MetaServer > Help > Import from Folder

020-020 MetaServer Import – Import from Folder

MetaServer’s Import from Folder feature allows you to watch one or multiple folders in the same workflow and process imported PDF / TIF / JPG files. You can use MFPs (Multi-Functional Peripheral like a digital copier/scanner/printer), Network Scanners, scan-to-folder oriented systems, such as Fujitsu ScanSnap, or any device that can send a PDF, TIF or JPG to a synced cloud folder (DropBox, Google Drive, Box, etc.) like a smartphone running a scan app.

Each import folder action in a workflow can have a different next action. Consequently, you can process a document differently depending on the watched folder you place it in.

For example:
An MFP for an insurance company has 2 buttons that are linked to different watched folders in a workflow for processing their application forms:
– A “Single” button, for scanning a single application form. It will go straight to the Extract action.
– A “Multi” button, for scanning a set of multiple application forms.

The MFP will create 1 document holding all the application forms in the set, so they need to go through a Separate Document and/or Organizer action first before going to the Extract action.


Some other example use-cases:
– Truck drivers scan POD documents with their smartphone and the result is sent to a central Dropbox folder to trigger a business process.

– A law firm has MFPs set up in their office and scan case-related documents to a network folder to automatically save them in the correct case folder with a meaningful name, including the date and document type.

– A catering company receives incoming invoices through e-mail and snail mail. So, they watch an email inbox for incoming invoices and scan their physical invoices to a watched folder. MetaServer extracts all relevant data such as supplier name, invoice number, amount, due date etc. and uploads the data in QuickBooks for booking and payment.

– A pest & termite control service scans their inspection reports to a watched folder to archive them in a comprehensive folder structure.

To add an Import from Folder action, select the action after which you want to insert the Import from Folder action and press Add -> Import -> from Folder. The Setup window will automatically open.

You can also open the setup window of an existing Import from Folder action by double clicking the action or by pressing the setup button on the right side of the action or in the ribbon, as shown below.

In our example, we will make use of the “CB – FLOATING DATA” workflow. This workflow is automatically installed with CaptureBites MetaServer.

TIP: The thumbnail on the right will follow you, so you can easily refer to the Setup window. Click on the thumbnail to make the image larger.

01 – Watched folder: you can browse to the watched folder using the “…” button or enter the path manually. Make sure this path already exists.

02 – File types: here you can specify the file types that will be imported. Press the drop-down arrow to select the desired file types. Right now, we exclusively support PDF. Support for other file types is planned for a future release.

03 – PDF passwords: if you want to import password-protected PDFs, enter all possible passwords here. If none of the passwords work when importing a PDF, the document will be moved to the Errors tab.

IMPORTANT: In your export action(s), select “Imported PDF” to export the original version with password. Select “Processed PDF” to export a version without password.

04 – Fit TIF, JPG and PNG to page size: enable this option to reduce very large TIF, JPG or PNG files to A4 or Letter Size. Image quality is preserved, only the paper size is updated. JPG and PNG images with small dimensions such as receipts or business cards remain untouched.

For example, documents captured with a smart phone in JPG or PNG format often have incorrect, too large page dimensions causing data extraction and viewing problems.

05 – Replace invalid files with red warning image: when enabled, invalid/corrupt files will be replaced with red warning images. This makes it visually clear that some files were corrupt.

06 – Replace password protected files with orange warning image: when enabled, password protected files will be replaced with orange warning images. This makes it visually clear that some files were password protected.

07 – Import sequence: here you can choose if you want to import your documents chronologically or alphabetically.

Alphabetical (one subfolder level): import per subfolder based alphabetically.

08 – Create a document per file / subfolder [x] seconds after file creation: you can choose to create a document:

per file: each imported file creates a document.

 Only import from subfolders: enable this option if you only want to import files coming from subfolders in the watched folder. Any files outside of a subfolder will not be imported.

per subfolder: create a document per subfolder in the watched folder containing TIF and JPG files each representing a page of the final document.

For example, if you import the following:



The output would be 2 PDFs with the the 1st PDF containing 3 pages and the 2nd PDF 4 pages.

 [x] seconds after last file’s original creation date-time: if files are directly “created” in the MetaServer’s watched folder with, for example, a document scanning software, use this option. The default remains 10 seconds after the last file’s original creation date-time which is ideal when files are directly “created” in the MetaServer’s watched folder with, for example, a document scanning software.

Some MFP devices (we’ve experienced it with some MFPs from Konica-Minolta) write PDF files gradually in the destination folder and don’t always lock them while being written. This can generate a corrupt PDF file and cause errors. In that case, by setting a delay before importing the file with the “Create a document [x] seconds after last file’s original creation date-time” setting, the MFP can correctly finish the PDF file.

 [x] seconds after last file’s copy/move date-time: if you want to give priority to older files that are copied / moved over to the watched folder, use this option instead.

01 – Log file names: enable this option if you want to create a log for each imported document. You can specify the location by browsing to a folder or entering a path manually. If the path does not already exist, it will be created automatically.

1) File name: here you can choose how to store your import-log files. You have the option to store them in sub-folders and name them based on the imported document’s import date year, month and / or day.

This way, all import-logs with the same import date will be merged in 1 file. You also have the option to store all logs in 1 file named “MetaServer.txt”, regardless of the import date.

02 – Delete file / Move file to: once a document is imported in MetaServer, you can choose to delete it from the watched folder or you can move it to another folder for archiving purposes.

03 – Remove empty sub folders: disable this option if you don’t want to remove empty sub folders. This can be useful if, for example, the sub folder names in the watched folder hold the name of the person who scanned the document. The name can then be used in an Extract action’s Reserve rule to reserve the document for Validation by the person who scanned the document.

TIP: you can copy the current settings and paste them in another setup window of the same type. Do this by pressing the Settings button in the bottom left of the Setup window and by selecting Copy. Then open another setup window of the same type and select Paste.