If you need help with any of the techniques described below, feel free to contact our support team.

Does CoolSpools handle forms overlays?

People can mean several things when they use the term “forms overlay”. Whatever you mean, the answer is almost certainly “yes”.

Overlay objects

If by “overlay”, you mean an overlay object of object type *OVL, then yes, CoolSpools can handle overlays.

The contents of an overlay object will be included in the output you create, unless you tell CoolSpools to ignore data from an overlay by specifying TEXT(*IGNOVLDTA).

If you’re outputting to PDF or HTML formats, this includes items such as images, line and box graphics and barcodes. If you’re outputting to other formats, such as Excel or text, then only the text contents of the overlay are included.

Note that the same applies to page segments (object type *PAGSEG).

If you don’t currently use an overlay or page segment, but would like to, there are instructions for creating overlays and page segments here. Note that the technique described uses only software you can download for free or that you already have (e.g. MS Word).

However, before changing your application to use an overlay, consider whether it would be simpler (and more effective) to include one or more images in your PDF when you create it. See this FAQ answer for further details.

Preprinted forms, watermarks and backgrounds

If your application does not use an overlay object, but prints on preprinted stationery, and you need to see that form appear in the PDFs you create, see this FAQ answer on how to do that.

Forms software

If you use forms software such as Formsprint to add a form to your spooled file, then the way this normally works is that it transforms your original *SCS spooled file into a *USERASCII spooled file containing an HP PCL data stream.

The good news is that, unlike many other similar products, CoolSpools supports the conversion of *USERASCII spooled files. So, to see your form in the PDFs you create, just convert the spooled file that is output by the forms software, rather than the spooled file you input into the forms software.