Displaying Receipts in App
I want to take all of my paper receipts, and build a PHP app to store all of the data off of them. This would include inputting whatever data I think is relevant into the app, plus scanning in the receipts so I have an image of the original.
My question is this...
Should I scan each paper receipt as a PDF or instead as an image file (e.g. GIF, PNG, etc)??
Because these are receipts, I don't see a need for them to be "searchable" or to use OCR on them.
Using a PDF format might be more "platform independent", however, it would also be a pain for the app.
What I am envisioning is a web-form which displays pertinent data for each receipt, and then a thumbnail which is hyperlinked, and which when clicked loads a larger image file in the same web-form. (If the receipts were scanned in as a PDF, then you would have to launch another window to display things which isn't as tightly integrated if you follow?!)
It doesn't matter what you scan them as, just make it as small as possible. If you don't need to search for text on it, than png or jpegs will probably be smaller.
Since you won't be scanning with PHP anyways, you simply accept the upload for whatever filetypes you want. Scanning in PHP is a mess to do, so it'd be much easier to use C++, C# or even Java to do it.
How would a GIF - or other image formats - compare to a PDF as far as readability for a receipt with text and numbers on it?
I am thinking of building a simple app using PHP to display a web-form to enter and display the receipt data, and then have a hyperlink which would display an image of the receipt - maybe in a pop-up window or in the original form.
(If I scan things as a PDF, then my app - or whatever - would have to launch Adobe Acrobat to display the PDF receipt which is more cumbersome, don't you think?!)
No, I'm not misunderstanding what you are doing. That was just a polite way of saying I don't know why you are posting this in the PHP forum since it has nothing to do with PHP.
I'm not a graphics expert, so I don't know the comparison between the gif and png. My understanding is that png has a much better compression algorithm for it, so an image that's identical in both png and gif should be smaller in png format. Personally I'd probably use a pdf. I don't know the pdf structure aside from the header, but I understand it's searchable which means I can write a program to extract the information from it. I'm far too lazy to do data entry. After that I may convert it down to a png.
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