Welcome to the interform technical tips page.

The topics covered in this episode of technical tips are:

  1. Automatic merges.

  2. Dynamic images.

  3. Variables in HTML emails.

  4. Overlay selector test

  5. Low hex codes in 2D barcodes

  6. ZPL preview from the designer

  7. How to install a font.

  8. Chinese Support.


1. Automatic merges

Most InterForm400 customers know all about Auto Forms Control and how it works, but still I have created a very simple video for those that do not know the ‘magic’ behind the scenes: How Auto Forms Control is configured to merge incoming spooled files automatically:

InterForm400 - Automatic merges See video here - 03:23 min 


2. Dynamic images

If you want to include dynamic images in InterForm400 i.e. select a specific image among hundreds or even thousands of images, then you can insert &&IMG commands in the input spooled file prior to a merge. You can use any of the &&IMG *PATH commands to include an image in black/white output and &&IMG *COLOR to include images in color output. This video can help you get started:


InterForm400 -Dynamic images See video here - 02:27 min 


3. Variables in HTML emails

It is not that hard to make your html emails quite dynamic. You can refer to up to 99 variables in the html file (that describes the email contents) to include e.g. the invoice number, customer number and customer name. You can even refer to a dynamic image, if you use a variable as a part of the image path/name in the html file. The video below describes how easy it is – both with the email finish definition and with a simple email command:

InterForm400 - Variables in HTML emails See video here - 02:06 min 


4. Overlay selector test

If you have ever been in the situation, where you are puzzled, when you use the overlay selector in InterForm400, and you are unsure which overlays, that are actually included? If so, then I have some good news for you: The green screen designer can actually tell you, which overlay the selector is taking – for each page in the spooled file. Check out the video below:

InterForm400 - Overlay selector test See video here - 01:43 min 


5. Low hex codes in 2D barcodes

Some of our customer are using InterForm400 to produce 2D barcodes (Datamatrix, PDF417, and QR) with special low hex delimiters e.g. Hex 04. Such characters cannot be typed in with your keyboard. In InterForm400 you can do this with the hex code prefix character in the barcode font number. This video shows how to do it in InterForm400:

InterForm400 - Low hex codes in 2D barcodes See video here - 03:08 min 


6. ZPL preview from the designer

In InterForm you can preview a ZPL label print out on a physical printer without printing out anything.

The advantages compared to a normal test print are:

  • You save time.

  • You do not need to go to a physical printer and pick up the label

  • You save labels

  • You can test/preview a remote printer, that is placed in a different location – without asking a colleague to pick up the label, scan the result and send it to you

  • And still you know exactly how the printed result will look.

If you want to use ZPL preview in InterForm, then you should check out this video:

InterForm400 – ZPL preview via printer See video here - 03:44 min 


7. How to install a font

Your company probably have a corporate identity specification which e.g. includes a specification of which fonts, that can be used. So you might need to install a True Type Font to fit such a specification. This is covered below:

InterForm400 2018 version - Universal soft font wizard See video here - 03:18 min

You can also install for a specific symbol set in any old versions of InterForm400. This video covers the procedure for western codepages:


InterForm400 - Font install for western codepages See video here - 05:39 min 


8. Chinese Support

Support for Chinese is not a new thing for InterForm, but we see an increased interest for Chinese support. The video below is focused on support for the chinese DBCS codepages – not unicode support, but for unicode the procedure is almost the same. For unicode you just need to remember to enable unicode on the merge. The video below takes you through the steps to set this up:

InterForm400 – Chinese support See video here - 06:13 min 


The Modules


Embedded PDF
Embedded any file format into PDF files

Digital Signature / PDF Security
PDF encryption, password protection and digital signatures

InterExcel400
Easy spool file conversion to Excel for IBM i

InterWord400
Simple and easy mail merge for IBM i (OfficeVision replacement)

InterXML

XML generates synergy between you and your clients

WinPrint
Connect any printer to InterForm400

InterArchive400
Intelligent spool archiving for InterForm400

InterFax400 LIGHT
Distributes documents directly via fax (Batch)

InterFax400 PRO
Distributes documents directly via fax (Batch, Interactive & multiple fax lines)


LAST TIME

The topics covered in previous episode of technical tips are:

