JP4541770B2 - Image processing apparatus, control method therefor, and program - Google Patents

Image processing apparatus, control method therefor, and program Download PDF

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JP4541770B2
JP4541770B2 JP2004173003A JP2004173003A JP4541770B2 JP 4541770 B2 JP4541770 B2 JP 4541770B2 JP 2004173003 A JP2004173003 A JP 2004173003A JP 2004173003 A JP2004173003 A JP 2004173003A JP 4541770 B2 JP4541770 B2 JP 4541770B2
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step
processing
vectorization
unit
image
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JP2005352777A (en
JP2005352777A5 (en
Inventor
進一 加藤
廣義 吉田
正和 木虎
勇志 松久保
博之 矢口
英一 西川
博之 辻
賢三 関口
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キヤノン株式会社
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Description

  The present invention relates to an image processing apparatus, a control method thereof, and a program for executing processing related to charging for the processing based on processing performed on an image.

In recent years, there is a multifunction peripheral (MFP) that includes a print counter and a scan counter for independently counting the number of times of printing and the number of times of scanning (see, for example, Patent Document 1).
JP-A-11-196212

  On the other hand, the present applicant considers that a multifunction device reads a paper document with a scanner, converts the read image information into vector data, stores it in an image storage device, and makes it reusable on a computer application. ing.

  The fact that the scan data can be vectorized makes it possible to restore the original to a reusable state, and therefore it is necessary to manage it separately rather than simply managing it according to the same scanning position as in the prior art. That is, when vectorization is regarded as a high value-added service, it is considered that a mechanism capable of providing a service by changing its charge and billing charge is required.

  For example, this mechanism is considered to require the following points.

  ・ Change the charge amount according to the type of object.

  -The billing amount varies depending on the number of objectized data included in the manuscript.

  When such a point is required, it is desirable that the system can provide a more preferable vectorization service within a desired amount on the user side.

  The present invention has been made to solve the above problems, and provides an image processing apparatus, a control method thereof, and a program capable of providing an optimal charging method for vectorization in a vectorizable device. For the purpose.

In order to achieve the above object, an image processing apparatus according to the present invention comprises the following arrangement. That is,
An image processing apparatus that executes processing related to charging for the processing based on processing performed on an image,
Input means for inputting raster image data;
Dividing means for dividing the raster image data input by the input means into objects for each attribute;
Display means for displaying the result of the division by the dividing means, and charge information indicating a price when a vectorization process is executed on the result of the division;
Instruction means for instructing whether or not to execute vectorization processing on the division result displayed by the display means;
Execution means for executing vectorization processing for converting the raster image data into vector data based on the instruction content of the instruction means.

  Preferably, the input unit inputs an image read from an image reading unit for reading a document as the raster image data.

  Preferably, the display means includes total fee information indicating a consideration when performing vectorization processing on all objects in the raster image data obtained as the division result, and objects in the raster image data. The fee information for each object indicating the consideration when the vectorization process is executed for each attribute is displayed.

Preferably, the apparatus further comprises a calculation means for calculating the fee information,
The calculation means calculates the fee information based on a unit price set for each attribute type of the object in the raster image data obtained as the division result.

Preferably, the apparatus further comprises a calculation means for calculating the fee information,
The fee information is calculated based on a unit price set based on the area of the object in the raster image data obtained as a result of the division.

Preferably, the apparatus further comprises a calculation means for calculating the fee information,
When the raster image data is not divided into objects by the dividing unit, the calculating unit calculates the fee information based on the unit price for that case.

  Preferably, when the fee information exceeds a predetermined value, the display means displays warning information indicating that fact.

  Preferably, the instructing unit can instruct whether or not to execute the vectorization process for each attribute of the object obtained as the division result displayed by the display unit.

  Preferably, the display unit updates the fee information based on an instruction content by the instruction unit.

  Preferably, the dividing unit divides the raster image data into objects for each attribute so as not to exceed the predetermined value.

  Preferably, the apparatus further comprises setting means for setting the priority order of the attributes of the objects to be divided by the dividing means.

In order to achieve the above object, a method for controlling an image processing apparatus according to the present invention comprises the following arrangement. That is,
A control method for an image processing apparatus that executes processing related to accounting for the processing based on processing performed on an image,
An input process for inputting raster image data;
A dividing step of dividing the raster image data input in the input step into objects for each attribute;
A display step of displaying, on a display unit, a division result by the division step, and charge information indicating a price when a vectorization process is performed on the division result;
An instruction step for instructing whether or not to execute vectorization processing on the division result displayed on the display unit in the display step;
An execution step of executing a vectorization process for converting the raster image data into vector data based on the instruction content of the instruction step.

In order to achieve the above object, a program according to the present invention comprises the following arrangement. That is,
A program that realizes control of an image processing apparatus that executes processing related to charging for the processing based on processing performed on an image,
A program code of an input process for inputting raster image data;
A program code of a division step for dividing the raster image data input in the input step into objects for each attribute;
A program code of a display step for displaying on a display unit charge information indicating a division result by the division step and a consideration when performing vectorization processing on the division result;
A program code of an instruction step for instructing whether or not to execute vectorization processing on the division result displayed on the display unit in the display step;
And a program code of an execution step for executing a vectorization process for converting the raster image data into vector data based on the instruction content of the instruction step.

  ADVANTAGE OF THE INVENTION According to this invention, in the apparatus which can be vectorized, the image processing apparatus which can provide the optimal accounting method with respect to the vectorization, its control method, and a program can be provided.

  Hereinafter, embodiments of the present invention will be described in detail with reference to the drawings.

<Embodiment 1>
FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing the configuration of the image processing system according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

  This image processing system is realized in an environment in which the office 10 and the office 20 are connected by a network 104 such as the Internet.

  A LAN 107 constructed in the office 10 includes an MFP (Multi Function Peripheral) 100 that is a multifunction machine that realizes a plurality of types of functions (copying function, printing function, transmission function, etc.), a management PC 101 that controls the MFP 100, and an MFP 100. A client PC 102 to be used, a document management server 106 and its database 105, and a proxy server 103 are connected.

  A proxy server 103, a document management server 106, and its database 105 are connected to the LAN 108 built in the office 20.

  The LAN 107 in the office 10 and the LAN 108 in the office 20 are connected to the network 104 via the proxy server 103 of each office.

  The MFP 100 particularly includes an image reading unit that electronically reads a paper document that is a document, and an image processing unit that executes image processing on an image signal obtained from the image reading unit. The image signal is managed via the LAN 109. It can be transmitted to the PC 101.

  The management PC 101 is a normal PC (personal computer) and includes various components such as an image storage unit, an image processing unit, a display unit, and an input unit. Some of the components are integrated into the MFP 100. It is configured.

  The configuration of FIG. 1 is an example, and there may be no office 20 having the document management server 106, or there may be more than one, or the offices 10 and 20 are connected on the same LAN. Also good.

  The network 104 is typically the Internet, a LAN, a WAN, a telephone line, a dedicated digital line, an ATM, a frame relay line, a communication satellite line, a cable TV line, a data broadcasting wireless line, or the like. It is a so-called communication network realized by a combination, and it is sufficient if data can be transmitted and received.

  Various terminals such as the management PC 101, the client PC 102, and the document management server 106 are standard components (for example, CPU, RAM, ROM, hard disk, external storage device, network interface, display, Keyboard, mouse, etc.).

  Next, a detailed configuration of the MFP 100 will be described with reference to FIG.

  FIG. 2 is a block diagram showing a detailed configuration of the MFP according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

  In FIG. 2, an image input unit 110 is an image reading unit configured by, for example, a scanner or a reader. In particular, when the image input unit 110 is configured by a scanner or a reader, an auto document feeder (ADF) is provided. Further configured. The image input unit 110 irradiates a bundle or one original image with a light source (not shown), forms an original reflection image on a solid-state image sensor with a lens, and scans the raster image data from the solid-state image sensor. Is obtained as a raster image having a predetermined density (600 DPI or the like).

