IBM Document Composition Facility (DCF)

IBM Document Composition Facility helps you create mission-critical documents and respond to functional requirements quickly with a robust range of formatting capabilities.

DCF provides a markup language that facilitates the creation of documents made up of multiple elements, such as headings, paragraphs, lists, tables and other document components. The use of its Generalized Markup Language (GML) allows the document creator to effectively separate document content from document format.

GML tags are used to identify different elements of the document to the text formatter. When the document is formatted, the SCRIPT formatter matches each tag to a set of instructions that tells how that element is to be formatted. This set of instructions is sometimes called a style sheet. You can change the appearance of an entire document simply by processing it using a different style sheet. Style sheets can also provide a way to ensure formatting consistency in documents that are created by multiple authors. Each author does not have to know what fonts to use, or whether text paragraphs will be justified, ragged, or placed in columns. Those decisions are made by a central administrator, and implemented in the style sheets.

Since DCF is intended for use in creating mission critical documents such as product specification or maintenance manuals, policy and procedures documentation, or legal documents, it incorporates a complete range of document formatting capabilities that are often not found in desktop publishing programs. Some of these include:

  • Output generation in either AFP™ or PostScript® formats
  • Table of contents and index generation
  • Footnotes
  • Running headings and footings, including security classifications
  • Multi-column formatting
  • Keeping text together, or floating text to the top of a page or column, and widow control
  • Revision codes with version control
  • Hypertext linking for document usability with the AFP Viewer
  • Indexing tags for easier document navigation
  • Symbol and macro-instruction processing
  • Conditional processing of tags and commands
  • Complex table construction
  • Mathematical formulas
  • Multi-pass formatting for forward and backward references
  • Inclusion of AFP overlays, or AFP or PostScript images as Encapsulated PostScript (EPS)
  • Support for full process or highlight color
  • Spelling verification and hyphenation in 15 languages

DCF support
A utility, B2H, allows you to translate documents created using IBM GML, BookMaster or SCRIPT/VS, or "flat" text files, into HTML so that they can be viewed on the Web using a common Internet browser. Another utility, H2S, allows you to translate a Web-based text document in HTML into a format that can be printed on a high-speed AFP printer such as the IBM Infoprint® 4000.

Printing performance for documents created using DCF is dependent upon the complexity of the document and any included resources, such as overlays and images, and cannot be determined in advance. The customer must realize that more complex documents will require more system resources and may take longer to print than documents with simpler formatting.

New functions and enhancements in DCF Version 1, Release 4.0


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