Automatic Imposition Using Hotfolders

Hotfolders settingThis feature is only available in Montax Imposer ProHot version.

Montax Imposer ProHot supports automatic imposition using watched folders (hotfolders). Watched folders can be added and configured in menu (Edit/Watched folder settings).

Montax Imposer Hotfolders Monitor (stand-alone application) or Adobe Acrobat (plug-in version) must be running for automatic imposition, while Montax Imposer can be running, but it does not have to. Watched folders setting can be done in main application Montax Imposer .

Hotfolder imposition is based on imposition settings in the main application – as a template for hotfolder is used an imposition created in the application. Also all settings available in the main application are available as well in hotfolders (except Pages Palette, which changes source pages).

Error notification can be set together for all watched folders: when an error occurs, an external file (.bat, .exe, .cmd, .com) can be run together with the selected parameters, which can be used for any other action (eg sending an e-mail). You can also set whether _i is added to the output file name or not (in which case the original PDF for imposition must be deleted).

Hotfolders Setup

First it is necessary to select a template – the appearance of imposition that will be used for the automatic imposition. This can be achieved by using the currently opened imposition or selecting another one which was saved earlier. Then it is necessary to select the path to the watched folder and its name. The folder will be created in the selected path, the selected template (with .mox extension) will be copied into its subfolder "template" and another sub-folder "out-name" will be created. PDF files copied into the watch folder will be imposed according to the template into the "out-name" folder together with the source PDF and a file containing information about the imposition (.log extension). It is possible to copy only shortcut of the file (or folder in which are files for imposition) to the hotfolder too.

A sub folder "m-in-name" will be created to impose a group of files at once (e.g. pictures). The imposition will be started if there are no new files copied into the folder during a period of 5 seconds. This way hundreds of pictures can be imposed to sheets automatically. If the Add "_i" option is active, "_etc" will also be added to the name in this case, indicating that the output may contain multiple input files.

The created folder will be shown in the overview of watched folders. Here you can temporarily disable the folder (for example when it is located on a temporarily unavailable drive – USB, network drive etc.), or delete the folder – it will only be removed from the watched folder list and the data will not be affected. The text DATA is displayed if references to a variable data file are used in the template and this file is therefore needed for the imposition (only for VDP extension), XML indicates the use of XML control file. You can reorder individual items with the mouse (drag & drop). Unavailable folders or folders with a missing template (for example deleted by accident) are highlighted in red color.

Existing templates can also be edited in the watched folders overview – by right-clicking the folder you can select "Edit template for this folder", "Replace template for this folder with the active imposition" or "Replace template for this folder with saved imposition". If "Edit template" is selected the template will be opened in the program. After editing is done the template can be saved (after you reopen this setting and choose "Replace template with actual imposition" or save it from the menu File/Save as template).

You can select an action after generating PDF from the context menu. This PDF can be:

  • Opened in default application
  • Opened in another program (or run a script or command); the name of the final file is given to the program or script as a parameter.
  • Moved to folder
  • Copied to folder

Furthermore you can choose if the files for impositions will be deleted or moved to out-name folder.

Input files and modifications in XML control file option is advantageous especially when Montax Imposer is part of an automated process. XML can be used to define input files for imposition, to change some settings of watched folders, and to change templates properties. This can be advantageous for significantly reducing the number of watched folders, as it can dynamically change the number of rows and columns, the sheet size, and many other template parameters as well as the input and output PDFs. Refer to program documentation for information on the structure of the control XML file.

The information file (output log) can be generated as a text file or in XML format (for a description, see program documentation). It contain information about the progress of the imposition, the results of the imposition preflight (same as Imposition Check Palette – "Imposition check" log section, for xml output <impositions-check>; therefore, the warning and errors given here do not apply to the export process, but to the appearance of the imposition) and possible errors during generating the output PDF (read, write, etc. errors). In case of an export error, the log is always created, but you can set that it will also be created in the event of a successful export PDF or in case of an imposition check error.

The watched folder can also be deactivated, deleted, moved to another location or updated if it was moved physically and the program does not know its new location (it was moved using the file manager instead of using this menu). You can also import previously watched folders (or folders previously backed up; these folders must contain out- and template subfolders as well as the template). Note: it is possible to select and modify (using the context menu) multiple folders at once (shift and ctrl can be used for selection).

To ensure proper functionality of imposition the folder and the subfolder "out-name" must be writeable and the drive must have enough free space for the imposed file. When a new imposition of a previously imposed file is made the original files (both the imposed file and the log) are deleted. For example if you open the imposed file in Acrobat it is necessary to close it because it needs to be overwritten. The new imposition will not be made until the file is closed. After the exported file is closed the imposition will continue normally.

If you do not use control XML, you can only work with one pages group and the features of Pages for Imposition Palette cannot be used (only pages auto-rotation can be used). When more impositions are used it is recommended to use Automatic page assignment, otherwise all the pages will be imposed in all impositions.

The following conditions must be met in order to use Automatic imposition

  • Montax Imposer Hotfolders Monitor must be running
  • Watched folders must be set
  • The watched folders and the "out-name" subfolder must be writable
  • The watched folder must contain the PDF for imposition
  • The "out-name" subfolder must contain enough free space for the exported files
  • The "template" subfolder must contain the template file (.mox), copied automatically while the watched folder was created
  • The exported PDF file and the log file (if they already exist) must be writeable (they cannot be opened in Acrobat etc.)