  In addition to the scanner and the reader, the image input unit 110 is a raster image such as an imaging device such as a digital camera or digital video, an information processing device having a CPU such as a PC or PDA, a communication device such as a mobile portable communication terminal or a FAX. Any device that can input data may be used.

  Next, main function groups of MFP 100 will be described below.

"Copy function"
The MFP 100 has a copying function for printing an image corresponding to the scanned image data on a recording medium by the printing unit 112. When copying one original image, the MFP 100 uses the scanned image data as a data processing unit 115 (CPU, RAM The image data is subjected to various corrections using a ROM, etc. to generate print data, which is printed on a recording medium by the printing unit 112. On the other hand, when copying a plurality of document images, the storage unit 111 temporarily stores and holds print data for one page, and then sequentially outputs the print data to the printing unit 112 for printing on a recording medium.

  In addition, without storing the print data in the storage unit 111, the scan image data is subjected to various kinds of image processing for performing various corrections in the data processing unit 115 to generate the print data, and the print unit 112 directly onto the recording medium. It is also possible to print.

"Save function"
The MFP 100 stores the scanned image data or the scanned image data subjected to the image processing from the image input unit 110 in the storage unit 111.

"Transmission function"
In the transmission function via the network I / F 114, the scan image data obtained from the image input unit 110 or the scan image data stored in the storage unit 111 by the storage function is converted into a compressed image file format such as TIFF or JPEG, PDF, or the like. To an image file in the vector data file format and output from the network IF 114. The output image file is transmitted to the document management server 106 via the LAN 107, and further transferred to another document management server 106 via the network 104.

  Although not shown here, it is also possible to use a FAX I / F to send scanned image data by facsimile using a telephone line. Further, the scan image data may be directly transmitted after being subjected to various kinds of image processing by the data processing unit 115 without storing the scan image data in the storage unit 111.

"Print Function"
In the printing function by the printing unit 112, for example, the data processing unit 115 receives print data output from the client PC 102 via the network IF 114, and the data processing unit 115 can print the print data by the printing unit 112. After conversion to data, the printing unit 112 forms an image on the print medium.

“Vector Scan Function”
Scan image data is generated in the above-described copy function, save function, transmission function, etc., and the character area is converted into a Text code for this scan image data, and the fine line and graphic area are converted into functions and coded. A function for executing a series of processes for performing the vectorization process is defined as a vector scan function. That is, in the first embodiment, a process from scanning a document to converting input image data obtained thereby into vector data is defined as vector scanning.

  By using this vector scan function, it is possible to easily generate scan image data of a vector image.

  In the vector scan function, as described above, the character portion of the scanned image data is converted into a character code or outline, the thin line or illustration is converted into a function of the straight line or curve, and the table is processed as table data. Therefore, unlike the scan image data of a normal raster image, it is easy to reuse individual objects in the document.

  For example, if the vector scan function is executed during the copy function, it is possible to achieve higher image quality by reproducing characters and fine lines than when copying by raster scan.

  In addition, in the storage function, since the image is compressed as raster data during raster scan (input from the image input unit 110), the capacity becomes large. However, by encoding or functioning with the vector scan function, File capacity is very small.

  Further, even when the transmission function is executed, if the vector scan function is executed, the time required for transmission can be shortened because the amount of data obtained is small, and furthermore, since each object is vectorized, It is possible to reuse individual objects as parts by an external terminal such as.

  As described above, an operator's instruction to the MFP 100 to execute various functions is performed from the key operation unit provided in the MFP 100 and the operation unit 113 including the keyboard and mouse connected to the management PC 101. It is controlled by a control unit (not shown) in the data processing unit 115. Further, the display of the operation input status and the image data being processed is performed on the display unit 116.

  The storage unit 111 is also controlled by the management PC 101, and data transmission / reception and control between the MFP 100 and the management PC 101 are performed via the network I / F 118 and the LAN 109.

  In addition, the storage unit 111 stores an original buffer that stores vector data corresponding to a read original image obtained by processing to be described later as original vector data, and the original vector data when performing image editing based on the original vector data. An image editing buffer for storing the copied data as image editing data may be secured.

  When the LAN 109 is configured, the data transfer and control between the MFP 100 and the management PC 101 is realized by directly connecting the MFP 100 and the management PC 101 via the network I / F 118, but the LAN 109 is not configured. Is realized via the LAN 107 connected to the network I / F 114.

  When the above various functions (copy function, save function, transmission function, print function, vector scan function) are executed, the management counter 117 counts the number of executions based on the operation contents of the various functions. deep. Accordingly, use management of various functions in the MFP 100 can be performed.

[Outline of processing]
Next, an overview of the entire processing executed by the image processing system according to the first embodiment will be described with reference to FIG.

  FIG. 3 is a flowchart showing an overview of the entire processing executed by the image processing system according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

  First, in step S120, the image input unit 110 of the MFP 100 scans and reads the original in a raster shape to obtain, for example, a 600 DPI-8 bit image signal. This image signal is preprocessed by the data processing unit 115 and stored in the storage unit 111 as image data (raster image data) for one page.

  Next, in step S121, the data processing unit 115 performs block selection (BS) processing (objectification processing). This process is executed under the control of the management PC 101, for example.

  Specifically, the CPU of the management PC 101 first divides the image signal to be processed stored in the storage unit 111 into a character / line drawing portion and a halftone image portion, and the character / line drawing portion is further divided into paragraphs. The data is divided for each block grouped as a block, or for each table or figure composed of lines.

  On the other hand, the halftone image part is divided into so-called independent objects (blocks) such as an image part and a background part of a block separated into rectangles.

  In the first embodiment, examples of attributes include TEXT (character), GRAPHIC (thin line, figure), TABLE (table), IMAGE (image), BACKGROUND (background), and the like. However, other types of attributes can be used depending on the purpose and purpose, and it is not necessary to use all the attributes.

  Although details will be described later, block information, which is information related to each block, is generated for each block generated by the BS processing.

  In step S122, the processing result (object) of the BS processing in step S121 is displayed on the display unit 116, and the compensation (fee) when the vectorization process is executed on the processing result is shown in the management counter 117 and the charge table. The calculated value is referred to and displayed on the display unit 116. Details of this will be described later.

  In step S123, the character block obtained by the BS process in step S122 is recognized by OCR.

  In step S124, vectorization processing for converting raster image data (the read original image input in step S120) into vector data is executed.

  In this vectorization process, first, the character size, style, and font (font) are further recognized for the character block subjected to the OCR process in step S123, and visually faithful to the character obtained by scanning the document. To correct font data. On the other hand, tables and graphic blocks composed of lines are outlined. The image block is converted into individual JPEG files as image data.

  The vectorization process for these various blocks is performed for each block based on the block information, and the layout information of each block is stored.

  Next, in step S125, application data conversion processing for converting the vector data obtained in step S124 into application data (application data) in a predetermined format (for example, rtf format) that can be processed by the document creation application. Execute. In step S126, the generated application data is stored in a storage destination such as the storage unit 111 or the document management server 106 as an electronic file corresponding to the raster image data input in step S120.

  Next, in step S127, when similar processing is performed thereafter, index generation for generating index information for searching for an electronic file so that it can be directly searched from the read original image as an electronic file corresponding thereto. Execute the process. The generated index information is added to a search index file managed by the storage unit 111, for example.

  In step S128, the display unit 116 is notified of the storage address of the electronic file stored in step S126.

  In step S129, pointer information for the read document image is generated, and pointer information addition processing for adding the image data to the electronic file corresponding to the read document image is executed.

  The electronic file to which the pointer information is added is stored in, for example, the hard disk in the client PC 102 in FIG. 1, the database 105, or the storage unit 111 of the MFP 100 itself.

  In step S130, a billing process for a series of vectorization processes is executed. Details of this will be described later.