  1. InterForm400: The Toolshed jobs

  2. InterForm400: New behaviour

  3. InterForm400: The universal font wizard

  4. InterForm400: Interface with any archive solution with MRGTPLVAR

  5. InterForm400: Print/PDF in special code pages

  6. InterForm400: How to install

  7. InterForm400: Important PTF for 2018 versions

  8. InterForm400: How to save a spooled file

  9. InterForm400: How to export

  10. InterForm400: How to handle the license code on a mirrored machine (HA)

  11. InterForm400: How to optimize your label print

  12. InterForm400: Multi-Up – also called N-Up

  13. InterForm400: How to export resources

  14. InterForm400: How to save a spooled file

  15. Automotive Solution

  16. Upgrade on mirrored machines

  17. DB2 SQL Replicator problem

  18. Conditioned overlay is not triggered

  19. QR barcodes for Swiss invoices

  20. Watermarks

 


1. InterForm400 version 2018 – The Toolshed jobs

Something new in the 2018 versions of InterForm400 is the toolshed jobs inside the Auto Forms Control subsystem. You need to run the subsystem (and the toolshed jobs) for the PDF concat option (Advanced PDF module is also required), and for the color image install in the designer.

See video here - 01:00 min

 


2. InterForm400 version 2018 - New behaviour

With the 2018 versions of InterForm400, the New behaviour has been implemented for all overlay types. This is the default behaviour for a new overlay, and the way to use InterForm400 going forward. It makes rotations and reuse of suboverlays a lot easier. New behaviour is however not supported for IPL output (Intermec Printer Language), which you should avoid and use Intermec Direct Protocol instead.


See video here - 01:31 min


3. InterForm400 version 2018 - The universal font wizard

A new feature of the 2018 version of InterForm400 is what I like to call the universal font wizard. Support for as good as any codepage has been included in InterForm400 for many years, but now we have made it much more simple to setup the required fonts. This new wizard will setup everything you need, and still give a lot of flexibility. After using this wizard you just need to select the right codepage, when you do the merge in InterForm400.

See video here - 03:18 min


4. InterForm400 version 2018 - Interface with any archive solution with MRGTPLVAR

A new command, APF3812/MRGTPLVAT (Merge template with variables) is included in the 2018 versions of InterForm400. On the surface the small command may not look like much, but it can really make your life easier e.g. if you want to interface with an archive solution. A typical challenge for archiving is not only to produce a PDF file, but also to provide an index file for the archive. The requirements of the index file are set by the archive solution and it can be necessary to create it e.g. as an xml file or a text file in some special encoding, and the file need to be formatted in a particular way. But this is very each with the MRGTPLVAR command: It does a search and replace of variables in a pre-formatted template input file – hence the name of the command.

See video here - 02:16 min


5. InterForm400 - Print/PDF in special code pages

InterForm400 can print in any code page. If you want to print in special code page pages outside latin1 e.g. Cyrillic, Greek or even Chinese, then you need to install a soft font in InterForm400 (for that code page), and link it with the specific font number used. The easiest way is to use the Font wizard as described in the No3. above (The universal font wizard), but it is also possible to use the same font number for all the code pages, and just add an additional soft font for the specific code page and link it to the existing font number in Auto-download specifications. So in short: Do not create additional font numbers for each new code page, that is not necessary. Below a video shows how to add support for Cyrillic printing.

See video here - 03:59 min  


6. InterForm400 - How to install

It’s probably no secret how to install InterForm400. One way to restore the library from the SAVF3812 library is the RSTLIBPC.EXE file. But do you also know, that you can upload and restore any library from a save file (SAVLIB) with the same RSTLIBPC file? This video describes the complete install of InterForm400, that can be referenced to for new customers, but it also shows how the RSTLIPC function works.

See video here - 04:54 min


7. InterForm400 - Important PTF for 2018 versions

We have found an issue in the 2018 versions of InterForm400 concerning PDF file creation with PDF file naming definitions. In some very unusual setups, the PDF files are not created or given a wrong name. You can prevent this if you install this PTF:

http://download.interform400.com/shares/PTFs/APF5419.ZIP

The PTF file should be placed in the IFS inside /APF3812Home/PTFs and installed via the service menu in InterForm400.

You can also upgrade to the latest 2018 version (Version 2018M04 has been released, and it includes the PTF).


8. InterForm400 - How to save a spooled file

For support cases, we are often asked how a spooled file can be saved. From V5R4 that can be done via OS400, but it is much easier to save it in InterForm400. This video shows how that is done.

See video here - 01:23 min

 


9. InterForm400 - How to export

You can copy InterForm400 resources to another machine e.g. for support cases with the export/import facility. The procedure to export is described in the video below. Please notice, that you do not need to export all your resources, but it is easy to export only the referenced resources for e.g. an overlay or overlay selector.

