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Assembling documents

The assemble documents feature can be used to automatically construct new documents based on the rules set in the assembly configuration.

A user must have a license for a FileHold viewer level 2 in order to use the assemble documents feature. This feature is only available in the FileHold Desktop Application (FDA) or via the FileHold API. Any supported file types can be used to merge documents together; they do not have to belong to the same file type. The file types that are supported are:

docx, doc, docm, dot, dotm, dotx, rtf, txt, pdf, svg, emf, wmf, gif, cut, dds, dib, dicom, exif, exr, fax, g3, hdr, iff, ico, j2k, j2c, jb2, jbig2, jif, jfif, jng, jp2, jpeg, jpg, jpe, koa, lbm, mng, pbm, pcd, pct, pict, pic, pcx, pfm, pgm, psd, png, pnm, ppm, ras, rle, sgi, tga, targa, tiff, tif, wbmp, wap, wbm, xbm, xpm, 3fr, arw, bay, bmq, cap, cine, cr2, crw, cs1, dc2, dcr, drf, dsc, dng, erf, fff, hdr, ia, iiq, kc2, k25, kdc, mdc, mef, mos, mrw, nef, nrw, orf, pef, ptx, pxn, qtk, raf, raw, rdc, rw2, rw1, rwz, sr2, srf, srw, sti, xml, fopc, odt, ott, mobi, htm, html, mhtml, mht, xhtml, xht.

With the assemble documents feature you can:

  • Create standalone documents
  • Merge documents together
  • Append and prepend documents
  • Use converter templates to populate certain field information (similar to the workflow covert to PDF feature)
  • Output documents to PDF 1.5, PDF/A-1a, or PDF/A-1b
  • Order the documents for assembly
  • Rename the newly assembled document
  • Create new documents for the FileHold library
  • Check in as new version of an existing document
  • Create a temporary document for viewing
  • Apply PDF security options
  • View the assembled document in the FileHold viewer post-assembly
  • Initiate a workflow post-assembly
  • Initiate a Courier transmission post-assembly

There are cases where it may not be possible to create a fully compliant PDF/A document depending on the source document(s). Simple text documents and image files will normally convert without trouble, but if full compliance is required you should consider validating a sample of documents with a validation tool before converting a large number of documents.

Documents are placed in queue and assembled on the FileHold server. A scheduled task “FH process batch jobs” can control how often the batches are run. By default, the scheduled task runs every 10 minutes.

Renaming a document in "Do not merge" mode is allowed when only one input document was selected. If more than one document is selected, the document name and metadata for the assembled document is taken from the first document selected.

Renaming and ordering of the documents is allowed in “Merge all documents to one” mode. The metadata for the assembled document is taken from the first document in the document order list.

Due to the number of variables with the assemble documents feature, it is recommended that customers test the feature with their own documents in their FileHold environment. Note that larger number of documents or larger file sizes will take longer to assemble. See the Performance guidelines for more information.

Users can see their jobs in the Batch jobs report in the FileHold Desktop Application or in the Web Client > Administration reports > Batch jobs. See Batch jobs report for more information.

Once the job has completed, the user receives an “Assemble documents batch job ready” email with links to the batch job details or open the document in the viewer if the option was enabled in the job settings.

Assemble documents email notification

To assemble documents

  1. Select the documents that you want to assemble. They do not have to be the same file type.
  2. Right-click and select Publish As > Assemble to PDF.
  3. In the Input tab, select one of the following options:
  • Do not merge documents – This option is enabled if only one document is selected.
  • Merge all documents into one – This option is enabled if more than one document is selected.
  1. If the Merge all documents to one option was selected, click in the Order Documents field to set the order of the documents for the merging.
  • In the Order documents window, enter the output document name. Note that the newly assembled document copies the metadata from the first document in the list.
  • In the Order column, click in the row to set the order of the documents.
  • Click Close when done.