  In step S131, an operation screen for executing various processes (editing / accumulating / transmitting (FAX transmission, e-mail transmission, file transmission) / printing, etc.) on the electronic file corresponding to the read original image is presented on the display unit 116. Various processes for the electronic file can be executed via the operation screen.

  Here, for example, in the case of printing (copying) as various processing, image processing such as optimum color processing and spatial frequency correction is performed on each object, and then printing is performed by the printing unit 112. In the case of accumulation, it is stored and held in the storage unit 111. In the case of transmission (file transmission), as a general-purpose file format, for example, it is converted into an RTF (Rich Text Format) format, or converted into an SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) format that is vector data of an attributed description language. In other words, the file format is converted into a reusable file format at the file transmission destination, and the file is transmitted to the file transmission destination (for example, the client PC 102) via the network I / F 114.

  As described above, in this image processing system, vector data is normally managed as an original electronic file corresponding to the read original image, and various processes using the vector data can be executed. The amount can be reduced, the storage efficiency can be increased, the transmission time can be shortened, and a high-quality image can be output when output (display / print).

  In particular, when a read original is vectorized, a business form called a vectorization service can be provided by executing a billing process based on the contents of the vectorization.

[Details of each process]
Details of each process will be described below.

[Block selection processing]
First, details of the BS process in step S121 will be described.

  In the BS processing, for example, the raster image in FIG. 4A is recognized as a meaningful block for each block as shown in FIG. 4B, and the attribute (TEXT (character) / PICTURE () of each block is recognized. (Graphic) / PHOTO (photo) / LINE (line) / TABLE (table), etc.), and is divided into blocks having different attributes.

  An embodiment of BS processing is described below.

  First, the input image is binarized into black and white, and contour tracking is performed to extract a block of pixels surrounded by a black pixel contour. For a black pixel block with a large area, the white pixel block is extracted by tracing the outline of the white pixel inside, and a black pixel is recursively extracted from the white pixel block with a certain area or more. Extract the lump.

  The blocks of black pixels obtained in this way are classified by size and shape, and are classified into blocks having different attributes. For example, a block in a range where the aspect ratio is close to 1 and the size is constant is a pixel block corresponding to a character, a portion where adjacent characters can be grouped in an aligned manner is a character block, and a flat pixel block is a line block. The area occupied by the black pixel block that is larger than the size and contains the rectangular white pixel block well aligned is a table block, the area where the irregular pixel block is scattered is a photo block, and the pixel block of any other shape is drawn. Let it be a block.

  In the BS processing, a block ID for identifying each block is issued, and the block information is stored in the storage unit 111 by associating each block with the attribute (image, character, etc.), size, and position (coordinates) in the original document. Remember as. The block information is used in the vectorization process in step S124, which will be described in detail later, and the index generation process in step S128.

  Here, an example of the block information will be described with reference to FIG.

  FIG. 5 is a diagram showing an example of block information according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

  As shown in FIG. 5, the block information includes block attributes (1: TEXT, 2: PICTURE, 3: TABLE, 4: LINE, 5: PHOTO), and block position coordinates (X, Y). , The width W and height H of the block, and the presence or absence of OCR information (text data) of the block.

  Here, the position coordinate (X, Y) of the block is, for example, the position coordinate when the upper left corner of the document image is the origin (0, 0). Further, the width W and the height H are expressed by the number of pixels, for example. In addition to this block information, in the BS processing, input file information indicating the number N of blocks existing in the document image (input file) is generated. In the example of FIG. 5, the input file information is N = 6.

[Vectorization processing]
Next, details of the vectorization process in step S124 of FIG. 3 will be described.

  In the vectorization processing, character recognition processing is first performed on each character for a character block.

  In this character recognition process, character recognition is performed on a character image cut out in character units from a character block by using one pattern matching method, and a corresponding character code is acquired. In particular, this character recognition process compares an observed feature vector obtained by converting a feature obtained from a character image into a numerical sequence of tens of dimensions and a dictionary feature vector obtained for each character type in advance, and has the closest distance. The character type is the recognition result.

  There are various known methods for extracting a feature vector. For example, there is a method characterized by dividing a character into meshes and using a mesh number-dimensional vector obtained by counting character lines in each mesh block as line elements according to directions.

  When character recognition processing is performed on a character block, first, horizontal / vertical writing is determined for the corresponding character block, a character string is cut out in each corresponding direction, and then a character is cut out from the character string. Get a character image.

  The horizontal / vertical writing is determined by taking a horizontal / vertical projection of the pixel value in the corresponding character block. If the horizontal projection has a large variance, the horizontal writing is determined, and if the vertical projection has a large variance, the vertical writing is determined. If the block is a horizontally written character block, the character string and character are decomposed by cutting out the line using the horizontal projection and cutting out the character from the vertical projection of the cut line. . On the other hand, for vertically written character blocks, horizontal and vertical may be reversed.

  The character size can be detected by this character recognition process.

  In addition, by preparing multiple dictionary feature vectors for the number of character types used for character recognition processing for character shape types, that is, font types, and outputting font types together with character codes at the time of matching Can recognize character fonts.

  Using the character code and font information obtained by the above character recognition processing, the character portion information is converted into vector data using outline data prepared in advance. If the original image is a color image, the color of each character is extracted from the color image and recorded together with vector data.

  Through the above processing, the image information belonging to the character block can be converted into vector data that is substantially faithful in shape, size, and color.

  Next, for a drawing, line, or table block other than the character block, the outline of the pixel block extracted in the block is converted into vector data.

  Specifically, a point sequence of pixels forming an outline is divided by points regarded as corners, and each section is approximated by a partial straight line or curve. A corner is a point where the curvature is maximum, and the point where the curvature is maximum is that a string is drawn between points Pi-k and Pi + k that are k left and right apart from an arbitrary point Pi as shown in FIG. The distance between this string and PI is obtained as the maximum point.

  Also, let R be the chord length / arc length between Pi−k and Pi + k, and the point where the value of R is equal to or less than the threshold value can be regarded as a corner. Each section after being divided by the corners can be vectorized using a calculation formula such as a least-squares method for a point sequence and a curve using a function such as a cubic spline function.

  Further, when the target has an inner contour, it is similarly approximated by a partial straight line or curve using the point sequence of the white pixel contour extracted by the BS processing.

  As described above, the outline of a figure having an arbitrary shape can be vectorized by using the contour line approximation. If the original image is a color image, the figure color is extracted from the color image and recorded together with the vector data.

  Further, as shown in FIG. 7, when an outer contour and an inner contour or another outer contour are close to each other in a certain section, the two contour lines can be combined and expressed as a thick line. .

  Specifically, when a line is drawn from each point Pi of a certain contour to a point Qi having the shortest distance on another contour, and each distance PQi is on average less than or equal to a certain length, the target section has a PQi midpoint as a point sequence The line is approximated by a straight line or a curve, and its thickness is the average value of PQi. A table ruled line that is a line or a set of lines can be efficiently expressed as a set of lines having such a thickness.

  The vectorization using the character recognition process for the character block has been described above. As a result of the character recognition process, the character having the closest distance from the dictionary is used as the recognition result, but this distance is not less than a predetermined value. Are not necessarily identical to the original characters and are often erroneously recognized as characters having similar shapes.

  Therefore, in the present invention, such a character block is handled in the same manner as a general line drawing, and the character block is outlined. That is, even a character that is erroneously recognized in the conventional character recognition processing is not vectorized into an erroneous character, and can be vectorized by an outline that is visually faithful to image data.

  Also, vectorization is not executed for image blocks as image data as they are.

  Next, a grouping process for grouping vector data obtained by the vectorization process for each graphic block will be described with reference to FIG.

  FIG. 8 is a flowchart showing vector data grouping processing according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

  In particular, FIG. 8 illustrates a process of grouping vector data for each graphic block.

  First, in step S700, the start point and end point of each vector data are calculated. Next, in step S701, a graphic element is detected using the start point and end point information of each vector data.

