You may find it convenient to create HTML files containing variable names (for example list column names like `BCF5) which will be expanded from variables in your FS files for a broadcast. Using HTML format for this purpose allows paragraphs containing such variables to be automatically word-wrapped. The FXCVRT conversion pre-process setup in FFEXTERN allows you to select an option to expand variables in a local HTML file before it is converted to TIF. Variables are expanded only in the local HTML file itself, not in any files it is linked to.

This expansion has access only to variables defined in the FS file, in its designated UJP or USR file (from the $fax_user command), and from the configuration file. In addition the following variables are available as applicable:

FFBASE, FFUSER, FFJOBS, FFREQ, FFPO, FFLOG
CALLDATE*, CALLTIME*, DATE*, TIME*, DOW
FSNUM, JOB_ITEM, FFCJOB,
JOBOWNER_NAME, JOBOWNER_CODE, JOBTYPE_NAME, JOBTYPE_CODE
all environment variables

See Appendix D, System Variables and the Expansion of Variables section for more information on these variables.

Conditional text processing ($if, etc.) in these files is supported if you define a CONDITIONAL_TEXT variable. Expansion is not recursive, so you should avoid any variable names in the value parameter of a $var_def command. The defined e-mail variable expansion character (grave accent, `) should be used to precede variable names to be expanded.

The HTML file will be expanded to a temporary file in the local Windows temporary folder, which will be deleted after the conversion is complete, whether or not the conversion was successful. The deletion is skipped if FFTRACE is running with the debug checkbox enabled for FFEXTERN.

If you are using Internet Explorer for conversion and its print settings show a '&u' string to place the current URL on a header or footer line, this will expand to the filename of the temporary file. To place the name of your original HTML file (the one containing the variable names to be expanded) on the header or footer, specify the '&u' in a $web_header or $web_footer command in the user profile. FFEXTERN will then pre-expand the URL to the correct value before passing it to override the IE settings.