Form Innovation Inc., Image Conversion Software & Services
Image Formats

We have optimized the Image Exchange Technology found in our ImageToolbox products to handle a limited set of image formats very well. In this section we describe the file types we do support, and provide some definitions and characteristics of each:

If you require support for an image file format not listed in the following sections, please contact us. By incorporating third party image conversion packages from industry leaders we can extend our support to about 80 image file formats, and the number is always increasing.


Our ImageToolbox products can handle image files which adhere to their published specifications as follows:

ImageToolbox Silver
  • MODCA / IOCA
    • Image compression methods of G3, G4, JPEG and uncompressed.
    • Single and multipage image files.
  • TIFF
    • Intel encoded (no Motorola support).
    • Image compression methods of G3, G4, JPEG and uncompressed.
    • Single and multipage image files.
    • Banded and tiled storage methods not generally supported.
  • JPEG
    • Output only from color MODCA and TIFF files.
ImageToolbox Gold
  • MODCA
    • Reads image files created by IBM image products such as ImagePlus, VisualInfo, and FAX/400 using any valid compression method.
    • Writes single and multipage files using G3 and G4 compression.
  • IOCA
    • Reads image files using any valid compression method.
    • No additional writing features available.
  • PTOCA
    • Read single and multipage files.
    • PTOCA Overlay can be merged to recreate the original document.
    • Many configurable settings including font properties, overlay usage, and conditions that generate errors/warnings.
    • No PTOCA writing features available.
  • TIFF
    • Read single and multipage image files using any compression method.
    • Write single and multipage image files using various compression methods.
  • JPEG
    • Reads and writes JPEG files as well as JPEG content in MODCA and TIFF files.
    • Configurable JPEG compression quality settings.
    • Option to reduce the output image to a maximum width and height for placement on web pages.
  • PDF
    • Output only (Adobe products and licenses are not required).
    • Configurable page size, orientation, margins and image orientation settings.
  • PNG
    • Reads and writes bitonal and color content.
    • Reduce to a maximum width and height for placement on web pages.
  • Other
    • Reads many popular bitonal and color image formats.
    • Partial list of supported formats includes BMP, PCX, DCX, DICOM, JEDMICS, KOFAX, and WINFAX.
    • Please contact us if you require support for a specific image file format that is not listed here.

Form Innovation Inc. can also convert a variety of other vendor specific, legacy and orphan formats with customized solutions. Support is available for both image files and other file formats including compressed text and archive files.

We have delivered projects to process undocumented formats such as:

  • Covenant Image and Information Management System from eISA / EISAImage (IMG image files)
  • Deerfield Systems, Inc. (DVision product)
  • FileMagic from Westbrook Technologies (MAG image files)
  • GalaxyPlus from Galaxy Plus Credit Union Systems (CTX compressed text reports)
  • Image Solution from Document Solutions, Inc (now part of Bisys Corporation). Front and back check images stored in both native optical format, plus extracted IMB and IMF format files.
  • Imara Research Corporation
  • Jack Henry
  • Laser Data / LaserData Group File (also sold as a DocuPact product)
  • LaserView
  • PIF images created by a black box system used in the drilling industry
  • PIM images (generator unknown) - not Epson's Print Image Technology
  • RFT-DCA - Revisable-Form Text Document Content Architecture format, often created by IBM's OfficeVision software
  • Roper CCD camera gray scale output of xray images that were reprocessed by a custom system developed using IDL (Image Display Language) software from Research Systems
  • ViewStar Corporation (images and backfiles)
  • Wausau Financial Systems image archives created by Regulus Group
  • Uncompressed or compressed image data with non-standard headers, possibly embedded inside other file types

If the format you need is not listed here please ask! We are always interested in providing support for additional file formats. If you can supply us with a small number of sample files we can usually determine how to convert the format. Any sample files are assumed to be completely confidential as specified in our privacy policies and practices statement.

All format investigations are provided at no cost to you. Please contact us about your specific file format requirements.


New image file formats are constantly being created to handle a specific requirement. Some formats handle bilevel (black and white) images very well, others are better with color.

The file formats handled by our ImageToolbox products are described below:

MODCA or MO:DCA
  • The full name of this IBM format is Mixed Object Document Content Architecture. The proper short form is MO:DCA, but we use the more popular short form on our site.
  • These files usually contain one or more pages of image content in IOCA format, but can also include a wide variety of other content such as PTOCA.
  • The file format is quite old, and can be generated by a large number of IBM products on a variety of computing platforms.
  • A limited number of products from other vendors can export this file format.

