Extracts data from a document that contains complex or repeated elements ("sections"). In effect, a "section" defines a repeating document inside a document, with its own fields.

The following image shows an example of a document containing a group of "claims" sections:

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For the preceding example, you can configure Sensible to return an unprocessed_claims array, where each object in the array contains a claim_number, claim_date, claimant_last_name, and other fields. For more information, see Claims loss run example.

You can define "horizontal" section groups, as shown in the preceding image, or you can define "vertical" section groups ("direction":"vertical"), which use column layout detection rather than text matches to define sections.

Horizontal sections:

The following image shows horizontal sections. For more information, see the following Parameters section, and see Section nuances.

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Vertical sections:

The following image shows vertical sections. For more information, see the following Parameters section, and see Section nuances.

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Tip: To extract repeated vertical section groups, nest them in a parent section group. For an example, see Advanced: nested columns example.

Parameters

keyvaluedescription
id (required)stringSpecifies an ID for a group of sections to extract in the document area defined by the Range parameter. You can define an array of section groups, and you can nest sections inside of other sections.
range (required)objectSpecifies the document area from which to extract a group of sections. The Range parameter specifies both:
- a group of repeated sections in an area of the document
- the start and end of each repeated section.

horizontal sections: The sections group can span pages and nonrepeating text. For example, in the preceding image, an "unprocessed_claims" section group can span month headings.

vertical sections: The section group can span pages. By default, the group can't span text that breaks the column format.
For the Range object's parameters, see the following table.
sectionsSpecifies sections inside sections. Use this for complex sections that contain nested repeated elements, for example, a grid of tables. Each nested section searches for its range inside the parent section's range.
displayboolean. Default: trueSpecifies to display the start and end of each section in a section group as brackets overlaid on the rendered document in the Sensible app. Useful for troubleshooting.
fieldsarray of fieldsSpecifies fields to extract information that you expect to repeat in each section in the section group.
computed_fieldsarray of computed fieldsSpecifies to output computed fields to each section in the section group. The computed fields have access to each section's fields. To get access to and transform the output of fields that aren't in the section group's range, use the Copy To Section method.

Range parameters

See the following table for details about the Range object parameters:

keyvaluedescription
anchor (required)Anchor object, or array of Match objectsAnchor parameters have a special meaning in the context of sections, as follows:

start: Ignores anything in the document before this line. if undefined, Sensible searches for the section group starting at the beginning of the document

match (required):
    horizontal sections: Specifies both the start of the section group and the repeated starting line of each section. For example, in the preceding image, specify "Claim number". The section starts at the top boundary of this starting line, and the section's scope includes text to the left of this line. If the start of the section lacks an easy-to-match line, you can use the Require Stop and Offset Y parameters to start the section above or below the line matched by this parameter.
   vertical sections: Specifies the start of the section group. By default, Sensible recognizes columns as sections automatically. For more information, see Section nuances.

end: Ignores any anchor matches in the document after this line. For example, to extract solely September claims in the preceding image, specify "October".
externalRangeobjecthorizontal sections: (Advanced) Enables anchoring on text that's external to the section group range in the sections' field anchors. For example, use the external range with the Intersection method when sections lack internal anchoring candidates.
The external range defines a vertical range anywhere in the document. You can configure the external range to be static, or to repeat relative to each section.
Contains the following parameters:

anchor (required): An Anchor object. The external range starts at the top boundary of this starting line, and the range's scope includes text to the left of this line. If the start of the range lacks an easy-to-match line, you can use the Offset Y parameter to start the range above or below the line matched by this parameter.

anchorIsAbsolute: (default: false). If false, Sensible creates dynamic external ranges, each relative to a section start. For example, configure dynamic external ranges if you want to anchor each section's fields on variably positioned page headings. For more information, see Dynamic external range example. Sensible starts searching for dynamic external ranges in the lines succeeding the start of each section. To search for dynamic external ranges that precede each section, use "reverse":"true" on the external range's anchor.
If this option is set to true, Sensible creates one static external range in the document, searching from the start of the document. For an example of a static dynamic range, see Static external range example.

stop: (Match object) (required) A Match object defining the end of the external range. Sensible defines the Stop horizontal line by finding the top boundary of the stop line, then applies a default offset of 0.08" down the page.

offsetY: Specifies the number of inches to offset the range's top boundary from the anchor's Match parameter.

stopOffsetY: Specifies the number of inches to offset from the Stop parameter.


