Converting Documents for Faxing

The CopiaFacts optional Document Converter feature can convert a number of document formats to fax format prior to transmission. It allows documents such as Microsoft Word files to be specified directly as outbound fax or e-mail items (or selected as fax-on-demand documents).

Historically, CopiaFacts has defaulted to the use of a specialist print driver to create faxable TIF files by automating 'printing' by the selected application (for example Word or Adobe Reader).  This remains the default: however for all new installations the recommended override options shown in the list of supported formats are applied by the initial server configurator (SERCONF).  These conversion options no longer require the installation of a printer driver, but in most cases need an external application to perform the conversion.

Any FS files referencing supported formats for conversion are placed by CopiaFacts into the CALLBACK\PREPROC directory, where they are processed by one or more instances of FFEXTERN using the FXCVRT operation. Each copy of FFEXTERN must run on a different machine, on which must also reside the application(s) required to process the documents (e.g Microsoft Word). You can set up different instances of FFEXTERN to process different document types, but each must be capable of processing all the document types which can appear together in a single FS file. So if you set up one instance to process Microsoft Office conversions on one machine, and another instance to process PDFs on another machine, you will not be able to process successfully an FS file which contains both Office and PDF files on different $fax_filename lines. To do this you would need to support both types of document in each of one or more machines running FFEXTERN.

To cater for a large number of supported file types, operating systems and applications, a number of conversion options are available. These are specified by means of the $convert_options command in either a user profile or an individual FS file. Note that applications which correspond to a selected option must actually be installed; if not, the conversion will usually fail. Additional notes for specific applications appear below.

Individual conversion operations can be carried out using CVSINGLE either directly or in a command file. No USR or FS file is involved in these conversions, but command-line options are available which correspond to most of the above convert options.  CVSINGLE is also required to perform some of the conversions done in FFEXTERN, where it is necessary to perform the conversion in a standalone executable.

FXCVRT can also pre-download documents from the Internet, using FTP or HTTP transfer.  This allows documents name to be specified as a standard URL.

Details of the Document Converter feature appear in the following sections:

Document Converter Checklist
Supported Document Formats
Installing the Printer Drivers
Setting up FFEXTERN for Conversion
Specifying Documents for Conversion,
Using Microsoft Office
Using Acrobat/Adobe Reader
Using the Internal PDF Converter
Using Ghostscript
Using StarOffice and Open/Libre Office
Using Internet Explorer
Variable-expansion in HTML files.

There is also a set of topics describing Document Converter Internals for users who need to be fully aware of all the processing steps.