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TIFF type 4 fax Graphic images

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I am attempting to create a database involving a large quantity of digital images using Filemaker Pro 5.0, rev. 3, running under Windows 98. This is a volunteer project for an historical society, involving nearly 35,000 images of old 18th and 19th century wills.

The purpose of the database is to allow patrons to retrieve images of the wills following a search in fields for names, townships and years. The wills were microfilmed, then converted to digital images by the state historical facility in a TIFF Order II, Class F, Group 4 fax compression format. The images are on a series of several CD-ROMs, with subdirectories for ranges of years.

Unfortunately, FileMaker Pro does not support the TIFF format which was used on this project, and the cost of the digitizing was sufficiently high to make a redo out of our budget.

Two possible solutions appear to be:

1) Find a way to import this type of graphic images into the database container.

2) Find a user-friendly way to launch a separate image viewer program which can support this format, and open the related images for viewing and printing, then return to the database for further searches.

I would appreciate any suggestions which would help with either of these, or any other approach which would get to the simplest solution suitable for use by patrons with little computer expertise.

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Convert the images to BMP files. A team of three people could do it in a week if they work steadily.

Incidentally, with all those images, I highly recommend that you merely link the images to the FMP databases. The downside is that you can't move the images, or Filemaker loses the link. The upside is that you save a lot of storage space.



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bmp files are rather large. I would convert to either gif or jpg.

Being a Mac person, I don't know what graphic conversion software is available for Windows, but there should be quite a bit of decent shareware around.

For Mac users I highly recommend GraphicConverter from www.lemkesoft.com. It is scriptable, so you can do batch conversions with it.

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Another option would be to convert the images to a PDF file (Adobe Acrobat 4 supports level 4 TIFFs) - it will be a little smaller than the level 4 TIFF images. The PDF files could be put into a container field and copied or opened from there.

The down side to this is that it takes Adobe Acrobat quite a while to convert the image - I once did a 650 layer image that took about 14 hours to convert to a PDF.

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