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NEWS FROM U.S. DISTRICT COURT

May 16, 2014

This newsletter focuses on technical issues that frequently arise. Please feel free to share this information with your staff, especially if they file in CM/ECF.

OCR FUNCTIONALITY: All documents filed in CM/ECF must be in PDF format. Documents converted to PDF format directly from word processing software are known as PDF text documents. Documents converted to PDF format by scanning (or imaging) paper documents are known as PDF image documents.

  • A PDF text document is considerably smaller than a PDF image document. It can also be searched for words and phrases, and sections of the document can be highlighted and/or copied, which is very helpful to attorneys and chambers’ staff.
  • A PDF image document cannot be searched for words and phrases and sections of the document cannot be highlighted or copied unless the document is scanned using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) functionality.

When possible, please file PDF text documents in CM/ECF. When that is not possible, please file PDF image documents that were scanned using OCR functionality. For more information regarding scanning and OCR functionality, click the following link entitled Scanning, Best Practices and OCR Functionality.

VIEWING ATTACHMENTS: When you click on the document number hyperlink contained in a Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF) for a document filed in CM/ECF with multiple attachments, depending on your web browser, you may not be able see all of the attachments and their corresponding hyperlinks. To see all of the attachments and their hyperlinks, try the following. First, hold down the Ctrl key on your keyboard while at the same time rolling the wheel on your mouse to shrink the list of attachments so that you can see all of them. The list of attachments will be small (in some cases very small), but you will be able to click on the corresponding hyperlink for each attachment so that you can look at the document and either print it or save it. If this doesn’t work, try using a different web browser. For helpful suggestions on filing large documents in CM/ECF click the following link entitled Large Documents.

VIEWING EX PARTE DOCUMENTS: To look at an ex parte document or a document restricted to case participants (such as most documents filed in Social Security appeal cases), you must be logged into CM/ECF before clicking on the document number hyperlink in the Notice of Electronic Filing (NEF). If you are not logged in, you will see this message: “You do not have permission to view this document.” In addition, only the first person who tries to look at these types of documents on behalf of a particular attorney will be able to look at the document for free. Anyone else who subsequently tries to look at the document on behalf of the same attorney by clicking on the document number hyperlink in an NEF will be routed to a CM/ECF Filer or PACER Login screen. This person must then enter the particular attorney’s CM/ECF login and password and pay the applicable PACER fees to look at the document. For more CM/ECF tips, click the following link CM/ECF Things to Remember.