  Here, the detection of a graphic element is to detect a closed graphic formed by a dividing line. In detection, the detection is performed by applying the principle that each vector constituting the closed shape has vectors connected to both ends thereof.

  Next, in step S702, other graphic elements or dividing lines existing in the graphic element are grouped into one graphic object. If there is no other graphic element or dividing line in the graphic element, the graphic element is set as a graphic object.

  Next, details of the processing in step S701 in FIG. 8 will be described with reference to FIG.

  FIG. 9 is a flowchart showing details of the process in step S701 according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

  First, in step S710, unnecessary vectors not connected to both ends are removed from the vector data, and a closed graphic component vector is extracted.

  Next, in step S711, the vectors are tracked in order clockwise from the closed graphic component vector, with the starting point of the vector as the starting point. This tracking is performed until the start point is returned, and all the passed vectors are grouped as a closed graphic constituting one graphic element. In addition, all closed graphic constituent vectors inside the closed graphic are also grouped. Further, the same processing is repeated with the starting point of a vector not yet grouped as a starting point.

  Finally, in step S712, among the unnecessary vectors removed in step S710, the ones joined to the vectors grouped as closed figures in step S711 (closed figure connected vectors) are detected, and are used as one figure element. Group.

  With the above processing, a graphic block can be handled as an individual graphic object that can be reused individually.

[App data conversion process]
Next, details of the application data conversion process in step S125 of FIG. 3 will be described.

  Here, the processing results of the BS processing in step S121 and the vectorization processing in step S124 in FIG. 3 are converted as intermediate data format files as shown in FIG. It is called Document Analysis Output Format (DAOF).

  Here, the data structure of DAOF will be described with reference to FIG.

  FIG. 10 is a diagram showing a data structure of the DAOF according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

  In FIG. 10, a header 791 holds information related to a document image to be processed. In the layout description data portion 792, for each attribute such as TEXT (character), TITLE (title), CAPTION (caption), LINEART (line drawing), PICTURE (natural image), FRAME (frame), TABLE (table) in the document image. Holds the attribute information and the rectangular address information of each block recognized.

  The character recognition description data portion 793 holds character recognition results obtained by character recognition of TEXT blocks such as TEXT, TITLE, and CAPTION.

  The table description data portion 794 stores details of the structure of the TABLE block. The image description data portion 795 cuts out image data of blocks such as PICTURE and LINEART from the document image data and holds them.

  Such a DAOF may be stored as a file, not only as intermediate data, but in this file state, individual objects (blocks) are reused in a so-called general document creation application. I can't do it.

  Therefore, in the first embodiment, details of the application data conversion process (step S125) for converting the DAOF into application data that can be used by the document creation application will be described with reference to FIG.

  FIG. 11 is a flowchart showing details of the process in step S125 according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

  First, in step S8000, DAOF data is input. In step S8002, a document structure tree that is the source of application data is generated. In step S8004, based on the document structure tree, actual data in the DAOF is flowed to generate actual application data.

  Next, details of the processing in step S8002 in FIG. 11 will be described with reference to FIG. FIG. 12 is a flowchart showing details of the process in step S8002 according to the first embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 13 is an explanatory diagram of a document structure tree according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

  In the processing of FIG. 12, as a basic rule of overall control, the processing flow shifts from a micro block (single block) to a macro block (an aggregate of blocks).

  Hereinafter, the block refers to the micro block and the entire macro block.

  First, in step S8100, regrouping is performed on a block basis based on the vertical relationship. Immediately after the start, the determination is made in units of micro blocks.

  Here, the relevance can be defined by the fact that the distance is close and the block width (height in the horizontal direction) is substantially the same. Information such as distance, width, and height is extracted with reference to DAOF.

  For example, FIG. 13A shows the page structure of an actual document image, and FIG. 13B shows its document structure tree. By the processing in step S8100, the blocks T3, T4, and T5 are first generated as one group V1, and the blocks T6 and T7 as one group V2 are first generated as the same hierarchical group.

  In step S8102, the presence / absence of a vertical separator is checked. The separator is, for example, a block having a line attribute physically in the DAOF. Also, as a logical meaning, it is an element that explicitly divides a block in a document creation application. If a separator is detected here, it is subdivided at the same level.

  In step S8104, it is determined using the group length in the vertical direction whether there are no more divisions. Specifically, it is determined whether or not the group length in the vertical direction is the page height of the document image. If the vertical group length is the page height (YES in step S8104), the process ends. On the other hand, if the vertical group length is not the page height (NO in step S8104), the process advances to step S8106.

  In the case of the original image of FIG. 13A, since there is no separator and the group length is not the page height, the process proceeds to step S8106.

  In step S8106, regrouping is performed on a block basis based on the relevance in the horizontal direction. Here too, the first time immediately after the start is determined in units of microblocks. The definition of the relevance and the determination information is the same as in the vertical direction.

  In the case of the original image of FIG. 13A, the group T1 and T2 are generated as the same hierarchy group one above the hierarchy of the group H1, the group V1, and the group V1, and the group V1 and V2.

  In step S8108, the presence / absence of a horizontal separator is checked. In FIG. 13A, since S1 is a horizontal separator, this is registered in the document structure tree, and hierarchies H1, S1, and H2 are generated.

  In step S8110, it is determined using the group length in the horizontal direction whether there are no more divisions. Specifically, it is determined whether or not the horizontal group length is the page width. If the horizontal group length is the page width (YES in step S8110), the process ends. On the other hand, if the horizontal group length is not the page width (NO in step S8110), the process returns to step S8102, and the processing in step S8100 and subsequent steps is executed again on the next higher level.

  In the case of the original image of FIG. 13A, since the horizontal group length is the page width, the process ends in step S8110, and finally, the highest hierarchy V0 representing the entire page is added to the document structure tree. Is done.

  After the document structure tree is completed, application data is generated based on the document structure tree in step S8004 of FIG.

  In the case of FIG. 13, specifically, application data is generated as follows.

  That is, since there are two blocks T1 and T2 in the horizontal direction, H1 is output as two columns, internal information of block T1 (refer to DAOF, text of character recognition result, image, etc.) is output, and then the column is changed. Instead, the internal information of the block T2 is output, and then S1 is output.

  Next, since there are two blocks V1 and V2 in the horizontal direction, H2 outputs as two columns, and the block V1 outputs its internal information in the order of T3, T4, T5, and then changes the column, The internal information of T6 and T7 is output.

  As described above, the conversion process from DAOF to application data is executed.

[Pointer information addition processing]
Next, details of the pointer information addition processing in step S129 of FIG. 3 will be described.

  There is a method of adding pointer information by embedding a two-dimensional barcode in an image. In addition to this, for example, a method of directly adding a character string to an electronic file, a method of embedding information by modulating a character string on an electronic file, in particular, a character-to-character spacing, a halftone image ( A method generally called a digital watermark such as a method of embedding in a thumbnail image) can be applied.

  Next, an operation screen for executing various functions realized by MFP 100 will be described.

[Description of Operation Unit 113 and Display Unit 116]
14A to 14D are diagrams illustrating an example of an operation screen according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

  In particular, this operation screen is an example of an operation screen configured by the operation unit 113 and the display unit 116.

  The operation screen 10000 has an operation screen configuration in which the operation unit 113 and the display unit 116 are integrated. In this example, the operation unit 113 and the display unit 116 are configured by an LCD and a touch panel. A hard key or a mouse pointer as the operation unit 113, a CRT as the display unit 116, or the like may be configured independently.

[Basic operation specifications]
An operation screen 10000 in FIG. 14A is a basic operation screen of MFP 100 according to the first embodiment. Selection of various functions realized in the first embodiment is realized via this basic operation screen. In particular, FIG. 14A shows an operation screen for executing the copy function. In addition, the execution of the above-described vector scan function is realized based on the application mode key 100000 in the example of the operation screen 10000.

