FFMERGE Action Line Syntax

Detailed syntax

The following items may appear on an  FFMERGE action line:

The fax number and/or e-mail address to which the document is to be sent.  For example or
When present, this should appear first on the action line. The fax number may contain special characters such as parentheses and hyphens which will be automatically stripped. You can specify using the FFM_PhoneDigits variable what characters are to be stripped in this way.  An e-mail address is identified by the presence of an '@' character.  If both fax number and e-mail address are present, they should be separated by a semi-colon, and the second item will only be used if the transmission to the first one fails.  Only a single FS file is generated when both items are present.

A TOSEND folder number, entered as for example .  This will be used to specify the folder to which the FS file is written.  It overrides a $fax_tosend command in the template file.

A Variable reference of the form .  This will be added to the generated FS file.

Attachment document numbers of the form .  The documents will be located in the document catalog and added to the FS for transmission.  Documents to be located using AT= must be located in a folder identified by the first $image_locn command (in the user profile specified in the template) for which the document name lies in its specified range.  Then the filename(s) must be formed (with leading zeros to 8 digits if all-numeric) from the (comma-separated) name(s) specified as AT=, with an extension of .1, .TIF, .GCT or .GTT. When the document destination is an e-mail address, .PDF files are added to this extension list. Only the first document found in the image locations is selected.

A task specifier such as .  This is used to select TASK1.FST from the \FFMERGE\TASKS folder and this template is used to control the task.  Task1 might be used for marketing fax applications and Task2 for e-mail applications: the different template files will set up the necessary variables for each operation.  To save space on the action line, you can use a single-letter filename for the template filename.

A destination pathname, entered as for example . This replaces all the above items: no FS file is written and no document is automatically transmitted.


The exact syntax of the FFMERGE action line will depend on what application you are using.  If your word processor distinguishes fieldname items in a document template by using angle brackets, for example, the top part of your template might appear as:

When this template has been processed by your mail-merge package, an individual document might then appear as:

Warning: if your merge may produce documents for which there is no <faxnumber> entry, you should consider adding an extra item on the action line. Without this, a missing fax number will create a missing action line, which will cause the document to be appended to the previous transmission which has a fax number.  For example:

If you wish to attach documents from your CopiaFacts document base to each transmission, you can create a template such as the following:

The example above will attach documents 8800 and 8821 after the expanded template document for each recipient. The numbers of the documents, if more than one, must be separated with commas and with no spaces, and there must be no spaces on either side of the "=" sign. The code at= may be either in uppercase or lowercase letters. FFMERGE will look for the documents in the directory or directories specified in your CopiaFacts user profile.

If you have a large broadcast you may wish to have a simple way to identify which documents have been transmitted. A simple way to do this is to place a "variable" name and value preceded by vr= on the FFMERGE action line. Typically this could be the key field or lastname field from your mail-merge data file. Using this feature will allow you to identify quickly any fax transmissions which fail to go through (and for which the FS file will have been moved to the CopiaFacts FAIL directory). The value should be enclosed in double quotes.

If you wish to alter the priority of individual items, you can also set a queue number by entering for example ts=7 on the action line. Normally the priority is set for the whole merge in the task template file.

The following is an example of how you could use these features in your template document to set a CopiaFacts variable called "name".  Normally you would use routeto as the variable name so that it shows up in the STATUS list.

After processing by your merge program, an individual document might appear as follows:

FFMERGE might create the following lines in the FS file for this transmission:

$fax_filename @FFBASE\TEMP\00001671.TIF

$fax_phone "6307788848"

$var_def NAME "HERSEE"

Note that the variable values from your data file are converted to upper case.