Why won't my TXT transcript work in TranscriptPad?

It may be an incompatible TXT file (e.g. converted from a PDF file), or it has extraneous information included in the TXT file (e.g. time codes in the margins), and therefore the page and line numbers cannot be parsed correctly.

The supported file format for TranscriptPad is ASCII TXT files, which are the files generated by court reporters and also the universally accepted standard format for desktop transcript review software. They must adhere to certain rules that are customary for court reporters/stenographers to follow when creating the TXT files:

  1. Must include integer-based page numbers (e.g. Page 1, 1, 0001) either: right justified; any justification with “p”, “p.”, “Page”, “PAGE” before it; left justified in a page:line format (e.g. 002:01)
  2. There should be 25 lines per page.
  3. Must include integer line numbers for all pages of the deposition. Line numbers are also required for title, appearances, exhibit list, and certificate pages.
  4. No special characters should be in the transcript (i.e. non-standard ASCII characters such as ö, ñ, é).
  5. Deponent or Court Reporter information (e.g. ABC Court Reporters (800) 555-1212) should not be present at the header or footer of each page. If this information is present, it can cause problems with the parsing and is distracting when reading the deposition.
  6. Question and Answer (Q/A) Pairs are required for all spoken portions of the transcript.
  7. One (or more) whitespace characters must occur between each line number and text.
  8. No table of content or index should be included in the file.
  9. No timestamps should be included in the margins.

Sometimes a court reporter may ask if you prefer the transcript printed, or saved as a PDF or Word file, but these file types are not true transcript files and are not supported by TranscriptPad. A printed file that has been scanned to PDF is also not compatible as it will merely be a picture, or image, of your transcript and will not be searchable or give you the ability to make designations based on page/line information even if it has been OCR'd. Also, converting a PDF, Word, WordPerfect, or RTF file to TXT is not a true transcript file and is not supported.

If you cannot obtain the TXT file, a workaround would be to obtain what court reporters refer to as an "E-Transcript" or "E-Trans" or ".PTX" file. These are all the same proprietary file type owned by Thomson Reuters. If you can open a .PTX file on your desktop PC computer you probably have the E-Transcript Viewer installed, so you can select File > Save As > Transcript > ASCII… and choose Text File (*.txt) in the "Save as type:", and Amicus in the "Transcript Style:" drop down lists. The resulting file can be opened in TranscriptPad. If you do not have the E-Transcript Viewer installed, you can download the E-Transcript Viewer for free here (it is only available for the PC): http://store.westlaw.com/software/ebundle/viewer/default.aspx