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> CouponDesigner documentation <
 
 

How to create vouchers for CF1500 RVM's with a Cybertech graphics printer, Hecon printer, or Swecoin printer.

Note: Linux-based RVMs support Hecon X56 printers only and also support XML-formatted coupons.


SOFTWARE REQUIRED:

  •  If designing a coupon for a printer other than a Hecon C-56 or X-56: Corel PaintShop Pro or other image editing software such as Photoshop. Free software is also available such as: IrfanView  (gimp not recommended as the output BMP files created may be incompatible with Coupon Designer unless you can save as a BMP V3). See this article for a summary of free image editing software.
    You can also use ImageMagick in command-line mode such as:  "convert "PayPal Large.jpg" -trim -resize 300x -bordercolor white -border 74x0 -monochrome BMP3:paypal.bmp"
    Note: free image editors usually don't have advanced black & white conversion ability which produce inferior printed results, I recommend using Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop.
  •  CouponDesigner (Win 98 or later)
  •  WinRVM (to load coupons to CF1500 RVMs, not required for Ultra RVMs)


SOFTWARE INSTALLATION

CouponDesigner

See the CouponDesigner page for the latest version and installation info.

System requirements:
Windows 98 or later.

Designed for screen resolutions of at least 1024x768 and the large system font.

Recommended hardware configuration

A desktop/laptop PC with a mouse should be used to design coupons. For the fastest results the printer should be attached directly to the PC's COM port (you'll need a 24V power supply for the printer).  If the PC doesn't have a COM port you can add one with a USB to serial adapter such as the SABRENT Model SBT-FTDI 6 ft. USB 2.0 to Serial (9-pin) DB-9 RS-232 Adapter Cable 6ft Cable (FTDI Chipset) or FTDI US232R-100-BULK. Set the printer's COM port number in Coupon Designer's Options, then you can simply click the printer icon to print the coupon without having to send the coupon to an RVM and then printing from the RVM.

I don't recommend designing coupons on the CF1500 interactive RVM using the touch screen...it will be a frustrating experience unless you have a mouse and keyboard.


Voucher Creation Procedure

Note: coupon creation for CF1500s in Greece is unique, also see Greek Coupon Info.

For more info on how coupons are used in a U48/Flex/Quantum, see here.

For more info on how coupons are used in a CF1500, see here.

Also see an older version of this document with screen shots (pdf).
 

The Coupon Designer program can create vouchers/coupons for the following printers:
- Cybertech 9250 graphics printer (older printer no longer in production, used mainly in Greece)
- Hecon C56 (no cutter, current printer used in CF1500 RVMs)
- Hecon X56 (cutter, used in HDS and interactive RVMs, Reimagine sites, and Ultra RVMs)
- Swecoin TTP 2010 (obsolete printer initially used in the interactive RVM)

The program doesn't create vouchers for Cybertech text printers (just use a text editor like Notepad to edit these vouchers, or use the Voucher Maker program).
Before designing a voucher, select the correct printer type at the bottom of the main window.

The best way to learn the program is to open an existing .ECD (or .VOU file for Cybertech9250 vouchers) via the File/Open menu (or double-clicking an .ECD file from Windows Explorer) and experiment.
Here are some sample coupons for the Hecon X56 printer to experiment with.



Table of Contents:

Text
Line
Box
Barcode
Image
Stored Image
Tips
Options
FAQ/Troubleshooting
 


 

Text:
To add a new line of text, click on the ABC toolbar icon , then click where the text is to be placed. An "add text" window will then prompt you for the text (and direction/invert).

To change existing text from the main program window, double-click the text, then change the text in the "update text" dialog box that pops up.  Click the desired text size/direction/invert button, then press the "update text "button (or press Enter).
To insert special characters such as the cent symbol or umlauts, click the "insert symbol" button (not available for some printer models), double-click the appropriate symbol, close the "insert symbol" window, then press the "update text" button.

