Recognize and register submitted PDF documents

  • 20 min.

After documents have been imported, the Ready to Register Cue indicates how many documents are ready for processing.

To get an overview of the imported documents, select the Ready to Register Cue. This opens the document journal, which is where you also validate and register the documents.

The document journal consists of four main sections:

  • The Document list. Lists all the documents that are ready to be processed.
  • The Document Fields section. Shows all the information that must be captured from the document.
  • The Comments section. Let's you know if there are any missing information or discrepancies.
  • The Document Viewer. Shows the imported document and which fields have been captured.
Document journal

The document journal can also be opened as follows:

  1. Choose the search icon, enter Document Categories, and select the related link.

  2. Select the number in the Documents to Register column.

For more information about the document journal, see Working with Paper and PDF Documents.

Recognize documents

When recognizing document content, you essentially get Document Capture to type in the information that's printed on the imported PDF document. The accountant, or whoever is handling the document journal, still needs to validate that everything has been recognized correctly. The accountant also needs to train Document Capture to recognize the correct values, but this is only necessary in the initial phase, since Document Capture gradually learns which fields to capture.

Document Capture uses captions and values to search for and identify textual information in imported documents. A caption is a sort of label that helps Document Capture to identify the correct value for a template field. Each caption is associated with a corresponding value, which is then the actual text that you want to capture and use when registering a document. An example of a caption could be Invoice no., and the associated value could then be the number 1647. In the document viewer on the right side of the document journal, field captions are highlighted using orange boxes, whereas field values are highlighted using blue boxes.


You can resize the document viewer simply by dragging the vertical handle on the left side of the viewer. This applies to all other pages that include the document viewer too.

Also note that the upper-left corner of the document viewer features a drop-down menu that allows you to view or download any files that have been attached to the document you're currently processing. Most of the attachments that are listed in the menu can be viewed in the user interface, but some (such as .xlsx and .docx files) must be downloaded from the menu instead. For more information, see The document viewer.

When receiving a document from a specific vendor for the first time, you need to create a new template. The template determines which fields, rules, translations, registration steps, etc., will apply to the specific vendor and the vendor documents. To create a template for a vendor, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Document Journal.

  2. Select the document.

  3. Select Process > Recognize Fields.

  4. Document Capture will automatically create a template for the vendor if no pre-existing template was found.

The newly created vendor-specific template inherits all configurations from the master template, which has been pre-configured to meet the company's needs.

After you've selected Recognize Fields, Document Capture will try to capture all necessary values in the PDF document according to a number of general rules. For example, the invoice number is typically found next to the caption "Bill No" or "Invoice Number", and the due date next to "Payment Date" or "No later than".

In order for a document to be registered, all document header fields must have check marks in the OK column of the list in the document fields section (under Document Header). When all document header fields are OK, the document as a whole will also be marked as OK in the document list.

Document journal with account number

The comments section at the bottom of the document journal will notify you if any of the fields are not OK. Some of the fields that aren't OK can be recognized in the document, while others can’t and therefore must be filled in manually. What fields can and can't be recognized depends on your organization's setup and the structure of the individual documents, so it isn't possible to list them all here. However, the following two fields are typical examples of fields that are either recognizable or unrecognizable:

  • Account No. is an example of a field that's mandatory for document registration but can’t be recognized. For such fields, you can select the three dots that appear when you hover over the blank cell, in order to get a full overview (in this case of your chart of accounts) and to perform further actions. For this particular field, the three dots enable you to select which account to apply to the document in question.

    Note that the Account No. field is closely related to the Account Type field immediately above it. This field allows you to select the type of account you want to use for the document. If you select no account type, Account No. will default to G/L accounts.

  • Posting Description is an example of a field that can be recognized, since companies often use the same description for posting as the one used by the vendor in the document. For such fields, do as follows:

    1. In the document fields table, select the empty Posting Description cell.

    2. In the document viewer, left-click on a value to recognize it as a posting description value.

    3. Right-click on the associated caption to pinpoint the location of the field in the document for future reference.


If you want to capture a multi-word value or one that takes up a larger amount of space, left-click and hold the button to draw a blue box around the relevant text in the document viewer. Likewise, you can capture a larger caption by right-clicking and holding the button to draw an orange box around the relevant text.

It’s optional to recognize the caption of a field, but we recommend to always do so. If a value frequently changes position from document to document, Document Capture will still be able to recognize it if the caption moves along with the value. But without a caption, Document Capture will simply search for the value in the position where it was found in the last document, thereby failing to identify the value if its position has changed.

Register documents

When the document and all of its Document Header fields have been marked as OK in the document journal, it must be registered. By registering the document, you convert all captured information into a real business entity in Business Central. To register the document and create a new Business Central document, select Process > Register. In the example below, a purchase invoice has been created, ready to be posted.

Registered document