Frequently Asked Questions
(FAQ) for ViewMate
In this section we attempt to answer the most
frequently asked questions about using the JewishGen
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
- The document is in Russian. On both copies, I found
it difficult to read the names of his parents
- Scanned the document. For tips on scanning, see
- Underlined the names of Josek Hersz ENGLENDER's
parents (Adobe Photoshop Elements or other image
editing software does this easily).
- Uploaded it to ViewMate to share with others.
Here is the result:
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
I need help
with some translations - do I need to scan them to use
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.
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
3 MB (3,145,728 bytes).
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
- If the file generated is too large (more than 3 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
- 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:
there additional translation resources available via
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: https://www.jewishgen.org/Yizkor/yiztran.html
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: https://www.jewishgen.org/InfoFiles/Tombstones.html
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 on various discussion groups. Subscribe to the main
JewishGen Discussion Group at https://groups.jewishgen.org/g/main.
You can also send your inquiry to JewishGen regional
Special Interest Groups. Subscribe to these groups on
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
(copy the link from your confirmation email)
Please respond using the online ViewMate form.
Thank you so much,