Bates numbering is a numbering system used by lawyers to identify documents. A Bates number has two components:
- A prefix which identifies the set of documents, such as “DD” for defendant’s discovery.
- A zero prefixed string, traditionally 4 digits in length such as 0090
This post outlines a scheme for attaching Bates numbers to individual documents in DT and two scripts for implementing it. The first script applies “virtual” Bates numbers, in essence applying the Bates numbering as metadata to the document, and the second script modifies the PDF by imprinting the Bates numbers sequentially onto the PDF.
A bates number in DT is a prefix of any length and a number of any length.The following would all be examples of acceptable number formats:
A000030, WER0078, 2E9500
This number is inserted as the first part of a spotlight comment and terminated with the “" character. The "” character does not form part of the Bates number but serves simple as a marker between the Bates number and the remainder of the spotlight comment
To manually apply a Bates number to a document, click in the spotlight comment column (if its visible) or open the the info pane and enter the Bates number so that it looks something like this:
“A0100_The text of the spotlight comment”
Applying Bates numbers in batches
Select all the documents that have to be Bates numbered, sorted in the order the Bates numbers are to be applied, such as by name or date.
Run the script which can be downloaded here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/wyezvrzmp9p1emb/Virtual%20Bates%20Numbering.scpt.zip?dl=0
Enter the Bates number into the dialog box and click ok.
The script will then sequentially apply the Bates number to each document. Thus, using the example above, the first document would have the Bates number A0100 in the spotlight comment field. If the first document has 10 pages then the second document will have a Bates number of A0110 and so on. The script will retain any existing spotlight comments.
When the Bates numbering has been applied and checked, for example against an index of the documents, the Bates number can be imprinted onto the documents.
Imprinting the Bates number onto a pdf
(This script requires that you have PDFPen Pro installed. It works by passing off each document in turn to be imprinted by PDFPen and resaving the document into DT)
- Select the documents to be imprinted. Each document must have a Bates number in the spotlight comment field or it will be ignored.
- Run the script which can be downloaded here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/e471z9prp4lti2y/Imprint%20Bates%20Numbering%20onto%20pdf.scptd.zip?dl=0
The script will give you a dialog box allowing you to choose the position of the imprint, the colours and the size of the font.
When the script has been completed (which may take a while depending on the number and length of the documents), each page of each document will be imprinted with a sequential Bates number.
Support in other scripts
This Bates numbering scheme is supported in a number of other scripts.
The Annotation Pane will add the Bates number of the referenced page in the source document to the spotlight comment of the annotation document.
This spreadsheet will separate out the Bates number and spotlight comments as separate columns which is useful for the production of indexes.
Citations exported to Omnioutliner will contain the Bates number as part of the citation format