Customize Font Display in AFP Documents Using Font Maps

AFP, IBM's Advanced Function Presentation format, is ideal for displaying and printing documents with varied embedded objects. The MO:DCA architecture is object-oriented, allowing many different types of content to be included such as images, fonts, text, and more.

AFP files can be an excellent solution for a company that needs to process large volumes of documents that use repetitive information. Using AFP document objects (PTOCA, IOCA), templates can be generated to reduce file size, which decreases the time needed to load each document. Companies are able to overlay the template onto documents containing variable data and process large amounts of information each day.

In an AFP document, the fonts and styles are defined as a font object (FOCA). One drawback to using an AFP overlay is that use of custom fonts or missing font information in either the template or data can distort the presentation of the document. This can create unusable documents or delays in your process until the file can be corrected. As a result, companies lose productivity and, potentially, significant revenue while trying to correct the documents.

To avoid these problems, if their imaging software supports it, companies can create an external font map that overrides the information in the font object, allowing specification of exact fonts for their documents and templates. Font maps ensure that documents display correctly and allow administrators to control the look of documents. AFP font maps are simple ASCII files that can be edited by users to define their own font definitions including font type, point size, color, and style. Custom font descriptions can also be incorporated into a viewing solution directly without the need to call an external file.

Incorporating the use of font maps with AFP files ensures that documents will render correctly, helping to minimize lost productivity.

Learn more about imaging and viewing solutions and the AFP file format.

You can also check out our Tech Tip on how RasterMaster can be utilized to customize font display with AFP font maps.