The CopiaFacts Graphical Cover Sheet Feature (also referred to as 'Graphical Customization') allows a fax or e-mail document to be customized at transmission time with variable graphical information being added to a 'watermark' base document. The variable information normally consists of text and expanded variables, but graphical elements such as a signature can also be used.

This feature can also be used for 'forms processing' where data is placed into fixed positions on a form.

The variable information can either be specified in a separate .GCT file (Graphical Customization Template) or can be embedded as a tag in a TIFF/F file, which is then given a special .GTT file extension (Graphical Template in TIFF) so that it can be recognized by CopiaFacts processes.

A GCT or GTT file may be used in one of three places:

On a $fax_cover, $onecall_cover or $retry_cover command to specify a customized fax cover sheet

On a $fax_filename command to specify a customized file to be faxed

On an $email_attach command to specify a file to be e-mailed, which will be created as a PDF file instead of a TIFF file, provided that a content-type of application/pdf is also given.

The GCT and GTT files are normally created using the FFVIEWER fax viewer, which allows variable fields to be positioned interactively. GCT files are normal text files and can also be created by custom programming. A utility is also available (to special order) for converting FDL and similar files created by other Fax software.

The Graphical Customization feature is implemented by the CF8GCOVER.DLL file which is loaded by the COPIAFACTS server engine. If you use functions which require this DLL, you are strongly recommended to add the gcover keyword to the $system_dlls configuration command. This ensures that COPIAFACTS cannot start up if the DLL is accidentally unavailable.  To create PDF files you also need FFPDF.DLL.

Note that all Windows fonts specified for graphical customization annotation fields must be present on each node running the CopiaFacts engine, and not just on the machine on which the GCT or GTT is designed.

The 'Watermark File'

The watermark file used in this process must currently be a faxable TIFF/F file. If there is no watermark file specified, variable items are applied to a blank page.

The watermark may also be specified at run-time by assigning a file name to the WATERMARK control variable. The Job Administration system allows a bureau client to fax in a document which will be used as a watermark for a previously specified Graphical Customization file. In this case it is the watermark that is variable and the applied items are in fixed positions.

Creating GCT and GTT Files

The principal method of creating GCT and GTT files is to use the 'file save wizard' in FFVIEWER. The 'annotations' created with FFVIEWER are saved in the GCT or GTT file, including watermark specifications consisting of the file pages being viewed in FFVIEWER. The annotations must NOT be applied to the document in FFVIEWER.

Each $watermark command in the GCT file or GTT tag results in a page output at fax or e-mail transmission time.

When you create a GCT file for use with a multiple-page variable (faxed-in) watermark file, FFVIEWER allows you to specify that if the faxed in file has more pages than there are watermark commands in the GCT, additional pages will appear in the output TIFF file (without customization). The default is that the output file contains only pages matching the pages specified in the GCT.

To use non-ASCII characters in annotations, you must specify UTF-8 encoding for GCT files on a $unicode command.

Working with Graphical Customization

The temporary files created at fax transmission time can take up a lot of disk space. For this reason, the default filenames used are made up from the line number and a sequence number so that they can be re-used. The default filename is LnnnnFxx.TIF, where nnnn is the line number and xx is a sequential number for a particular transmission, starting at 00 for a cover sheet and 01 for temporary files created from $fax_filename commands.

Some applications require cover sheets to be retained. The Keep Graphical Cover run-time option will cause generated cover sheets to have a filename based on the unique FS file number, which will therefore not be re-used. Temporary cover sheet files generated from $fax_filename commands cannot be retained unless you supply a post-process program to move them.

The default location for creating the temporary files is the directory containing the CopiaFacts queue directories (normally @FFBASE\CALLBACK). When the FS file is a Job item, the directory used is the TMP directory in the directory of the Job Instance property file JOBxxxxx.UJP. This TMP directory is created if it does not already exist. Both of these defaults are overridden by an environment variable COVERTMP which can specify a directory local to the CopiaFacts node for performance reasons.

When creating a PDF attachment file for customized e-mail transmissions, the attachment filename presented to the recipient will default to the LnnnnFxx.PDF filename that has been generated. To override this, use the special syntax described on the $email_attach command.