Automatic Bates Numbering Machines: What are the Options for My Legal Office?

Bates Stamping on Office Machine

Bonus: Download Step-by-Step Instructions for Setting up Your Existing Machine

Bates Numbering (also called Bates Stamping) is used in the legal industry as a method to label and identify legal documents, for easy identification and retrieval. Nearly all American law firms use Bates numbering during the discovery phase of litigation, where a large number of documents need to be referenced and shared. Applying Bates numbering to your legal documents is now easier than ever as office hardware and software evolves to fit the needs of the modern workforce.

Click here to download instructions that detail how to setup automatic Bates numbering on your office machine!

History of Bates Numbering

Bates Numbering is named after Edwin G. Bates, who invented the Bates Automatic Numbering Machine in the late 19th century. Each time the Bates machine was pressed down onto a sheet of paper, a rotating, numbering, wheel was moved incrementally. The original Bates machine numbered in a four-digit sequence, ranging from 0000 to 9999. For example, page 178 of a document would be numbered as 0178. Courts and law firms quickly adopted this system.

What is Automatic Bates Numbering Today?

Today, Bates numbering consists of assigning a unique identifier to each page of a document, which may be numeric, or it may contain a combination of letters and numbers (alphanumeric). A dedicated machine is no longer required, as multifunctional devices and software solutions can be used to properly to mark both paper and digital images.

Bates Numbering Machines for Your Office

When dealing with copying paper documents, our Canon and Ricoh lines of MFPs allow law firms to apply Bates numbering with customizable alphanumeric values, including leading zeroes, and in several different positions on the page. This functionality is available on smaller office devices through their production machines. Profiles can even be setup to quickly recall commonly used stamping conventions. We also offer Nuance’s eCopy solutions, which allow our clients to apply Bates numbers while scanning paper documents to electronic file formats, such as a PDF.

Automatic Bates Numbering Software

For existing electronic files, Advance offers several Nuance Software products, such as PDF Pro Office and Personal Paperless Document Manager, which can apply Bates numbering conventions, without even requiring the file to be opened. Further benefits include numbering several different documents sequentially in one easy step, and only numbering a specific page range of a document.

How to Setup Bates Numbering on My Machine

Now that you know your options, it’s time to setup Bates numbering on your office’s machine! Click the button below for step-by-step instructions for how to setup Bates numbering on your Canon or Ricoh device.

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