We have adopted a “doorman policy” in DOCUFY COSIMA as part of a customer project with specific requirements for checking images. Our customer only wants graphics and images that meet certain quality criteria to be allowed in the content management system. To this end, DOCUFY COSIMA automatically checks the image’s colour space, resolution and pixel size during import. Files can only be imported and used if they pass this image check, ensuring high quality requirements for print and online use are met from the outset and maintained throughout the entire process chain.

Importing graphics in COSIMA standard

COSIMA is generally very flexible when it comes to using graphics and illustrations. Any graphic file can be created as a graphic object in COSIMA, and the COSIMA server automatically generates the versions needed for print and online formats. Users work with attributes on the graphic reference to determine how the file should be handled at each reference point. In the PDF layout, the system typically distinguishes between the margin, column or page display formats. Once the user has selected an image position, the style sheet for the respective output line ensures that the graphic is displayed in the best possible way at the selected position.

Very large graphics are automatically scaled down when necessary, though there is a risk that the image may lose some detailed information.

Stricter requirements call for more stringent graphic handling in DOCUFY COSIMA

When editorial guidelines or style sheets have strict requirements, a flexible approach may not always be the best option. There are times when users should not be able to freely decide where a graphic should be positioned in the type area or on a website in the final layout. For example, the numerous maintenance and repair instructions from the automotive industry should always be structured in the same way so that service technicians can get to work quickly.

Each topic heading should always be followed by a large, page-wide overview image showing the vehicle or engine components that need to be repaired or replaced. All sub-components or connections are highlighted using the IGEL callout editor and described in the image key.

The next section contains a list detailing the special tools required for the maintenance or repair work as well as general safety instructions. The text and images work in tandem to ensure the documentation can be easily understood in the individual action steps. The text describes what steps need to be followed, while the corresponding graphic shows which screws need to be loosened or where the special tool needs to be used. In this case, large overview images would be impractical; only column-wide images should be used.

For handling in COSIMA, this means the user must decide whether the graphic is intended to be an overview image or part of the step-by-step guide before uploading it onto the COSIMA CMS. Graphic designers were commissioned for this purpose.

Only creating permitted formats in COSIMA

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

Using configured image sizes in pixels as the basis, the COSIMA image check compares the graphic file with the permitted image sizes and automatically assigns the corresponding “overview” or “action step” metadata value for the image size. This approach streamlines processes and ensures uniform quality standards are met.

Eliminating user errors from the outset

Once the new graphics have fulfilled these requirements and are imported into COSIMA, the specifications set out in the editorial guidelines must be adhered to when setting the corresponding graphic reference in the XML topic. The system checks where and in which XML element context the graphic reference is to be inserted. Only graphics with the “overview” image size can be referenced at the beginning of the topic under <task><orientation>. Correspondingly, only files with the “action step” image size can be referenced in the <task><step><action> action steps. This means users can always be sure that their graphics comply with the requirements in the editorial guidelines.

Taking care of your special requests

This intentionally rigid image check system provides our customers with many benefits, including a higher standard of technical documentation, less rework and lower costs. However, this feature was a specific customer request and may not be appropriate for all use cases. We would be happy to provide you with more information on this particular image check system or other customisation requests. Simply contact your project contact person or send an email to vertrieb@docufy.de.