Note: Hecon X56 printers don't natively support all diacritical marks (acute/circumflex/umlaut/etc "áöû" and symbols like the euro symbol  €) unless you load the "Latin-1" font to the printer.

Latin-1 font:

Standard font:


- To determine which font a Hecon X56 printer has, print a test ticket (pull paper out and refeed the paper). Under the "FLASH" area, look at "FONT #2". If it's "Exo-Cs0-Cp9-CP1252" then the Latin-1 font is loaded, anything else such as "Exo-Font-2-V1_02" means the standard font is loaded.
- To load the Latin-1 and/or Greek fonts for the Hecon X56 printer: see here.
Note: after loading this font to the printer, the fonts named "4, 6, 7, 13" are changed. The fonts named "4 (bold), 6 (bold), 7 (bold), 13 (bold)" remain the same, and as before, have a limited number of characters with diacritical marks (no lower case, no euro symbol, etc). It is therefore recommended that the bold fonts not be used in countries that require characters with diacritical marks.

To use a euro symbol € without having the Latin-1 font loaded to the printer requires making a graphic image of the symbol. If you use a standard graphics image such as 448x32, keep in mind that you can't mix text and graphics on the same line. If you need a line such as "€02.35" then you must use the Stored Image feature to save an image of a euro symbol such as 32x32 or 64x64. Download example euro voucher file and images here. To store images in the printer you must follow these steps (for CF1500 RVMs, not supported for Linux-based RVMs):
1. Plug printer into a Windows PC with a COM port.
2. Run Coupon Designer and set the appropriate COM port in the options.
3. Select “File | Store images in Hecon/Swecoin printer” and select “euro.pil” when prompted which will load 5 different sized euro symbols to the printer (1=smallest, 5=largest).

For Hecon printers, Greek characters can be typed in directly. You must first select "Greek" from the new "character set" drop-down list:

Note: to print Greek characters, the wide font "Korean-KS5601.20X20.C56WCS" must be uploaded to the Hecon via the Exo-UploadTool (X56 printer) or C56UploadTool program.
To verify the wide font is loaded, insert paper in the Hecon to print a test ticket which indicates if a "wide font" is loaded.

Note: "%" characters have special meaning to the RVM (see "Help | Printer % Codes" or Printer voucher template commands (% codes)).
For example, "%t" indicates the number of containers redeemed by the customer.
Sometimes a long string of "%" commands will overlap other text on the screen, this is normal. The RVM will convert to the appropriate text when printing.

Note: certain font sizes and features are only available for certain printers.

Use "Align | Space evenly horizontally", "Align | Space evenly vertically" (or right-click menu) to space several lines of text evenly. Horizontally/Vertically refer to how the text appears on-screen.
Note: this may not work as desired if "snap to grid" is enabled in the Options.

Right-click existing text to display the following choices: change font, bold, invert, underline, edit, delete, height normal, height x2, width normal, width x2, rotate (depending on printer).
Right-clicking text and selecting bold, invert, underline or italics will toggle this setting. This allows you to do things like un-bold several selected text items at once.

When text is selected, the shift-arrow keys change the font size (not necessarily in increasing/decreasing size, but by font number).

For Swecoin/Hecon vouchers:
- When text is selected, pressing the arrow keys moves the text an entire line.
- If your voucher isn't long enough, you can add a blank text field on the right side of the voucher.

When designing Hecon X56 vouchers:
- Leave room to the right of the amount due to allow room for the "reprint" wording
- You may need to add a blank line of 4 pt text below an image to put a large text field (2x height) below an image. 

You may want to turn on the "Show grid lines" feature in Coupon Designer, it makes it easier to tell where the line breaks are when designing a Hecon or Swecoin voucher.



