There are a couple of small things you can do to ensure our processing staff can access the information they need quickly. If we can find the information easily, it can reduce requests for information.
Your building consent application should be split into four PDFs:
- Supporting documents
Inserting bookmarks into these documents is an easy way of finding information, particularly in very long PDFs.
A bookmark creates a link that enables you to name specific pages of your building consent application, the various plans and specifications. Bookmarks enable us to go directly to the pages that we may want to review, rather than scrolling through each page.
In most PDF viewers, bookmarking options are under the View tab in the main menu. Scroll to the page you want, bookmark it, and give the bookmark a name – this is a small change that will help our processing team immensely.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR)
If we can easily find words within a document, we can process it more quickly. If a document has optical character recognition applied, we can get the computer to hunt for a word rather than doing it ourselves. This saves a lot of time when we’re searching for particular sections or phrases.
Most PDF creation software, CAD software and Word-to-PDF conversion tools have OCR built in. However, sometimes you may need to scan a document to add it to your plans. Scanned documents don’t usually have optical character recognition, unless you’re using a specialised scanner.
To test whether your document has OCR already, try searching for a word in the document by pressing CTRL + F. A search box will pop up where you can type in a word such as “window”. If your document scrolls down to a place where the word “window” has been used, your document has OCR.
Some PDF software tools, including modern versions of Adobe Acrobat, will allow you to enhance scanned documents with features like OCR. Adding OCR usually takes just a few minutes and saves significant time.
We recommend high accuracy and at least 300 dpi quality.