Use care in handling and mailing OCR forms and documents. Dirt or damage can either cause a character to be misread as incorrect data sent to the computer or, more likely, cause the document to be rejected by the scanner. Forms should be stored in a clean, dry place and kept in a flat position to avoid damaging the edges. Avoid fingerprints on the documents, and remove alignment tabs and carbons carefully to avoid smudging the characters to be scanned.
In all cases, airmail OCR data input documents at the earliest opportunity under a letter of transmittal. Do not use certified mail, as this would slow down the process. Submit documents not later than the day following the day of occurrence of the reported events, provided operational circumstances permit. Assemble the transmittal with the documents flat and face up with the transmittal letter on top. Use special reinforced mailing envelopes to prevent folding or otherwise damaging the contents.
More than one transmittal may be mailed in the same envelope, provided the documents are not so crowded as to damage them. Do not staple, clip, bind, tie, or otherwise fasten the documents together. Never transmit a document that has been torn, damaged on the edge, creased, folded, smudged, stained, or erased, or that contain staple holes or editing pen or pencil marks.
You cannot erase on OCR documents, nor should the correcting feature built into many typewriters be used on them. Instead, special delete symbols, described below, are used for correcting errors if there is room and the nature of the document permits. Do not hesitate to use this correction where appropriate; it is expeditious and economical, saving time and expensive OCR forms. Never make a document uncorrectable by circling or otherwise marking an error. Possibly, you can use the normal correction techniques, and the document will not have to be retyped. When one is using delete symbols on previously typed documents, careful alignment with the original typing is essential for scanner readability.
The Christmas tree symbol and the blob symbol are both used as character delete symbols. Either of them, when typed over the character to be deleted, deletes both the character and the space the character occupied. As many character deletes may be used in a block as will fit into it. Such corrections are the only strikeovers permitted on OCR typing. The character delete may be used on any OCR document.
The chair is the block delete symbol. It may be typed any place in the block where there is a space; the scanner will read the block as a blank. The block delete is not used on documents whose copies are filed as service record pages, since such corrections may not be readily apparent to record users.
The hook and the elongated hyphen are both used as line delete symbols. The hook is usually typed at the end of the line; but if there is not space at the end of the line, it may be used anyplace on the line where there is a space. The elongated hyphen is typed over the first three characters or spaces in a line. Either symbol deletes the entire line of information. If the hook appears in any block of a line divided by one or more block separators, the scanner will read the entire line as blank. Do not use the line delete on service record pages.
Documents that are lost or returned for correction because of typing errors, unidentifiable characters, incorrect format, invalid entries, or form damage are corrected or retyped as necessary and resubmitted promptly. If the original is available and the erroneous document can be corrected by adding or deleting entries, gather all locally available copies of the document and enter the correct information. Otherwise, the erroneous or lost document must be retyped. Whenever a document is corrected by retyping, recover and destroy all available copies of the erroneous document.
If a document that has been transmitted to NMPC or NAVFINCEN is subsequently corrected or retyped, the corrected document is annotated in the middle of the bottom margin as a corrected copy with an indication in five digits of the three-figure Julian date and the two-figure transmittal number of the original transmittal.