Line:
To add a line, click on the diagonal line toolbar icon , then click where the line is to start, then drag the mouse to the destination position.
Note: Hecon printers support vertical lines only, and all lines will fill the width of the page regardless of how wide they are on screen. You can also create an image to simulate a line.
When a line is selected you can use shift-arrow keys to change the size by the amount specified in the "arrow key increments" setting in the Options.
Double-click an existing line to bring up this window:

The fill pattern is only available for Swecoin printers used in older Interactive RVMs.



Box:
To add a box, click on the rectangle toolbar icon , then click where the rectangle is to start, then drag the mouse to the destination position.
Note: Hecon and Swecoin printers don't support boxes, however, you can create an image to simulate a box.
When a box is selected you can use shift-arrow keys to change the size by the amount specified in the "arrow key increments" setting in the Options.
Double-click an existing box to bring up this window:



Barcode:
To add a barcode, click on the barcode toolbar icon , then click where the barcode is to be placed. An "add barcode" window will prompt you for the desired barcode type (UPC/EAN/Code 3 of 9/Code 128/Interleaved 2 of 5) and barcode digits (11 for UPC-A, 12 for EAN-13, the others use variable-length barcodes).  Press the "Add barcode" button when done.
Note: if you are given a 13 digit barcode, select EAN-13 and enter the first 12 digits of the barcode. If you are given a 12 digit barcode, select UPC and enter the first 11 digits of the barcode.
If the barcode prints but extra digits are printed after the barcode, this means you've entered too many digits (or you're using a % code that expands to too many digits.

Tip: in the US, the barcode format is a UPC-A:
21234567%$n      [fixed 7th digit of 6]
or
212345%D%$n     [using a price check digit as the 7th digit]

[see Barcode on cash voucher (bottle return receipt) specification and Printer voucher template commands (% codes)]
Note that the number on the barcode displayed in the coupon design window is always constant and will NOT match the number you entered.

Double-click an existing barcode to edit it.

Maximum number of barcode digits:
- Code 3 of 9: 13
- Interleaved 2 of 5/Code 2 of 5 interleaved: 28
- Code 128: 30

Keep in mind the paper can move left to right 2mm or so, so you'll need to make sure the barcode is perfectly centered in the voucher file if using a really long barcode. If your paper has a border on the left or right edges that the barcode gets printed on, this could make the barcode harder to read, especially if your paper has a red border and the POS systems use laser scanners.
You can adjust the default narrow bar and wide bar widths from Coupon Designer to make the barcode narrower, but this may cause the barcode to be unreadable, so I recommend using the default2 (narrow bar=2, wide bar=4).

For Code 128 barcodes only:
Code 128 barcode printing requires Hecon X56 printer firmware v1.02 or later.
To specify subset A, B, or C, the first character in the barcode should be:
'g' for Code 128 A (numbers, upper-case letters, and control characters)
'h' for Code 128 B ( numbers, upper- and lower-case letters)
 'i' for Code 128 C (numbers only).
If omitted, the printer will determine the subset automatically.
Note: if the printed barcode contains a "?" at the end, remove the subset character.

 



Image:
To add an image, click on the camera toolbar icon , then click on the ticket where the image is to be placed. select the image from the file-open dialog box. 

Note: for Hecon printers you may need to add a blank text field above and/or below the image to add white space between the image and text fields.

It is highly recommended you use Coupon Designer 2.0.0 or later to add images (for Hecon C-56 or X-56 printers) as Coupon Designer will automatically convert almost any image (BMP, EPS, GIF, ICO, JPG, PCX, PNG, SVG, TGA, TIF, complete list) to a black and white image the printer can use (excess whitespace is cropped from the original image and it's converted to a 448 pixel wide, 2-color BMP image).
This is MUCH easier than manually converting the image to black and white as described later!

After the user selects an input image, an image preview window will display two candidate black and white output images (created via the dithered and "nearest color" conversion methods), along with the original image (resized):

Simply click the desired black and white image to use; the image preview window will close and the selected image will be inserted into the main Coupon Designer window.

