AFP docs are created with the IBM Advanced Function Presentation Printer (AFP) Driver, which is a printer driver designed to produce AFP output from Microsoft Windows applications.
AFP docs make it possible to print PC documents on high-speed AFP system printers, produce electronic forms using your favorite PC application, and even create signatures and logos from existing or newly-scanned sources.
AFP docs can be created on a PC with Microsoft Windows installed. Creating AFP docs is as simple as printing.
AFP docs are categorized by output type as document, page segment, medium overlay, and overlay.
• AFP documents
Using the AFP Printer, you can send your PC documents, such as Microsoft Word document, Microsoft Excel document et al, for printing on a high-speed AS/400 AFP system printer instead of overloading your desktop PC printer.
• Page segments
Page segments are collections of predefined data that can be merged with other data on a page when the page is printed. They generally are used to print signatures or logos. Page segments may contain either IM images, IO images, vector graphics, and, with some limitations, pre-composed text.
IM images are supported on all AFP Advanced Function Presentation printers. An IM image object specifies the content of an uncompressed raster image and its placement on a page. It is resolution and orientation. However, when printed on a printer of a different resolution from the image, if the printer supports IO images, the IM image is converted to IO image and scaled to the printer's resolution. This is done for most 300-dpi printers when 240-dpi images are used.
IO images are supported only on the newer AFP Advanced Function Presentation printers. An IO image object (also known as IOCA), also specifies the content of a raster image. However, the image is resolution independent and can be either uncompressed or compressed with one of the following compression algorithms: IBM MRR, RL4, ABIC, G3MR (CCITT T.4 G3) and G4 MRR (CCITT T.6 G4). If IO images are used for printers that do not support them, the images will be scaled to the printer's resolution, if necessary, and converted to an IM image at print time.
Graphics are supported on only the newer AFP Advanced Function Presentation printers. They are not supported on old printers. A graphic object specifies the content of a vector graphic and it, too, is resolution independent.
If you already have your business logos or signatures in PC format, you can include these in overlays, or perhaps create them as a separate resource, i.e. an AFP page segment. Captured at a PC-attached scanner, they can be imported into a PC application and then “printed” as a page segment.
• Overlays and Medium Overlays
An overlay may be either a medium overlay or a page overlay (page overlay is usually called overlay). Not all printers can support page overlays electronic forms.
The most common overlay is the medium overlay, which can be used to print same overlay on every page of data, print different overlays electronic forms on different copies of the same page, or print different overlays electronic forms on front and back of duplex page. It's a type of overlay that is called out in a form definition to be included on one or more pages of a document when it prints.
A page overlay is used to print different overlays electronic forms on different pages of a job, and/or print same overlay at different locations on different pages.