  When the application mode key 100000 is pressed, the operation screen 10000 is switched to an application mode screen 10001 in FIG. 14B that includes various modes prepared in the MFP 100 as application modes.

  In the application mode screen 10001 of FIG. 14B, a Vectorize key 100010 is a selection key that enables the above-described vector scan function. When this Vectorize key 100010 is pressed, an operation screen 10002 in FIG. 14C is displayed.

  In the operation screen 10002 shown in FIG. 14C, a read start key 100020 is a key for instructing the start of scanning for reading an original. When this key is pressed, the original is read. Then, when the reading of the document is completed, the display is switched to the operation screen 10003 in FIG. 14D.

  In the first embodiment, the process up to the BS process in step S121 in FIG. 3 is performed on the read original image input in step S120 in FIG. 3, and the process result (objectification process result) is obtained as, for example, , Temporarily stored in the storage unit 111.

  On the operation screen 10003 in FIG. 14D, an image 100029 including the processing result is displayed, and each object constituting the image 100029 is displayed surrounded by a rectangular frame for each unit (attribute).

  Each object is represented by a rectangular frame of a different color for each attribute automatically recognized by the block selection process in step S121 of FIG.

  For example, by expressing the rectangular frame surrounding each object in different colors, such as TEXT (character) is red and IMAGE (photo) is yellow, objects by attribute divided by block selection processing can be easily identified. be able to. Thereby, the visibility of the operator is improved. Of course, instead of different colors, the rectangular frame may be expressed by other display forms such as the thickness and shape of the line (dotted line). Further, each object may be displayed on a screen.

  The initial display state of the image 100029 is an image (pressure plate image) when it is read by the image input unit 110. If necessary, the image size can be enlarged / reduced by using the enlargement / reduction key 100036. Is possible. In addition, when the display content of the image 100029 cannot be visually recognized beyond the display area by enlarging, the image 100029 is moved up, down, left, and right using the scroll key 10033 to confirm the invisible portion. Is possible.

  FIG. 14D shows a state in which the character object 100030 (character string “We are always waiting YOU!”) In the center of the image 100029 is selected. In particular, in FIG. 14D, the object in the selected state is a solid rectangular frame of a color indicating the attribute (in this case, red), and the other non-selected object is a rectangular frame of a broken line in the color indicating the attribute. Is displayed. In this way, the selection state / non-selection state of each object can be easily confirmed by changing the display form of the rectangular frame according to the selection state and the non-selection state.

  In this example, the character object 100030 is a red solid rectangle, the graphic object 100037 is a blue dashed rectangle, the image object 100038 is a yellow dashed rectangle, and the table object 100039 is a green dashed rectangle. The example when it is displayed is shown, and the remaining part other than that is a background object.

  Since the background object is the remaining image portion after extracting the objects constituting the image 100029, the display using the rectangular frame is not particularly performed. However, in terms of background designation, the outline of the background image may be displayed in a rectangular frame like other objects. At this time, the visibility of the background object may be improved by hiding other objects.

  The selection of an object for editing (for example, editing a character string in a character object if it is a character object, or adjusting the color of the graphic object if it is a graphic object) is performed directly in the character object 100030, for example. There are a method of specifying by touching an area and a method of specifying using an object selection key 100032. Whichever method is used, the rectangular frame of the selected object is a solid line, and the rectangular frame of the non-selected object is a broken line.

  At the same time, an object attribute key 100031 corresponding to the attribute of the object selected (in this case, Text, other types of Graphic, Table, Image, and BachGround exist) is selected. In this case, the corresponding object attribute key is displayed on the screen to indicate the selected state. Of course, other display forms such as shaded display and blink display can be used as long as the selected / non-selected state can be indicated.

  When a plurality of pages of an original is read using ADF, the initial page image of the plurality of pages is displayed in the initial state of the operation screen 10003, and the page designation key 100033 is pressed for images of the subsequent pages. By using it, it is possible to switch to an image of a desired page.

  The setting of whether or not the selected object can be vectorized (setting for determining (storing) as vector data) is determined by the Vectorize key 100041. When vectorization is permitted, the Vectorize key 100041 is highlighted. Moreover, when not permitting, it is displayed normally.

  In the case of FIG. 14D, it has shown that the vectorization of the selected object (character object 100030) is not permitted. When the OK key 100034 is pressed in this state, the current setting state is saved in the storage unit 111 as vectorization control information. The vectorization control information includes fee information indicating a fee for vectorization processing.

  Reference numeral 100042 denotes an object-specific vectorization processing fee display area for displaying a fee for the vectorization processing of the selected object. In particular, here, the charge for vectorization processing of the selected object is shown as the number of corresponding objects, and a charge corresponding to the number of objects is charged. Of course, the actual fee may be displayed instead of the number of objects. In any case, any fee information can be used as long as it can express the fee for the object.

  The charge for vectorization of each object may be changed according to the area of the area obtained when the BS process is executed. Further, the charge for the image object may be set high, and the charge for the text object may be set low (or vice versa). These settings can be arbitrarily set by the administrator by displaying a dedicated management screen using the operation unit 113 and the display unit 116. In this way, by making it possible to control (change) the charging for the vectorization process for each object, it is possible to execute the charging process according to the usage status of the apparatus.

  Reference numeral 100043 denotes a total object vectorization processing charge display area for displaying charges for vectorization processing of all objects existing in the image 100029. In particular, here, the charge for vectorization processing of all objects is shown as the number of corresponding objects, and a charge corresponding to the number of objects is charged. Of course, the actual fee may be displayed instead of the number of objects. In any case, any fee information can be used as long as it can express the fee for the object.

  By configuring such fee display areas 100038 and 100039, the operator can easily confirm the cost required for vectorization processing.

  When the OK key 100034 is pressed, vectorization processing corresponding to one or more selected objects is executed on the displayed image 100029. On the other hand, when the setting cancel key 100040 is pressed, various settings executed on the operation screen 10003 are discarded, and the screen returns to the basic screen 10000 in FIG. 14A.

[Billing process]
Next, details of the billing process in step S130 of FIG. 3 will be described.

  When the pointer information addition process is completed, the accounting process for the vector scan is performed. The charging process is performed by integrating the charge table and the count value of the management counter 117.

  In the following, a case where the management counter 117 is configured as a department management counter in order to execute charging processing for each department in an organization where a plurality of departments exist will be described as an example.

  FIG. 15 is a diagram illustrating a configuration example of a department management counter provided in the MFP 100 according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

  Reference numeral 1500 denotes a counter comparison processing unit that compares the department counter table 1530 and the department limit value table 1540. The counter comparison processing unit 1500 compares the value from the departmental counter table 1530 with the value from the departmental limit value table 1540. If the value from the departmental limit value table 1540 does not exceed the value from the departmental counter table 1530, a control signal indicating that the operation of the function to be operated is permitted is transmitted to the data processing unit 115. To do.

  The function switching unit 1510 of the departmental counter table 1530 receives an operation instruction from the data processing unit 115, such as when designated by the operation unit 113 or when printing print data from the client PC 102, and so on. Switch the function of and select the counter table to be referenced.

  The raster / vector counter switching unit 1511 selects a counter table to be referred to depending on whether the processing content is raster scan or vector scan. Reference numerals 1512 to 1519 denote departmental function counter tables for each function, which are prepared for raster scanning and vector scanning, respectively, for the copy function, storage function, transmission function, and printing function. For vector scanning, a vectorization counter table is prepared for each attribute of an object to be processed during vectorization processing.

  The department-specific function counter tables 1512 to 1519 are department-specific and function-specific counter tables capable of managing each function for each department, and are databases that can be read / written from the data processing unit 115.

  An example of each of these tables will be described with reference to FIG. 16A.

  FIG. 16A is a diagram showing an example of a departmental function counter table according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

  Reference numeral 1512 denotes an example of a raster department-specific copy counter table which is a counter at the time of raster scanning of the copy function. In this example, the ID of each department currently registered and the number of used monochrome copies and color copies in the raster scan for each department are registered.