Details:

  1. The dithered version is better at simulated different colors.
     
  2. The "Nearest color" version is useful when you want a solid image such as for simple logos with few colors. Sometimes, this version comes out too dark/light (or missing details entirely) and may require some tweaking via the "nearest color" threshold setting on the right side of the window. In the example below, the word "Basics" is missing when using a threshold setting of 50. Increasing this value to 75 and pressing Enter (or clicking "Re-convert image") will result in the above image. The higher the threshold setting, the darker the image.

Sometimes the "Nearest color" version may be too dark such as in this example (the word "Stores" and the inside border is missing):

Reducing the threshold to 40 lightens up the "Nearest color" version so it looks preferable to the dithered version:

Notes:

The dimensions and actual print size in bytes of each black and white image is displayed. The smaller the size, the faster the coupon will print (and the less room taken inside the RVM's memory).

The selected black and white image is saved in the original image's folder with a BMP extension and "_PRN1" or "_PRN2" appended to the base filename, depending on which of the two output images were selected. For example, if c:\test\Spartan.jpg is the input image and the dithered version is selected, the output image is c:\test\Spartan_PRN1.BMP. The original image is not changed.

If the input image is already a 448 pixel wide BMP image, no image preview window is shown and no conversion is performed as it assumes you've manually converted the image with an image editor.

If you decide you want to use a different source image instead, click the "Browse for new image..." button and select a new image.

The "Invert image (black=white)" checkbox can be used to invert the colors in the image (white becomes black, black becomes white). You must click the "Re-convert image" button.

The section in the Options titled ""Image conversion program (ImageMagick convert)" control various settings:

  • Program. This must contain the full path to the ImageMagick convert.exe program such as "C:\Program Files\ImageMagick-6.9.1-Q16\convert.exe". This program is used to perform the image conversions to black and white.
    Important
    When Coupon Designer starts and this setting is empty (default), instructions will indicate how to download and install the software:
    Download ImageMagick from http://www.imagemagick.org/script/binary-releases.php#windows
    You must download the correct version, depending on which version of Windows you have (see here to determine if your version of Windows is 32 or 64 bit):
    - 64-bit Windows: download and install the "Win64 dynamic at 16 bits-per-pixel" version. Or you can download the X64 6.9.1 version from Envipco.
    - 32-bit Windows: download and install the "Win32 dynamic at 16 bits-per-pixel" version. Or you can download the X86 6.9.1 version from Envipco.
    Once installed, click the "Browse..." button and select the convert.exe program in C:\Program Files\ImageMagick-*.
     
  • Max image resize width (300 is default). The source image will be resized to this width, in pixels, (but not enlarged if smaller) prior to canvassing (adding white borders to the left and right so the image is 448 pixels wide). Envipco printer paper has pre-printed security marking on the left and right borders of the paper, so you don't want the image to encroach the border.
     
  • Max image resize height (220 is default). The source image will be resized to this height, in pixels (but not enlarged if smaller). If you have a very tall and narrow image you may need to reduce this value.
     
  • "nearest color" threshold (70 is default). This determines how light or dark the "nearest color" version of the image is. The higher the threshold setting, the darker the image. Valid values: 1-99.
     
  • "Warn about small images" checkbox. If enabled (default) and you use a source image with dimensions smaller than the width and height settings, the following warning will be displayed:

 


 

Double-click an existing image to edit the image. Right-click an image to edit or delete it.
Note: don't be alarmed if the on-screen image looks odd, it usually prints correctly.
Note: do not insert two images with the same file name stored in different folders.
Do not use an image to represent a barcode as the barcode will probably not be scannable, use the barcode command instead.



How to manually create compatible images:

If designing for a Hecon C-56 or X-56 printer, it's MUCH easier to use Coupon Designer's automatic black and white image conversion feature instead of manually converting the image to black and white (see instructions above).