See video here - 04:28 min


10. InterForm400: How to handle the license code on a mirrored machine (HA)

A question we are often asked : We are running InterForm400 on a mirrored (HA – High Availability) machine, so we need to know: Which object should we exclude from the mirroring, so that the two installations of InterForm400 can run with different license codes?
So the problem is: There are two machines, and they have different serial numbers, so they cannot share the same license key.
 
The answer is: You should not exclude any object in the APF3812 library from the mirroring. Instead you should insert both licenses on the source machine.

InterForm400: High Availability Mirroring license code

This video shows how easy it is to maintain license codes in a HA (High Availability) or Mirroring setup.
See video here - 03:56 min  


11. How to optimize your label print

Learn or refresh your knowledge of how to ensure the best quality of your label print output.
In collaboration with Zebra Technologies, we have previously published three short videos to help ensure you the best label print quality. The videos cover some of the most important considerations for setting up and optimizing your print output. 

Videos: 
1. How to improve label print quality See video here - 02:21 min     

2. Selecting the right label printer - See video here - 03:45 min  

3. Increasing label printer performance - See video here - 02:47 min   


12. InterForm400: Multi-Up – also called N-Up

In InterForm400, it is possible to place multiple input pages on a single output page. You can e.g. use Multi-Up=2 to place two input pages on each output page. That can e.g. be used, if you want to create a booklet with two A5 pages on each A4 output page. This video shows how easy it is to set up.

In this example we place 2 input pages on each output page. See video here - 02:10 min 


13. InterForm400: How to export resources

The export/import feature of InterForm400 is a great tool, when you want to include resources e.g. in a support ticket.

It can however be a problem for our support, either when some resources are missing, or if someone decides to export all resources in a huge export file for a simple support question. The export/Import feature is very flexible (you can e.g. rename resources in the export/import), and there a many options, so for some it might seem confusing. To help those I have created a video, that shows what to do, if you want to export an overlay with referenced images, font, soft fonts and auto download information – i.e. all that is needed to replicate an issue with an overlay. 

How to export resources. See video here - 04:28 min


14. InterForm400: How to save a spooled file

For support issues, we will often ask for a copy of the input spooled file. A text file or a screen shot will normally not be enough. It is possible to save a whole output queue, but the fastest way is normally to save the spooled file in InterForm400 as an .if1 stream file.

This video shows how to save a spooled file. See video here - 01:23 min.


15. Automotive Solution

MUST WATCH if you are in the automotive industry! 

A video highlighting how we can help automotive customers.


16. Upgrade on mirrored machines

HA/mirroring solutions are normally using journaling to replicate changes to the destination machine. If you are using the InterForm400 journal, APF3812/APFJRN, then you need to ensure, that journaling has stopped prior to an upgrade of InterForm400.

This video show how to ensure that: Click here to see the video here - 02:52 min 


17. DB2 SQL Replicator problem

During the upgrade of InterForm400 you might see an error message, CPF70ED with reference to a user exit program QDP4/QZSNDREP, when InterForm400 tries to delete the journal receivers. The exit program has been added to the DLTJRNRCV command by IBM DB2 SQL Replicator/Data propagator, but this video shows how to ignore the user exit program Click here to see the video here - 00:54 min


18. Conditioned overlay is not triggered

It has been mentioned that a conditioned overlay in InterForm400 is never called despite that the condition is true. The video below describes the reasons why a conditioned overlay may not be called even though the condition is true: Click here to see the video here - 03:37 min 


19. QR barcodes for Swiss invoices

In Switzerland it is required to include a special QR barcode that is exactly 46 mm wide/high with the Swiss flag in the middle. It is now possible to create such barcodes with the later official versions of InterForm400. The video below shows how easy it is: Click here to see the video here - 02:12 min 


20. Watermarks

In InterForm400 you can use both texts and black/white images as watermarks e.g. to mark a document as either an original or a copy. Check out the link for the full description in the video: Click here to see the video here - 01:42 min 



The Modules

Embedded PDF
Embedded any file format into PDF files

Digital Signature / PDF Security
PDF encryption, password protection and digital signatures

InterExcel400
Easy spool file conversion to Excel for IBM i

InterWord400
Simple and easy mail merge for IBM i (OfficeVision replacement)

InterXML

XML generates synergy between you and your clients

WinPrint
Connect any printer to InterForm400

InterArchive400
Intelligent spool archiving for InterForm400

InterFax400 LIGHT
Distributes documents directly via fax (Batch)

InterFax400 PRO
Distributes documents directly via fax (Batch, Interactive & multiple fax lines)