Convert PDF Portfolio files to Searchable PDF for
PDF Portfolio Conversion+ is a litigation
service to convert PDF Portfolio and Package files into usable
standard searchable PDF files in connection with e-Discovery
requests and related legal analysis. The resulting PDF files
are text-searchable and can be Bates numbered at the page
Below you can find details on the PDF Portfolio
Conversion+ service, including
why it is needed,
key benefits and features,
additional information and price
quotes for the service, getting started, and information about our industry partner program.
If you have any questions, feel free to call (800-401-7809 x22) or email us at
Why PDF Portfolio Files
are Often Unsuitability for e-Discovery
Adobe, the creator of the popular Acrobat program and the PDF
format, has added many useful features for lawyers in the latest
versions Acrobat 8 and Acrobat 9, including Bates stamping and
redaction. These new versions also introduce a new container
PDF file, called 'PDF Package' in Acrobat 8 and renamed to 'PDF
Portfolio' in Acrobat 9. This new container file format was
originally developed by Adobe as a design tool, not as a legal
review tool. While helpful in many situations,
this new container file format can cause problems and headaches when
used in e-Discovery.
Potential Problems with Acrobat Portfolio Files in
PDF Portfolio or Package files allow the embedding of different file types into
a PDF file. However, the embedded files are not actually converted to PDF, but
instead remain in their original format within the PDF container, much like how a ZIP archive
files embeds different file types into a ZIP file. Acrobat also
includes a utility to easily convert Outlook PST email files to PDF
packages (version 8) or PDF Portfolios (version 9). In this
case, each email body is converted into a PDF file and the attachments to the
email are not converted to PDF, but instead are embedded into the PDF
portfolio or container file in their original file format. To view the embedded files the user
must click on each attachment and open it using the application (not Acrobat)
that is associated on the users computer to read the the attachment.
What is the problem with this approach in litigation e-Discovery?
Several actually. A defensible litigation e-Discovery process should
gather as much potentially relevant information as practicable and
make it available to reviewing attorneys in a format that is
searchable, easy usable and trackable. Email in Outlook PST format or
as MSG files
that are converted into PDF Portfolio or PDF Packages can have a number of
problems in this regard.
Limited Search Capability.
Only a limited
number of attachments can be searched in a PDF Portfolio file:
searchable PDF files, Microsoft Office documents (such as .doc, .xls, and .ppt), AutoCAD
drawing file formats (.dwg and .dwf), HTML files, and Rich Text
Format (.rtf) files., and then only if each user has Acrobat 9
Standard or Professional installed (not the free version of Acrobat
Even if the user has the paid versions for Acrobat Standard or
Professional, the limited search function will miss the numerous other file types that are often included as email attachments.
Also, the search will miss the content of of fax attachments, scanned documents, and password protected
No OCR of Attachments.
Optical character recognition (OCR) deserves special mention
with regard to email file attachments. A surprising number of
email attachments in Outlook PST and MSG files in email collections are image-based and
not searchable without first applying OCR,. This important
step is not automatically done when
PDF Portfolio files are created. Attachments from email
collections typically include
scanned documents in the form of PDFs, JPEGs, TIFFs and other image
files. With the proliferation of inexpensive desktop scanners
and the always desired but always out-of-reach 'paperless office',
many electronic files include text images but are not text readable
without OCR. Faxes converted to email attachments are another
source of image-based attachments. Many products and services exist that allow the user to
incoming faxes as email attachments. These fax attachments are usually TIFF
files and not text searchable without OCR.
Increased Review Time
Attorney inefficiency is another potential problem with Portfolio
PDF files. The largest cost by far in a discovery production is attorney review time, usually dwarfing
processing and other e-Discovery costs. In a PDF Portfolio file
based on email conversion, the reviewing
attorney must open each attachment to look at it in a program that
can view the attachment. This requires that the applicable
native software or a viewing program be installed on each attorney computer.
While this is possible, it pushes issues of dealing with unusual
problem file attachments out to the reviewing attorneys instead of
handling before review in a more cost effective manner. Requiring
reviewing attorneys and other reviewers to deal with problems with file attachments in a
non-PDF format can increase review
costs, lead to frustration and inconsistency, and decrease review quality.
Password Protected Files
Password protected attachments can create review headaches in
several ways. Email files may include file attachments that are
password protected to increase security in transmission on the
internet. A good e-Discovery process will identify and segregate
password protected files for consistent treatment and evaluation.
If these files are included in a PDF Portfolio file, however, the
reviewer needs to deal with these one
at a time as they are encountered.
Files with Viruses Not
Email as part of a litigation
review can easily include
attachments with viruses, trojan and other malware programs included as file
attachments. The Acrobat
Portfolio process converts Outlook email into an embedded PDF
includes all file attachments, including those with viruses and
similar dangerous attachments. If not handled in pre-review, then
potentially infects his or her computer by opening an infected attachment
when opening it in an Acrobat Portfolio file. Acrobat does
provide a virus warning before opening a file attachments, but does
not scan or quarantine viruses or other malware in file attachments.
Inability to Bates Stamp at
the Page Level.
How best to handle Bates
stamping with electronic files is a subject of debate in the legal
community. One advantage of a regular flattened-PDF files (not
a PDF Portfolio file) is
that page-level Bates stamping can be used. Many attorneys
prefer this over a more non-specific file-level Bates stamp that
must be used for non-PDF or TIFF electronic files. Page-level
Bates stamping allows the attorney in a deposition to zero-in on the
exact page of a document and tie that into the deponents testimony.
Without page-level Bates stamping, reference must be made to a file
level identifier and some other internal document indicator used to
specifically identify the part of the document being referenced.
PDF Portfolio files created from Outlook email allow page level
Bates stamping only of the body of the email, but not at the page
Key Benefits & Features of PDF
Portfolio Conversion+ Service
The Lexbe's PDF Portfolio Conversion+ service converts email stored as
PDF portfolio or package files into flattened separate
searchable email messages in PDF format.
Each email and its attachments are separated and saved
as an individual PDF file.
File attachments are converted to searchable PDF using
OCR (hundreds of types including those commonly
seen in litigation).
revisions in Word documents included in PDF.
Attachments that cannot be converted (corrupt files,
password-protected files, media files, etc.) are
segregated and identified.
ZIP compressed file attachments expanded and converted
to PDF when possible.
Each email file is Bates stamped at the page level,
including its attachments.
All files are uniquely identified for evidence
authentication purposes using the MD-5 hash (a digital
Each job includes a Chain of Custody spreadsheet that
lists each file, and includes email metadata (date,
time, sender, receiver, subject), applicable MD-5 hash,
file name, Bates number and identification of files that
could not be converted.
Return of Converted PDF Files
Additional Information and Price Quotes
Converted PDF files can be returned by portable USB drive, by secure FTP
transfer, or through free upload to our web-based
Litigation Document Management application. This last option
includes the ability to organize, search, review, and conduct productions of the
converted emails for free for 30 days as part of a legal matter.
We also offer the option of paper print-outs of the converted PDFs (blowback)
for an additional charge.
Additional information and a price quote is available
here, or feel free to call (800-401-7809 x22) or email us at
. Pricing starts at pennies per page and per GB discount pricing is available on larger jobs.
To get started you send us your files on a USB thumb drive, portable
drive, CDs or DVDs by express courier, or upload the files directly to
our secure FTP server for quicker service.
If you are a litigation support provider, litigation or IT consultant, or a court reporter and would like to offer this service
please contact us about our partner programs at (800-401-7809 x22) or email us at
All services described on this and related pages are subject to Lexbe's
Digitization Services Agreement.