1. Load the original color image into your image editor (I recommend Corel Paint Shop Pro), such as this 720x300 (pixels wide x pixels high) color JPG.
http://images.google.com is a good place to find images.
In our example the original file size is 75.7KB:



2. Crop the image to eliminate any excess background/white space around the outside of the logo. It's helpful to zoom into the image to make it easier to see the outside edges.
In our example, our image is now 620x194. Note: the black line around the outside of the image is for illustration purposes, it is not actually in the image. The same goes for all examples below.
If you don't crop out the vertical white space this increases the print time and makes the file size larger. The RVM has limited memory so it’s important to limit the size of the images if you have multiple coupons (64K max memory for all coupons combined).

3. Re-size the image from the Image/resample menu to an appropriate size (generally less than 440 x 220), depending on the printer you're designing for. For Hecon printers, make the width around 300-320 pixels (for vertical images you'll need to reduce the width further).
Make sure the "lock aspect ratio" box is marked. Use "Smart Resize" for the resample method for best results.
Note: if the image is a GIF (or any format with a limited color palette, or even a BMP with a small color depth), increase the color depth before resizing for best results (from PSP, select "Image | Increase color depth | RGB 16 bits per channel"), otherwise you'll get jagged edges. In Paint Shop Pro, the bottom-right will indicate the number of colors; if it says 256 or less color palette then you'll need to increase the color palette.

In our example, we're going to reduce the width to 400 pixels since we're targeting a Swecoin printer:

Our image is now 400x125:

Note: the larger the image is, the longer it will take to print and the larger the file size, and fewer coupons can be loaded into the RVM.

Sometimes after resizing the image may look better if you apply a little unsharp mask to make it sharper. Use the "Adjust | Sharpness | Unsharp mask" and use a radius of .5 to .9, strength of 50 to 100, clipping 5.

For Cybertech graphics printers it's best to make both the height and width divisible by 16, otherwise a black band may appear in the image.

For Hecon printers only:
- the height may be any dimension (use Coupon Designer 1.4.5 or later to avoid problems with images taller than 480 pixels).
- you can't put text and graphics on the same line.
- images can't overlap
- the width must be 448 pixels wide (the full width of the paper, ie the width of the printer's printhead). Include some white space on the left and right side of the image so the image doesn't get cut off on the paper edge or overlap the left and right security markings on the paper. To do this, resize your image to around 320 pixels wide, which is the same as above screenshot except use a width of 320 pixels. The maximum same width is 380 pixels without risking running off the paper edge as the paper wanders left/right in printer.  Next, canvas the image to 448 pixels wide via the "Image | Canvas size" menu (set the width to around 320 pixels, making sure "lock aspect ratio" is unchecked. Make sure the background color is white, select the middle placement location as in the following screenshot:

Here is the resulting 448x100 image for a Hecon printer after canvasing:



Note: for Swecoin printers, the width of the page is 430 pixels.

File size maximums
Note: for Reimagine or U48 RVMs there are no file size limitations.
Voucher file: 21,000 bytes (Greek RVM versions: 11,000 bytes)
Coupon file: 32,000 bytes (Greek RVM versions: 9300 bytes)
For CF1500s, the sum of all coupon file sizes to be loaded into a single RVM must be less than 64K!
If the file size is too large to fit in the RVM, reduce the size of the image(s).
If using a Hecon or Swecoin printer you can use the "stored image" feature to reduce the file size of the vouchers/coupons.

4. [For landscape images only] Rotate the image 90 degrees to the right from the Image/rotate menu.

In our example I did not rotate the image.

5. Convert the image to black & white via the "Image | Decrease Color Depth | 2 color" menu.
This will bring up the Reduction Method menu. The "grey, weighted, Floyd-Steinberg Error Diffusion" method usually works well, although you may need to experiment with different settings.

In our example, the "grey, weighted, nearest color" method worked well:


Photoshop black and white instructions:

1)    Go to Image > Adjustments > Black & White
2)
    Check the “Preview” box then adjust the colors as necessary.