Assemble documents - Order documents window

  1. Click Next.
  2. In the Output tab, select one of the following options:
  • Create new document(s) – Click to select a library location for the document.
  • Create temporary document(s) for viewing – Opens the document in the FileHold viewer. Documents can be modified in the viewer prior to saving.
  • Check in as new version – To check the input documents as a new version, leave option as “Input document”. Alternatively, click to select a document from the Checked Out Documents list.
  1. In the Output file format field, select one of the following options:
  • PDF
  • PDF/A-1a
  • PDF/A-1b
  1. Click Next.
  2. In the Assembly options tab, enter the following options:
  • Append page(s) from template – Click to select a document from the library.
  • Prepend page(s) from template – Click to select a document from the library.
  • Process tags in input documents – Select the check box if the input documents contain tags that should be processed. Tags allow information to be inserted into a document. See Using Template Tags when Assembling Documents for more information.
  • Set the template opening tag delimiter – Enter the opening tag delimiter for the PDF converter template. By default, this is [[.
  • Set the template closing tag delimiter – Enter the closing tag delimiter for the PDF converter template. By default, this is ]].
  •  Set the template tag field delimiter – Enter the field delimiter. By default, this is |.
  1. Click Next.
  2. In the PDF options tab, select any of the following options:
  • Allow printing – Allows printing of the document. Enabled by default.
  • Allow high resolution printing – Allows high resolution printing. Enabled by default.
  • Allow changing the document – Allows changing the document. Disabled by default.
  • Allow content copying – Allows copying the content. Enabled by default.
  • All content accessibility enabled v Allow accessibility software to use the document contents. Enabled by default.
  • Allow document assembly – If this is disabled, inserting, deleting or rotating pages, or thumbnails is prohibited. Disabled by default.
  • Open password for main documents – Specifies the password required for opening the encrypted PDF document. This can be left blank.
  1. Click Next.
  2. In the Actions tab, select any of the following options:
  • Open finished document(s) in viewer – Select the check box to view the newly assembled documents in the FileHold viewer.
  • Initiate workflow – Select the workflow template name from the list to initiate a workflow post-assembly.
  • Initiate Courier transmission – Select the Courier template from the list to initiate a Courier transmission
  1. Click Next.
  2. In the Summary tab, review the selected options. Click Previous to change any of the settings.
  3. Click Assemble.
  4. A message “Assemble document(s) (job number) job has been successfully initiated appears. The job status, queued time, batch job name, and user name is displayed.
  5. To cancel the assemble job, click Cancel job.
  6. To pause the assemble job, click Pause job.
  7. To review the job settings, click Details.
  8. After the processing is complete, click Complete user actions to view the document in the FileHold viewer.
  9. To close the window, click Close.

To view the document assembly job

  1. Right-click on a document that was included in the PDF assembly and select Publish As > Open batch job.
  2. One of the following actions may occur:
  • If the batch processing has completed, the document will open in the viewer if the option was enabled in the job settings.
  • If the batch processing has not completed, the Batch job manager opens where you can cancel, pause, or view the details of the batch job.
  1. Click Close.

Performance Guidelines

  • With a small number of documents, a large number of pages does not significantly affect performance.
  • Assembling files with the .pdf extension takes less time than .docx. The need to convert files from .docx to .pdf extends the processing time (operations takes at least twice as long),
  • Assemble time increases with the number of files about twice for 20/10, 50/10, 100/10 (number of files/number of pages) documents. For 200/10 the time is significantly longer, the process becomes slower.
  • Creating a very large number of documents separately (using the ’do not merge’ option) takes longer than combining the same number of documents (using the ‘merge all’ option).
  • Turning on tag processing does not always increase the time needed to perform an operation.
  • Selecting the 'merge all documents' option for 500/10 (number of files/number of pages) will cause an error regardless of other settings ('tags processing enabled' or 'disabled') and the file format (.docx or .pdf)