    IOCA
  • The full name of this IBM format is Image Object Content Architecture.
  • Each file contains a single page of image content and may exist as a standalone file, or included as part of a document in a MODCA file.
  • The image data can be uncompressed or compressed using in a variety of different methods.
  • Generally bilevel images such as scanned pages are stored in this format, however we are starting to see more color images.
  • The file format is quite old, and can be generated by IBM image products on a variety of computing platforms. This includes products such as ImagePlus, VisualInfo, Image Workstation (IWPM), ImagePlus/400 WAF, EDMSuite, Facsimile Support/400 (FAX/400), FaxRouter, and others.
  • A limited number of products from other vendors can export this file format.

    PTOCA
  • The full name of this IBM format is Presentation Text Object Content Architecture.
  • Each file contains one or more pages of formatted text and is always included as part of a document in a MODCA file.
  • The text and positioning data is uncompressed and stored in IBM EBCDIC (Extended Binary-Coded Decimal Interchange Code) characters.
  • Each page may reference a PTOCA Overlay, which is merged with the text as a background. The overlay is not required, and the text can be displayed if the overlay is not available.
  • The file format is quite old, and can be generated by a number of IBM products on a variety of midrange and mainframe platforms.
  • We are not aware of any products from other vendors that export this file format.
  • The ImageToolbox Gold can convert this format to TIFF.

    PTOCA Overlay
  • This is a special format MODCA file containing a single image.
  • The image in this file is merged with the PTOCA text file contents to create a page with text on a background. The overlay file name is referenced in the PTOCA text file.
  • A computer system would normally store a small number of these overlay files in a library for merging into high use forms such as invoices or purchase orders when printing.

    TIFF or TIF
  • The full name of this Aldus originated format is Tag Image File Format however it is commonly written as TIF.
  • Each file contains one or more pages of image content.
  • The image data can be uncompressed or compressed using a wide variety of different methods.
  • Generally bilevel images such as photos and scanned pages are stored in this format, however color images are well supported by the format.
  • The file format was first published in 1987, and can be generated by countless products on many computing platforms.
  • The ImageToolbox Silver can convert a subset of these files, the ImageToolbox Gold can translate almost all variations we have encountered so far.

    JPEG or JPG
  • The full name of this format is Joint Photographic Experts Group which refers to a standards organization.
  • Each file contains a single page of JPEG compressed image content with a very small header defining the horizontal and vertical resolution.
  • The image data is always color and is compressed using one of the JPEG compression methods. This compression is unique because superior compression is achieved by discarding some fine detail in the image (commonly called lossy compression). The program which compresses the image can adjust how much detail to remove.
  • The compression method was created in the late 1980s, and can be generated by countless products on many computing platforms.
  • JPEG compressed data can be found within other file formats which support color, such as TIFF and IOCA.

    PDF
  • The full name of this Adobe format is Portable Document Format.
  • While these files are not really an image file format, they can contain image content.
  • Each file contains one or more pages of content.
  • The format is popular because a PDF file is a portable presentation of a document, allowing many types of content to be viewed on different platforms using only the Adobe Acrobat Reader (which is free from Adobe).
  • For this reason it has become popular as a storage format for use in document management systems from a variety of vendors such as Documentum, Filenet, and PC Docs.
  • The file format was first used in the early 1990s, and can be generated by most products on platforms where Adobe Acrobat printer drivers are available.
  • The ImageToolbox Gold can convert any of the image formats it supports to this file format without purchasing any additional Adobe Acrobat products or page pack licenses. A huge money saver when processing large numbers of images!
  • The Adobe Acrobat printer driver must normally be purchased to create PDF files, the Acrobat Reader is distributed for free by Adobe.

    GIF
  • The full name of this Compuserve format is Graphics Interchange Format.
  • Each file normally contains a single page of compressed image content, however files may contain multiple pages for use as frames in an animated GIF.
  • The image data is 24 bit color with a palette of 256 colors
  • The image data is stored using LZW (Lempel-Ziv-Welch) compression. Unfortunately while LZW was considered to be in the public domain when the format was created in the 1980s it now requires a license from Unisys to implement.
  • For this reason we have chosen not to implement the format for both reading and writing.
  • GIF image files are commonly used as small images on web pages. Large images in this format require more storage space than comparable JPEG or PNG files.
  • If you require GIF image file support for your project please contact us.

    PNG
  • The full name of this format is Portable Network Graphics. It was developed as an alternative format to GIF.
  • PNG image files can be bitonal or color.
  • Each file contains a single page of compressed image data. Various compression methods are supported in the specification.
  • Most web browsers can display this format, however the earliest versions of some products do not.
  • The format can be a good choice for web display of documents because it supports bitonal images, so the file sizes are smaller than GIF.
  • The ImageToolbox Gold can read and write this format.

  • this page last updated December 4, 2009
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