  In this case, at the present time, in the category “A”, the number of monochrome copies in raster scanning is “499” and the number of color copies is “821”.

  The registration of IDs can be sequentially increased by using the operation unit 113.

  In FIG. 16A, IDs A to C are registered, and in the category “B”, the number of monochrome copies is “500” and the color copy is “500”. Further, in the category “C”, the number of monochrome copies is “300” and the color copy is “234”.

  Similarly, 1513 shows an example of a copy counter table for each vector department, which is a counter for vector scanning of the copy function. In this example, the ID of each department currently registered and the number of used monochrome copies and color copies by vector scanning for each department are registered.

  In this case, at present, the ID “A” section is in a state where the number of monochrome copies in vector scanning is “891” and the number of color copies is “998”. In the section “B”, the number of monochrome copies is “500” and the color copy is “500”. Furthermore, in the category “C”, “300” monochrome copies and “789” color copies are used.

  Although not shown in FIG. 16A, the counter table for each function other than the copy function is configured similarly.

  On the other hand, the function switching unit 1520 of the departmental limit value table 1540 receives an operation instruction from the data processing unit 115, such as designated by the operation unit 113 or printing print data from the client PC 102, and the like. Switch functions such as the save function and select the limit value table to be referenced.

  The raster / vector counter switching unit 1521 selects a limit value table to be referenced depending on whether the scan is a raster scan or a vector scan. Reference numerals 1521 to 1529 denote department-specific function limit value tables for each function, which are prepared for raster scan and vector scan for copy function, storage function, transmission function, and print function, respectively. For vector scanning, a vectorization limit value table is prepared for each attribute of an object to be processed during vectorization processing.

  The departmental function limit value tables 1521 to 1529 are departmental and function-specific limit value tables that can manage the limit value of the number of times each function is used for each department. It is a possible database.

  An example of each of these tables will be described with reference to FIG. 16B.

  FIG. 16B is a diagram showing an example of a departmental function limit value table according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

  Reference numeral 1522 denotes an example of a copy limit value table for each raster division, which is a limit value for raster of the copy function. This example shows a state where the currently registered ID for each department and the number of usable monochrome copies and color copies in the raster scan for each department are registered as limit values.

  Here, at the present time, in the section whose ID is “A”, it is possible to use up to “1000” monochrome copy sheets and “1000” color copy sheets in raster scan.

  The registration of IDs can be sequentially increased by using the operation unit 113.

  In FIG. 16B, IDs A to C are registered, and in the section with ID “B”, “500” monochrome copy sheets and “500” color copies can be used. Further, in the section with ID “C”, “300” monochrome copies and “1000” color copies can be used.

  Similarly, reference numeral 1523 shows an example of a copy limit value table for each vector department, which is a limit value at the time of vector scanning of the copy function. This example shows a state in which the currently registered ID for each department and the number of usable monochrome copies and color copies by vector scanning for each department are registered as limit values.

  Here, at the present time, in the section whose ID is “A”, it is possible to use up to “1000” monochrome copy sheets and “1000” color copy sheets in vector scan. Further, in the category “B”, the number of monochrome copies “500” and the color copy “500” can be used. Furthermore, in the section with the ID “C”, “300” monochrome copies and “1000” color copies can be used.

  Although not shown in FIG. 16B, the counter table for each function other than the copy function is configured similarly.

  Next, the specific operation of the department management counter will be described below.

  Here, the management of the copy function in the vector scan and the count processing of the number of times of use will be described as an example, but the same operation is performed in the raster scan, other transmission functions, and the print function.

  The departmental copy counter table 1513 for the vector scan is a database that can be read / written from the data processing unit 115 as described above, and is a copy of the currently registered department ID and monochrome copy used for each department. The number of copies and the number of color copies used for each department are registered.

  At the same time, the departmental copy limit value table 1523 for vector scanning is a database that can be read / written from the data processing unit 115 as described above, and is currently available for each department ID and department. The number of copies of simple monochrome copies and the number of usable color copies for each department are registered.

  When the operator uses the MFP 100 and uses a vector scan copy, the ID needs to be registered in the departmental copy counter table 1513 for the vector scan. The same applies to the case of using a raster scan copy, and the same applies to other functions.

  When operating the copy function in the vector scan, the MFP 100 does not accept the copy operation instruction unless one of the IDs registered in the departmental copy counter table 1513 for the vector scan is input from the operation unit 113. . When an ID registered in the departmental copy counter table 1513 for vector scan is input to the operation unit 113, it is checked whether the vector scan copy operation with that ID is possible.

  The value of the departmental copy counter table 1513 for the vector scan is compared with the value of the departmental limit value table 1523 for the vector scan, and the value of the departmental copy counter table 1513 for the vector scan of the input ID is the vector scan. If the value is lower than the value in the departmental limit value table 1523 for the above, the operation is permitted and the vector scan copy operation can be accepted.

  In the case of the example of the departmental copy counter table 1513 in FIG. 16A and the departmental limit value table 1523 in FIG. 16B, the monochrome ID and color copying operations are permitted for the ID “A” department, but the “B” department is monochrome. Both copy and color copy operations are not permitted. In the “C” section, monochrome copying is not permitted, but color copying is permitted.

  When the operation permission is received and the copy operation is performed, the number of sheets ejected from the printing unit 112 is notified to the data processing unit 115, so the data processing unit 115 stores the number of copies in the departmental copy counter table 1513 for vector scanning. Update the value.

  When the operation is impossible, the fact that the operation cannot be executed is displayed on the display unit 116 or the operation of the operation unit 113 is not accepted, thereby notifying that the operation is impossible.

  Next, an objectization counter table, which is a counter table for vectorization configured as a part of the counter table for vector scanning, will be described with reference to FIG. An objectization limit value table capable of managing a limit value of the number of times of objectization for this objectification counter table will be described with reference to FIG. 17B.

  FIG. 17A is a diagram illustrating an example of the objectization counter table according to the embodiment of this invention. FIG. 17B is a diagram showing an example of the objectization limit value table according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

  In FIGS. 17A and 17B, an object counter table for an object obtained by executing a vector scan when the transmission function is used will be described as an example. However, other functions (such as a copy function and a save function) will be described. A similar object counter table is configured for the objects obtained by executing the vector scan at the time of use.

By configuring this objectization counter table, for example, even when scanning a blank document that does not have an object or a document that is not divided into objects by BS processing, the scanned image data can be charged. In the objectization counter table 2201 in FIG. 17A and the objectization limit value table 2202 in FIG. 17B, depending on the type of object generated by the BS processing described above, here, for each Text, Graphic, Table, and Image attribute, A management form in which the number of generations is counted and managed is shown.

  In particular, in the objectization limit value table 2202 in FIG. 17B, the “A” department permits objectification of all attributes of objects generated after vectorization processing (any limit value other than 0 is set). It is).

  In the “B” department, only text and image attributes are allowed to be converted into objects (limit values of 0 are set for the graphic and table attributes. Is not allowed). That is, even if a vector scan is performed, in the case of the “B” department, an object having the Graphic and Table attributes is not generated, but is treated as an Image, and vectorized data is not provided.

  Further, in the “C” section, even if a vector scan is performed, the vectorization process is not performed and the image data is generated.

  In this way, unlike the case of managing one or two vector scans by managing whether or not an object generated by a vector scan for each department is managed, text vectorization is executed in a certain department. Even in the case of graphic vectorization, since the vectorization of Graphic has not yet reached the limit value, it is possible to perform flexible operation management such that vector scanning becomes possible. Therefore, flexible management can be performed for each operator, department, and object.

  In addition, since it is possible to manage for each attribute of the generated object, there is a difference in charge between the graphic vector with higher added value and the image attribute object with lower added value. Even when collecting, it is possible to construct a system that can be freely adapted to the accounting system.