vertical sections: N/A, external range isn't allowed for vertical sections.
stopAnchor object, or array of Match objectshorizontal sections: Specifies the repeated end of the section after its anchor. For example, if you specify "Date of claim", then each section stops at a horizontal line below the bottom boundary of the stop line "Date of claim" (plus any offset you specify).
Sensible defines the Stop horizontal line by finding the top boundary of the stop line if found, or the top boundary of the next section's starting line, then applies a default offset of 0.08" down or up the page, respectively.
If you don't specify this parameter, each section stops at the top boundary of the next section's starting line (plus any offset). In this case, the last section in the group continues to the end of the document.

vertical sections: Specifies the end of the section group, and ignores lines that span multiple columns. If not specified, Sensible ends the section group at the first line that spans multiple columns. If the spanning lines occur mid-column, you can also configure the Line Filters parameter.
For more information, see Section nuances.
requireStopBoolean. default: falsehorizontal sections: If true, the Stop parameter is required, and the section ends when it matches the Stop parameter, instead of the default behavior of ending at the next starting line specified in the anchor's Match parameter.
Note: Configure this parameter for horizontal sections when the starting line repeats in the section, to avoid ending the section before it completes. You don't need to configure this parameter if multiple starting line matches lie on one horizontal line in the section. In such a case, Sensible ignores any zero-height sections generated by this horizontal line's matches. For more information, see Multiple anchors in section.

vertical sections: N/A, not allowed for vertical sections.
offsetYnumber in inchesSpecifies an offset from the anchor Match parameter. Positive values offset down the page, negative values offset up the page.

horizontal sections: Specifies the number of inches to offset the section's top boundary from the anchor Match parameter. By default a section starts at the top boundary of the matched line. If you specify Offset Y, the section starts at that top boundary plus the offset. For example, configure this when the section lacks an easy-to-match first line.

vertical sections: Specifies the number of inches to offset the section group's top boundary from the anchor Match parameter. For example, configure this when when you want to exclude non-columnar text from a vertical section.

stopOffsetYnumber in inchesSpecifies the number of inches to offset from the Stop parameter.

horizontal sections: Offsets each section's stop from the Stop horizontal line.

vertical sections: Offsets the section group's stop from the Stop horizontal line.

Range parameters for columns

Use "direction":"vertical" in the Range object to define a "vertical" sections group, where each section is a column-like layout. For example, use vertical sections to extract tables nested in tables, tables with row labels, or other complex text layouts.

The following table shows Range parameters specific to vertical sections.

keyvaluedescription
directionhorizontal, vertical. default: horizontalIf set to vertical, Sensible searches for columns in a sections group.
In detail, Sensible searches left-to-right for columns in the first-found document area defined by the Range parameter, rather than the default behavior of continuing to search for matches for the Range parameter. For an illustration of this behavior, see section nuances.
columnSelectionarray of index selections where each "index selection" can be:
- a column index or comma-delimited indices

- an array with two comma-delimited indices, meaning all the columns in the indices range

default: capture all columns ([])
Use to configure which columns to treat as sections. Sensible adds unselected columns to each section, for example so they can be used as anchor candidates. For an illustration, see Section nuances.
[[0,5]] selects 1st through 6th columns as sections. Sensible adds the lines from any other columns to each section.
[1,3,-1] selects 2nd, 4th, and the last columns. Use negative indices to offset from the last column.
[1,[3,7]] selects the 2nd column and the 4th through 8th columns.
[[0, -2]] selects 1st through 2nd-to-last columns.

ignoredColumnsinteger array.Removes unwanted columns from both the output and from the SenseML search scope. For example, this is useful if the columns contain text that interferes with anchoring on other columns.
minColumnGapnumber in inches. default: 0Configures column recognition by specifying the smallest allowed width of the gutters separating the columns. For an example, see Table grid example. Use when text in a column contains whitespace gaps such that Sensible can split one column into two. To avoid this split, set a minimum gap that's larger than the gaps inside the column. The default (0) means that zero-width vertical lines define the column boundaries.
lineFiltersMatch object, or array of Match objectsUse to ignore lines that span columns and break column recognition. For example, if the lines occur mid-column, use this parameter rather than a Stop parameter to exclude the lines. Sensible excludes the lines both from the output and from the SenseML search scope.
You don't need to configure this parameter if you specify a Stop parameter. For more information, see Section nuances.

Examples

See the following topics:

Notes

  • For details about vertical sections, see Section nuances.
  • See the Copy To Section computed field method to add globally applicable document information to sections.
  • See the Zip computed field for information about zipping sections together.