Report:FreePatentsOnline/Viewing Results/Viewing Patent Drawings
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Viewing Patent Drawings
Patent drawings are only available by viewing the PDF version of the patent document, which can either be accessed directly from the hit list or the individual record view. Occasionally, representative images are present in the individual record view, but they are mostly absent. No drawing mosaics are available.
PDF document images open in an embedded Adobe Acrobat reader via the user’s browser. These images are fully scrollable, and are not artificially segmented into pages that the user must arrow through, as in some other services. The document images are not OCRed and therefore cannot be searched. The user can also save the PDF to his or her local drive from this in browser reader.
For more information on image availability and other coverage, see the Data Coverage Summary section.
The lack of representative or front page images when viewing a hit list or individual records is a hindrance for searchers. Mechanical prior art searching specifically is image intensive, so the lack of ability to see any images outside of a separate PDF link slows down workflow. In addition, the PDFs are not bookmarked or searchable, as in some other search services. However, despite these drawbacks, the presence of fully scrollable and downloadable PDF versions of every file is still a welcome addition.