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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for ViewMate

In this section we attempt to answer the most frequently asked questions about using the JewishGen ViewMate site.

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Preparing Your Images/General Questions

I have a document I need help with - what can I do?
I don't have a scanner - what can I do?
I need help with some translations - do I need to scan them to use ViewMate?
Are there recommendations for scanning photos and documents?
Are there additional translation resources available via JewishGen?
Where can I find information on translating Jewish tombstones?

Managing Your Images

How do I change information (category, country, etc.) before I submit a file?
I submitted an image last week, but it still hasn't been shown. Why?
How do I make changes to a submission that's on the Image Gallery Viewing page?
I've received all the responses I need. How do I stop additional responses?
How do I thank someone who's posted a response to my submission?
How do I choose not to display a particular response?
How can I get the word out about my new posting?

I have a document I need help with - what can I do?

Here is an example from Daniel Kazez:

  • I found the death certificate for my gr gr grandfather, Josek Hersz ENGLENDER. It is from the city of Przyrow, dated 1886. In fact, it appears twice.
  • The document is in Russian. On both copies, I found it difficult to read the names of his parents

So, I:

  1. Scanned the document. For tips on scanning, see below.
  2. Underlined the names of Josek Hersz ENGLENDER's parents (Adobe Photoshop Elements or other image editing software does this easily).
  3. Uploaded it to ViewMate to share with others.

Here is the result:

Example

I don't have a scanner - what can I do?

With the price of scanners dropping - they are becoming more readily available. If after checking with family, relatives and friends and you are still unable to gain access to one - you can check one of the locally available business centers or copy centers. Many of the business/copy centers have scanners and their time rental is reasonable priced.

Remember to save the scanned image(s) in the JPEG, GIF, PNG or TIF format ("*.jpg", "*.jpeg", "*.gif", "*.png", "*.tif" or "*.tiff"). Mac users should be sure to name the file with the appropriate filename extension. Then follow the directions on the To Submit page to upload the images to the ViewMate site.

I need help with some translations - do I need to scan them to use ViewMate

ViewMate accepts files that are in JPEG, GIF, PNG or TIF formats. The most reasonable way to get your file(s) into this format is to scan them and then save the file in the acceptable format.

Other option is to work with a professional translator or translating services, or to find an acquaintance that has the necessary language skills.

Are there recommendations for scanning photos and documents?

There are two things you need to be concerned with when you display images on the Web: image dimensions and file size. You want the largest image dimensions at the smallest possible file size. Remember, ViewMate will only accept files that are smaller than 1MB.

For images of photos:

  • Scan the photo at 150 dpi.
  • Crop the photo, include only what is important.
  • Keep the dimensions to a maximum of 1500 pixels Width for a landscape format photo and 1500 pixels Height for a portrait format photo.
  • Save the photo as a JPG (JPEG), PNG or TIF (TIFF).

For images of handwritten documents:

  • Scan the document at 200 dpi (dots per inch -- or 300 dpi in more difficult cases). Deciphering handwritten text is often a difficult task, especially if the handwriting is bad. One can often guess some words from context, but when it comes to names of persons or places, each letter counts. To obtain accurate results, each pen stroke should be clearly discernible, especially at the places where pen strokes cross or overlap. Scanning an 8-1/2 inch x 11 inch page at 200 dpi resolution will result in viewing dimensions of 1700 x 2200 pixels.
  • Many scanning programs might have the scanning resolution preset to 300 dpi for photographs. So you may have to use a "Customize" or "Settings" button to adjust the scanning resolution, or you may have to set the "image type" or "destination" menu to "other" or "custom".
  • If the file generated is too large (more than 1 MB), reduce the JPEG quality or increase the JPEG compression level. With some scanning or image editing programs, you will have to click on an "Options" or "Opt" button after selecting "JPEG" as the file format.
  • If you only need a portion of a document translated, highlight that section in some fashion or crop out what you do not need.
  • Save in JPG (JPEG), GIF, PNG or TIF (TIFF) format.

For scanning tips, see this site:
http://www.scantips.com

Are there additional translation resources available via JewishGen?

If you do not receive help with the translating of your document(s) on ViewMate - additional JewishGen translation resources can be found at the Yizkor Book SIG Translator List at: http://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/yiztran.html

Where can I find information on translating Jewish tombstones?

For help in translating the inscriptions on Jewish tombstones - you can look at the information on these sites: http://www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/Tombstones.html

http://www.jewfaq.org/death.htm#Tombstones

How can I get the word out about my new posting?

Once you receive the email confirmation that your file is available on ViewMate, you can request the help you want. Post your request to the main JewishGen Discussion Group and other JewishGen regional Special Interest Groups related to your inquiry. Subscribe to the discussion groups of your choice on the JewishGen Mailing List Management page.

Here is a sample request for action on a ViewMate image. Make changes based on the information you seek.

NOTE: Volunteer translators will do their best, but to save them time and effort, if you need less than a full translation, please say so in your request.

ALSO: If you have submitted multiple similar or related images, please consider sending one post to the relevant mailing lists listing all of them, rather than a separate message for each image,
____________________________________________________

Subject: ViewMate translation request - Yiddish

I request a translation of the Yiddish text on a postcard. It is on ViewMate at the following address
http://www.jewishgen.org/viewmate/viewmateview.asp?key=VM99999 (copy the link from your confirmation email)

Please respond using the online ViewMate form.

Thank you so much,

Your Name


 
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All times shown on ViewMate are in US Mountain Time
Last Updated 3 May 2014
ViewMate idea and author: Bernard Israelite Kouchel ז״ל
Web Author: Josef Herz, updated by John Berman, Gary Sandler
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