3)      Go to Image > Mode > Grayscale. This converts the image to grayscale, based on the settings you selected in Step 2.
4)
      Go to Image > Mode > Bitmap…
5)
      Choose the settings for the black and white conversion. We recommend Diffusion Dither, but other options might work better for your image.

Note: some image editors do not offer many choices when converting to black and white which will produce inferior results such as:

IrfanView the gimp

 

6. Save the image in BMP format for Hecon or Swecoin printers, PCX format for Cybertech printers,

In our example, we're targeting the Swecoin printer, so we save in BMP format. The file size is now down to 6.4KB.


In our example, when we load the image into Coupon designer it looks a little strange on-screen, the image has a bogus black bars at the bottom. Don't worry, it will print normally.

Coupon designer shows a black rectangle instead of the PCX image: This can happen when using Paint Shop Pro X5. Use a different version of Paint Shop Pro such as X3 or save the final image in BMP format and use another image editor to convert to PCX. It should print normally.

Note: BMP V4 images are not supported (such as those created by Gimp)! If coupon designer shows you image with any colors than black or white, the image will not print correctly.

Here is a photo of the printed receipt:

If the printed image is not the desired size, return to step 3 above and choose a different size.
If the printing image quality is not good enough:
Try different black & white conversion methods in step 5. If you are still not satisfied try the following adjustments on the color image (trial and error):

  • Colors/Adjust/Brightness/Contrast (typically increase the brightness 10-50%)
  • Tweak the Colors/Adjust/gamma correct.
  • Image/Edge filters/edge enhance
  • Image/Normal filters/sharpen
  • Tweak the Hue/Saturation/Luminance. (Reducing the hue alone works well).
  • Hand-edit the image with the pen/line drawing functions to eliminate unwanted dots, or add dots.


For Hecon and Swecoin printers, since the BMP format is not compressed, you may be able to reduce the number of bytes of image data by splitting images into multiple parts to eliminate white space.
For example: the following image:

Can be broken into 3 separate images:

By using this method, the white space above and below "fuzzy" and "new years day 2009" is not saved as image data. The original image is 10,382 bytes, the 3 images only total 7,642 bytes. This also helps the voucher to print faster when the voucher size is smaller.

TIP: if you change the image file and resave it, simply leave Coupon Designer running with the coupon/voucher loaded and just click "save" from Coupon Designer. You can then use WinRVM to resend the coupon/voucher to the RVM for printing.

"Graphical" Text:

Use this method to add characters not supported by the printer, such as Hebrew, Cyrillic, or Greek text, etc. Text can be entered into an image using PSP's text command. Keep the width of the text to less than 440 pixels (the Cybertech printer is 200 DPI, the paper is 2.28" wide). Keep in mind that the CouponDesigner program will rotate the text 90 degrees CCW.
Note: for Hecon printers the width must be 448 pixels wide (the full width of the page), but the height may be any dimension.

Another method to adding text is to create the text using another program such as MS Word. Press the "Print Screen" button on your keyboard to copy the contents of the screen to the clipboard. Run PSP and choose the "Edit | Paste as new image" menu command. Crop the text, then convert to 1-bit color via the "Colors | Decrease Color Depth" menu. The printer can only handle 1-bit color depth, any other color depth will cause the printer to print garbage characters.

You'll probably find that when printed, the text is too small - increase the font size of the original document and repeat the process.

If you're going to be inserting standard text, lines or boxes between paragraphs of graphical text, it is a good idea to split up each paragraph into separate images. Otherwise, the graphical text image will be in the foreground, hiding any other item that is behind it.



