“You can’t get in here” – or: Image check in DOCUFY COSIMA

“You can’t get in here” – or: Image check in DOCUFY COSIMA

We implemented this “doorman mentality” in DOCUFY COSIMA as part of the “image check” in a specific customer project. Our customer has the requirement to only allow graphics and images in the CCMS that meet certain quality criteria. DOCUFY COSIMA therefore automatically checks for the criteria colour space, resolution, and pixel size during import. Only if the files pass this image check are they imported and can be used. This ensures that the high quality requirements for print and online use are met right from the start and are maintained throughout the entire process chain.

Graphic import in COSIMA standard

Normally, COSIMA acts very flexibly when it comes to the use of graphics and illustrations. Any graphic file can be created as a graphic object in COSIMA, and the COSIMA server automatically generates the necessary variants for print or online formats. Users control how the file is to be handled at the respective reference point via attributes on the graphic reference. Typically, the PDF layout distinguishes between the display formats “margin” (margin column), “column” (text column) or “page” (full page width). Users select an image position and the stylesheet of the respective output section takes care of the best possible display of the graphic at the selected position.

In case of necessity, very large graphics are automatically scaled down – with the risk that detailed information in the image could be lost.

Stricter requirements – stricter graphics handling in DOCUFY COSIMA

This flexibility does not always fit the strict requirements of some editorial guidelines or stylequides. Users should not be free to decide how a graphic should be positioned in the finished layout in the type area or on the web page. Countless maintenance and repair descriptions, e.g. in the automotive sector, should always be structured in the same way so that the service technicians in the workshop can quickly find their way around.

Thus, the respective heading of the topic is always followed by a large, page-wide overview picture showing the component to be repaired or replaced on the vehicle or in the engine compartment. All sub-components or connections are highlighted with the help of the IGEL callout editor and described in the caption.

The next section contains the special tool list, which lists all the necessary tools for the respective maintenance or repair activity, and the general safety instructions. In the individual steps, the comprehensibility of the documentation is ensured by the text-picture reference. The text describes what has to be done step by step, the corresponding graphic shows which screws have to be loosened or where the special tool has to be applied. Here, large overview pictures would be a hindrance; only column-wide pictures should be used.

For handling in COSIMA, this means that it must be decided before uploading into the COSIMA CMS whether the graphic will be used as an overview image or to support the action description. The graphic designers were commissioned accordingly.

Only permitted formats are created in COSIMA

When creating the graphic objects in COSIMA, the COSIMA server now automatically checks whether the quality criteria for colour space and minimum resolution are met. If the graphic does not pass this first check, it cannot be created as an object in COSIMA.

Based on configured image sizes in pixels, the COSIMA image check compares the graphic file with the permitted image sizes and automatically assigns the corresponding metadata value “overview” or “action step” for the image size in order to streamline processes and meet uniform quality standards.

Eliminating user errors from the outset

If the new graphics meet these requirements and are imported into COSIMA, the corresponding graphic reference in the XML topic can also only be set according to the requirements of the editorial guidelines. The system checks where and in which XML element context the graphic reference is to be inserted. At the beginning of the topic under <task><orientation> only graphics with the image size “overview” can be referenced, correspondingly only files with the image size “action step” can be referenced in the action steps <task><step><action>. Users can thus be sure that they always comply with the requirements of the editorial guidelines.

We also take care of your special requirements Despite the deliberate and desired rigidity of this image check, there are many advantages for our customers: a higher quality of technical documentation, less rework and correspondingly lower costs. Nevertheless, this is a customer-specific implementation that is not equally useful for all applications. We would be happy to advise you on this special image check function or on other customisation requests. Simply contact your project contact person or vertrieb@docufy.de.

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Holger Matthes

Holger studied information and content management at Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences and has worked for DOCUFY since 2006.

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