  The limit values in the various limit value tables can be registered in advance by the administrator via the operation unit 113 as appropriate. In addition, the charge table for calculating the charge amount is configured corresponding to, for example, various counter tables, and charge unit price information indicating a charge unit price collected for each use is set for each function. Yes. Further, unit price information corresponding to each attribute type and object size is set for each object.

  As described above, according to the first embodiment, any paper can be obtained by installing in the MFP 100 a vector scan that generates image data in a reusable form by vectorizing each object when a document is read. It is possible to provide an image processing system that can handle a document as a reusable electronic file without losing information on a paper document.

  In addition, since each raster scan and vector scan can be managed for each function, the limit value of the number of times of use of raster scan and vector scan can be changed and managed for each department. It is possible to construct a flexible billing system according to the purpose of use in the usage environment, such as when charging for scanning is changed and charges are collected.

  Further, the operation unit 113 and the display unit 116 can operate and display a charge related to vectorization. As a result, the user (operator) can determine whether or not to execute the vectorization of the object for each attribute in the document after confirming the charge generated for the vectorization.

  In the first embodiment, the example in which the various functions are executed from the operation unit 113 and the display unit 116 has been described. However, the various functions are executed from the external terminal such as the client PC 102 via the network 104 or the LAN 107. Is also possible. Moreover, it is good also as a structure which improved the security property by authenticating ID and a password at the time of registration of the said various tables, search of registration content, and browsing.

  In this way, the vector scan management form is configured independently of the raster scan management, and the vector scan-specific object attributes are used as management targets, and the vectorization has the added value of reuse. It is possible to provide a system capable of freely constructing a process management.

<Embodiment 2>
In the first embodiment, an objectization (vectorization) fee is displayed during vector scanning. However, depending on the content of a document to be processed, the number of objects generated in one document may be enormous. Conceivable. If the vectorization of all the objects obtained from such a manuscript is mistakenly executed, there is a possibility that an expensive charge is generated.

  Therefore, in the second embodiment, in addition to the configuration of the first embodiment, a configuration will be described in which an upper limit of the objectization fee for one document can be set to prevent erroneous and expensive billing.

  Since the system configuration (hardware configuration and functional configuration) of the second embodiment can use the same configuration as that of the first embodiment, the detailed configuration of the system is omitted here.

  Next, an overview of the entire processing executed by the image processing system according to the second embodiment will be described with reference to FIG.

  18 is a flowchart showing an overview of the entire processing executed in the image processing system according to the second embodiment of the present invention.

  In FIG. 18, steps S2120 to S2131 correspond to steps S120 to S131 of FIG.

  In step S2132, a consideration for executing the vectorization process on the processing result in step S2121 is calculated with reference to the management counter 117, and whether or not the calculated consideration exceeds a predetermined value (upper limit value). Determine. If the predetermined value has not been exceeded (YES in step S2132), the processing from step S2122 is executed. On the other hand, if it exceeds the predetermined value (NO in step S2132), the process proceeds to step S2133.

  The predetermined value (upper limit value) can be registered in advance by the administrator via the operation unit 113 as a part of the various limit value tables described in the first embodiment.

  In step S2133, a warning (warning display) indicating that the upper limit has been exceeded is displayed on the display unit 116. Instead of displaying the warning display on the display unit 116, a warning sound may be output to a sound output unit (not shown). Thereafter, in step S2134, it is determined whether there is an instruction to continue the operation. If there is no instruction to continue the operation (NO in step S2134), the process ends. On the other hand, if there is an instruction to continue the operation (YES in step S2134), the flow advances to step S2135.

  In step S 2135, the operation screen 10003 in FIG. 14D is displayed on the display unit 116 on the display unit 116. In step S2136, based on an operation on the object attribute key 10031 on the operation screen 10003 by the user (operator), a change of the processing target and the attribute of the object (selection / non-selection of the attribute) is accepted.

  Thereafter, the process returns to step S2132, and based on the changed attribute, the consideration for executing the vectorization process on the object having the selected attribute is calculated with reference to the management counter 117, and the calculated consideration is determined as a predetermined value. It is determined whether or not the value (upper limit) is exceeded. Then, based on the determination result, the processing after step S2122 or the processing after step S2133 is executed.

  As described above, according to the second embodiment, when the consideration when the vectorization process is performed on the object in the document exceeds the upper limit value, a warning is displayed, and thereafter, for each attribute. The operator is given an opportunity to instruct whether or not to execute the object vectorization process. Accordingly, it is possible to prevent an expensive charge from being generated depending on the content of the document, and it is possible to provide a vector scan environment more in line with the user's intention.

<Embodiment 3>
In the second embodiment, an upper limit value for executing vectorization processing is set for an object in a document, and a warning is displayed when the upper limit value is exceeded. However, the present invention is not limited to this. Absent. For example, when the vectorization process is executed, the number of objects that execute the vectorization process may be automatically adjusted so that the upper limit value is not exceeded.

  Further, as in the second embodiment, an adjustment mode in which an operator can arbitrarily adjust an object to be vectorized by outputting a warning, and an automatic adjustment mode in which the apparatus automatically adjusts an object to be vectorized And these modes may be arbitrarily switched by the operator.

  Furthermore, in the automatic adjustment mode, a priority may be set for the attribute of the object to be vectorized, and automatic adjustment may be realized based on the priority. For example, if the operator wants to vectorize characters as much as possible, the Text attribute object can be preferentially vectorized by setting the Text attribute to the first priority and the Text attribute.

  Although the embodiments have been described in detail above, the present invention can take an embodiment as, for example, a system, an apparatus, a method, a program, or a storage medium, and specifically includes a plurality of devices. The present invention may be applied to a system that is configured, or may be applied to an apparatus that includes a single device.

  In the present invention, a software program (in the embodiment, a program corresponding to the flowchart shown in the drawing) that realizes the functions of the above-described embodiment is directly or remotely supplied to the system or apparatus, and the computer of the system or apparatus Is also achieved by reading and executing the supplied program code.

  Accordingly, since the functions of the present invention are implemented by computer, the program code installed in the computer also implements the present invention. In other words, the present invention includes a computer program itself for realizing the functional processing of the present invention.

  In that case, as long as it has the function of a program, it may be in the form of object code, a program executed by an interpreter, script data supplied to the OS, or the like.

  As a recording medium for supplying the program, for example, floppy (registered trademark) disk, hard disk, optical disk, magneto-optical disk, MO, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW, magnetic tape, nonvolatile memory card ROM, DVD (DVD-ROM, DVD-R) and the like.

  As another program supply method, a client computer browser is used to connect to an Internet homepage, and the computer program of the present invention itself or a compressed file including an automatic installation function is downloaded from the homepage to a recording medium such as a hard disk. Can also be supplied. It can also be realized by dividing the program code constituting the program of the present invention into a plurality of files and downloading each file from a different homepage. That is, the present invention includes a WWW server that allows a plurality of users to download a program file for realizing the functional processing of the present invention on a computer.

  In addition, the program of the present invention is encrypted, stored in a storage medium such as a CD-ROM, distributed to users, and key information for decryption is downloaded from a homepage via the Internet to users who have cleared predetermined conditions. It is also possible to execute the encrypted program by using the key information and install the program on a computer.

  In addition to the functions of the above-described embodiments being realized by the computer executing the read program, the OS running on the computer based on an instruction of the program is a part of the actual processing. Alternatively, the functions of the above-described embodiment can be realized by performing all of them and performing the processing.

  Furthermore, after the program read from the recording medium is written to a memory provided in a function expansion board inserted into the computer or a function expansion unit connected to the computer, the function expansion board or The CPU or the like provided in the function expansion unit performs part or all of the actual processing, and the functions of the above-described embodiments are also realized by the processing.

