This Is our Village

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Hi All,
As many of you undoubtedly know, your Association Documents (hereinafter AD) may be found at the Palm Beach County Official Records Search Web Site.


All of your AD, since inception of your building, from the Original Declaration of Condominium through all of your Amendments thereto may be found and read.
Due to the age of our buildings, between 35 and 40 years, all of these documents have been Microfiched and the quality of the document image is quite poor.

Anyone who has had occasion to research the documents, know that reading through these poor images to find a particular reference is less than convenient.

Your blogmeister has developed a multi-step process which converts the documents to Searchable Adobe (hereinafter SA)  format, which simply means the documents may be searched by computer very quickly for keywords and phrases.

This process is referred to as Optical Character Recognition (hereinafter OCR).

It is my intent to convert all AD to searchable format and launch them into the Cloud for easy access by any unit owner. We have started the process for demonstration purposes, with Andover, and preliminary results may be seen in sidebar. Have a look and see what you think.

OCR is not a perfect process and the quality of the end result is directly proportional to the quality of the original input; in computerese, GIGO; Garbage In Garbage Out.
Let's look at an example using Andover A original Declaration of Condominium:

In this example, I will search for the word "pets":
After running the scan, what the program (Adobe Acrobat 9 Professional) "sees"
Is the following:

The owner of a unit shall occupy and use his apartment unit as a single family private dwelling, for himself and the adult members of his family, and his social guests, and for no other purpose. No childr!!n under fifteen (15) years of age shall be permitted to reside in any of the

units or rooms thereof in this Condominium, except that children may be permitted to visit and temporarily reside for reasonable periods, not in excess of 30 days, in any calendar year. .
Th,~ unit owner shall not permit or suffer anything to be done or kept in his unit which will increase the rate of insurance on the Condominium

prOpl"fty, or which will obstruct or interfere with the rights of other unit owners, or annoy them by unreasonable noises, or otherwise, nor shall the

..• i, uWllers commit or permit any nuisance, imm'1ral or illegal acts in or about the Condominium property.

No unim"h or pets of any kind shall be kept in any unit, or on any property of the Condominium, except with the written consent of and

subject to til!! Rules and Regulations adopted by the Management Firm for the keeping of said pets , as long as the Management Agreement

remaim in effect, and. thereafter, by the Board of Directors; provided that they are not kept, bred or maintained for any commercial purposes,
and further provided that such house pets causing or creating a nuisance or unreasonable distrubance, shall be pennanently removed from the
property !>ubject to these restrictions, upon thr~e (3) days written notice from the Management Firm or the Board of Directors of the Association.
As you can see, the program has detected the word "pets" 3 times in the 44 page document and it did so in milliseconds. But note the garbles in the extracted text; this is a result of the poor quality of the input Microfiched image.
Clearly however this extract could be pasted into a Word Document and spell checked and edited to read as the original. The original image has not been changed.
This should greatly enhance a researchers ability to find key items in the documents. I would greatly appreciate your comments on this capablity, and UCO could use a computer literate volunteer to help make this project a reality.
Dave Israel


  1. I think this is a terrific idea, and thank you, Dave, for getting it up and running. I tried it out, wondering if I, being only a grade above computer illiterate, would be able to do the Word Search. I was!

    When I clicked on "Andover A," up came a menu, with the first item being the Declaration of Condominium, Bylaws, etc, followed by specific amendments. Clicking on this first item, up came the document. Good so far!

    A sidebar was on the right with a "Search the Document" box in FAINT print, which made me wonder, but on clicking on the box, a bold cursor showed up. I simply typed in PETS, and lo, by scrolling down, I was able to see the pertinent passages!

    Yes, I think this is very useful, but where you find the time is my question, too!

  2. Hi Lanny,
    December 26, 2010 9:52 AM,

    Another sequence that you may like is as follows:

    Once at the document:

    LC on "File" menu near upper left
    LC Print, dismiss the print dialog box.
    Enter your search term in the find box near top of frame.

    The program will take you to the first occurrence of your search term; then each time you depress the enter key you will be taken to the succeeding occurrences.

    Dave Israel

    If you come to serve, you will find the time.
    If you come for power, you never will!

  3. David, You are a GEM!!!!
    Fortunately, many moons ago, on
    behalf of our Association, made inquiries, through the County site,
    and were able to order copys of
    Articles of Incorporation,By laws, Ammendments, etc., to be maintained
    on the Associations property...
    Hopefully, everyone will take advantage of your efforts!
    You really are AVAILABLE!!!!
    (The Gator's still seeking company)


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