t have to transfer data from one document system to another.

To learn more about DocOrigin’s full set of data-driven document capabilities, check out our YouTube Channel.