1 is a block diagram illustrating a configuration of an image processing system according to a first embodiment of the present invention. 1 is a block diagram illustrating a detailed configuration of an MFP according to a first exemplary embodiment of the present invention. 3 is a flowchart showing an overview of the entire process executed by the image processing system according to the first embodiment of the present invention. It is a figure for demonstrating the concept of the block selection process of Embodiment 1 of this invention. It is a figure which shows an example of the block information of Embodiment 1 of this invention. It is a figure for demonstrating the vectorization process of Embodiment 1 of this invention. It is a figure for demonstrating the vectorization process of Embodiment 1 of this invention. It is a flowchart which shows the grouping process of the vector data of Embodiment 1 of this invention. It is a flowchart which shows the detail of a process of step S701 of Embodiment 1 of this invention. It is a figure which shows the data structure of DAOF of Embodiment 1 of this invention. It is a flowchart which shows the detail of a process of step S125 of Embodiment 1 of this invention. It is a flowchart which shows the detail of a process of step S8002 of Embodiment 1 of this invention. It is explanatory drawing of the document structure tree of Embodiment 1 of this invention. It is a figure which shows an example of the operation screen of Embodiment 1 of this invention. It is a figure which shows an example of the operation screen of Embodiment 1 of this invention. It is a figure which shows an example of the operation screen of Embodiment 1 of this invention. It is a figure which shows an example of the operation screen of Embodiment 1 of this invention. FIG. 6 is a diagram illustrating a configuration example of a department management counter provided in the MFP according to the first embodiment of the present invention. It is a figure which shows an example of the function counter table classified by department of Embodiment 1 of this invention. It is a figure which shows an example of the function limitation value table classified by department of Embodiment 1 of this invention. It is a figure which shows an example of the objectification counter table of Embodiment 1 of this invention. It is a figure which shows an example of the objectification limitation value table of Embodiment 1 of this invention. 3 is a flowchart showing an overview of the entire process executed by the image processing system according to the first embodiment of the present invention.

Explanation of symbols

100 MFP
101 Management PC
102 Client PC
103 Proxy Server 104 Network 105 Database 106 Document Management Server 107-109 LAN
110 Image input unit 111 Storage unit 112 Printing unit 113 Operation unit 114, 118 Network I / F
115 Data Processing Unit 116 Display Unit 117 Management Counter

Claims (13)

  1. An image processing apparatus that executes processing related to charging for the processing based on processing performed on an image,
    Input means for inputting raster image data;
    Dividing means for dividing the raster image data input by the input means into objects for each attribute;
    Display means for displaying the result of the division by the dividing means, and charge information indicating a price when a vectorization process is executed on the result of the division;
    A management unit that manages information indicating whether the vectorization process is possible or not according to a department in an organization in which a plurality of departments using the image processing apparatus exist for each attribute;
    Instruction means for instructing whether or not to execute vectorization processing on the division result displayed by the display means;
    Execution means for executing vectorization processing for converting the raster image data into vector data based on the instruction content of the instruction means ;
    An image processing apparatus that prohibits the vectorization processing by the execution unit according to information indicating whether the vectorization processing is possible for each attribute and department of the management unit .
  2. The image processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the input unit inputs an image read from an image reading unit that reads a document as the raster image data.
  3. The display means includes total fee information indicating a price when performing vectorization processing on all objects in the raster image data obtained as a result of the division, and vectors for each attribute in the raster image data. The image processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein fee information for each object indicating a price when executing the conversion processing is displayed.
  4. A calculation means for calculating the fee information;
    The said calculation means calculates the said charge information based on the charge unit price set for every kind of attribute of the object in the said raster image data obtained as the said division | segmentation result. Image processing device.
  5. A calculation means for calculating the fee information;
    The image processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the fee information is calculated based on a unit price set based on an area of an object in the raster image data obtained as the division result.
  6. A calculation means for calculating the fee information;
    2. The image processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein when the raster image data is not divided into objects by the dividing unit, the calculating unit calculates the fee information based on a unit price for that case.
  7. The image processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein when the fee information exceeds a predetermined value, the display unit displays warning information indicating the fact.
  8. The image processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the instruction unit can instruct whether or not to execute vectorization processing for each attribute of the object obtained as the division result displayed by the display unit.
  9. The image processing apparatus according to claim 8, wherein the display unit updates the fee information based on an instruction content by the instruction unit.
  10. The image processing apparatus according to claim 1, wherein the dividing unit divides the raster image data into objects for each attribute so as not to exceed the predetermined value.
  11. The image processing apparatus according to claim 10, further comprising a setting unit that sets an attribute priority order of an object to be divided by the dividing unit.
  12. A control method for an image processing apparatus that executes processing related to accounting for the processing based on processing performed on an image,
    An input process for inputting raster image data;
    A dividing step of dividing the raster image data input in the input step into objects for each attribute;
    A display step of displaying, on a display unit, a division result by the division step, and charge information indicating a price when a vectorization process is performed on the division result;
    A management step for managing, in a storage medium, information indicating whether or not the vectorization processing according to a department in an organization in which a plurality of departments using the image processing apparatus exist for each attribute;
    An instruction step for instructing whether or not to execute vectorization processing for the division result displayed on the display unit in the display step;
    An execution step of executing a vectorization process for converting the raster image data into vector data based on the instruction content of the instruction step ;
    An image processing apparatus comprising: the management step prohibiting the vectorization processing according to the execution step according to information indicating whether the vectorization processing is possible for each attribute managed by the storage medium and according to a department Control method.
  13. A program for causing a computer to execute control of an image processing apparatus that executes processing related to charging for the processing based on processing performed on an image,
    An input process for inputting raster image data;
    A dividing step of dividing the raster image data input in the input step into objects for each attribute;
    A display step of displaying, on a display unit, a division result by the division step, and charge information indicating a price when a vectorization process is performed on the division result;
    A management step for managing, in a storage medium, information indicating whether or not the vectorization processing according to a department in an organization in which a plurality of departments using the image processing apparatus exist for each attribute;
    An instruction step for instructing whether or not to execute vectorization processing on the division result displayed on the display unit in the display step;
    Based on the instruction content of the instruction step, causing the computer to execute an execution step of executing a vectorization process for converting the raster image data into vector data ,
    The program for prohibiting the vectorization processing by the execution step according to information indicating whether the vectorization processing is possible or not according to each attribute and department managed by the storage medium in the management step .
JP2004173003A 2004-06-10 2004-06-10 Image processing apparatus, control method therefor, and program Expired - Fee Related JP4541770B2 (en)

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JP2004173003A JP4541770B2 (en) 2004-06-10 2004-06-10 Image processing apparatus, control method therefor, and program
KR1020050049358A KR100747879B1 (en) 2004-06-10 2005-06-09 Image processing apparatus, control method therefor, and recording medium
CN201110306659.6A CN102413265B (en) 2004-06-10 2005-06-10 Image processing apparatus and control method thereof
US11/149,341 US7593120B2 (en) 2004-06-10 2005-06-10 Image processing apparatus, control method therefor, and program
CN 200510075181 CN1707502A (en) 2004-06-10 2005-06-10 Image processing apparatus and control method therefor,
EP05253608A EP1605348A3 (en) 2004-06-10 2005-06-10 Image processing apparatus control method therefor and program
US12/509,293 US8174724B2 (en) 2004-06-10 2009-07-24 Image processing apparatus, control method therefor, and program

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CN101211416B (en) 2006-12-26 2010-08-11 北京北大方正电子有限公司;北京大学;北大方正集团有限公司 Boundary creation method, system and production method during vector graph grating
JP5436195B2 (en) * 2009-12-22 2014-03-05 キヤノン株式会社 Image processing apparatus, control method, and program
JP6084009B2 (en) * 2012-11-07 2017-02-22 キヤノン株式会社 Image forming apparatus, printing control method, and program
CN103500439B (en) * 2013-09-03 2016-04-20 西安理工大学 Drawing method is beaten based on image processing techniques
JP6525641B2 (en) * 2015-03-02 2019-06-05 キヤノン株式会社 Information processing system, control method, and computer program
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