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OST - Getting The Best Results from Auto Naming

Reference Number: AA-03472 Views: 454 Created: 06/14/2019 09:05 am Last Updated: 06/26/2019 01:28 pm 0 Rating/ Voters


Auto Naming stalls or fails to suggest appropriate Page Names. 


Issue 1 - PDFs Converted to TIF

For years, On Center recommended converting PDFs and other files to TIF. In fact, we added a feature years ago that prompted users to convert PDFs to TIFs when they were added to a project on the Cover Sheet. This was to ensure users with limited system resources had a better experience with the product. 

As time went by, most users are now using fairly powerful computers to run the software and converting to PDF doesn't need to be done in all situations. Most times, PDFs work just fine in OST, in their native format. 

Converting to TIF caused two problems: 

  1. The TIF files were much larger than the PDFs (dimensionally). The program converts all files to JPGs for processing in the Auto Naming system. Unfortunately, large TIFs create very large JPGs and the upload could time-out causing the Auto Naming process to just stall. 
  2. The TIF files, converted to JPGs were lower quality than the PDFs converted to JPGs (converting a converting file not only created very large files, but each time, the quality dropped). 

Issue 2 - "Color" not enabled

By default, again, to ensure users running the software on limited-resource computer experienced acceptable performance, we shipped On-Screen Takeoff with the option "Enable Color PDFs" disabled. This option not only displays images in color, but at higher resolution (8Bit vs 2Bit). 

Again, most times, there is no longer a reason to display low-resolution images - most computers can handle the higher resolution images just fine. Also, if you do enable the color/hi-res images, when you convert to TIF, you create a higher resolution/quality TIF that doesn't lose artifacts and isn't 'grainy'. 


First, we want to ensure you that we are committed to continual improvement/refinement of the Auto Naming feature. We are working on making some changes to the OST workflow that will improve your experience and the Auto Naming results, that should ship sometime in Summer 2019. 

While we are getting that update ready, we recommend:

  1. Open Tools > Options and ensure that "Enable Color PDFs" is checked. This doesn't just display Color PDFs. It enables color for all image files, but more important, it displays images at much higher resolution (and if you Convert files that are being displayed at higher resolution, the TIF that is generated is much higher quality). However...
  2. Do not convert PDFs to TIFS when you add them on the Cover Sheet. Add your PDFs, then run the Auto Naming process. Once you receive the Suggestions from the Auto Naming server and make any adjustments, accept the suggestions. Then, if you still want to convert to TIFF, on the Image Tab, select Image > Convert Current Image to TIFF. The program prompts you to "Convert All" - go ahead and select "Yes". You'll get the performance benefits of TIF files, but the high-quality you expect from PDFs. 

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