Stored Image: [Hecon/Swecoin printers only]

The Hecon and Swecoin printers have the ability to store images in the printer itself. The Hecon X56 has 512K of memory for images. The RVM can then simply give a command such as "print image #7".
To store the images in the printer, use menu item "File | Store images in Hecon/Swecoin printer" , which prompts you for a Printer Image List file (.pil) of format:
filename,image number for RVM to reference
example:
Dr Pepper.bmp,4
Coke.bmp,5
The file format is:
    filename,image number

The filename may be any length and may contain spaces. The valid range of images numbers is 1-15 for Swecoin printers, 1-255 for Hecon printers.
You can also use WinRVM/pocket WinRVM to store images in the printer memory when used with a compatible version of CF1500 RVM software.
Images must be in BMP format.
Note: if loading the .pil file into the CF1500 RVM via WinRVM, the maximum size of an image is 32000 bytes.
Use Coupon Designer 1.4.5 (or later) to avoid problems with images taller than 480 pixels for the Hecon printer.
The width of each image (in pixels) must be evenly divisible by 32.
The total storage capacity of the Hecon is 128KB. The Swecoin capacity depends on the size of the printer firmware and how many fonts are loaded into the printer, but the average is around 99K bytes (to determine the exact size print a test ticket by holding the feed button while loading paper - look under "Installed Logotypes").
Requires RVM software versions 3/3/08 or later that supports either Swecoin or Hecon printers, but doesn't have to support coupons.
The Cybertech graphics printer does not offer this capability.

Note: There are two other ways to store images to the printer:

  1. With the printer connected to the RVM, run WinRVM and select menu item "Send to RVM | Printer tickets... | Store images in Hecon/Swecoin printer...".
    This process can also be done remotely while WinRVM is in Unattended Mode (CF1500s only).
     
  2. With the printer connected to the PC, run the Exo-ImageTool included with the Hecon X56 Windows printer driver as described here.

Click the  "Insert | stored image in Hecon/Swecoin printer" or the "stored image" toolbar icon . This lets you print a stored image, by number. Double-wide and double-high printing is supported for Hecon printers. The following window pops up:

Double-click an existing stored image to make changes.

Hecon printers only:
- images are printed left-justified on the page even if the image placeholder icon () is not on the left side of the page. To print an image to the right side of the page you must embed white space in the image (this is a printer limitation).

- To avoid a gap after a stored image, put the next stored image placeholder icon on the same line as previous stored image, but above it such as:
   
   
- The images are processed left to right / bottom to top.

Swecoin printer only:

The maximum width of a stored image is 255 pixels which unfortunately does not cover the entire width of the paper (430 pixels). To store an image wider than 255 pixels you must break the image into 2 smaller images. The maximum stored image size is 992x255, although regular embedded images can be wider than 255 (up to 430). Example:

Original image: 192 (wide) x311 (high)

Since this is to be printed in portrait mode, we rotate the image 90 degrees to the left.
We want the image to be almost as wide as the paper (430 pixels) so resize the image to 200% larger in both dimensions. This results in this 622x384 image:

The width must be divisible by 32, so canvas the image to 640x384.
Since the height of 384 is more than 255 we must split the image horizontally into two images, such that neither is more then 255 pixels high. I simply split the image in half to create two 640x192 images:

top half:

bottom half:

Save the two images as something like top.bmp and bottom.bmp.
Create a .pil file with Notepad, such as test.pil, containing these two lines:
top.bmp,1
bottom.bmp,2

Place an image placeholder icon for the bottom image (#2) on the lower half of the page such as:

Print the voucher to see if the bottom part of the image needs to be moved up or down. Once satisfied with the placement, add another image placeholder icon for the top image (#1) and enter the height of this image (192):

Place this image placeholder icon above the bottom image placeholder.

Select both image placeholder icons (left click and drag mouse to draw a rectangle around both icons).
Note: if you have more than 2 image placeholders to stack, select them all in this step.

Click "Align | Left" so the icons are perfectly aligned on the left side.

Click "Align | Stack stored Swecoin images vertically (requires Coupon Designer 1.4.7 or later), making sure the image placeholder icons are still selected. The screen should look something like this when done:

Print the voucher to verify the two images appear as one.



Tips:

Text and graphics aren't printed exactly as it appears in Coupon Designer, you'll need to adjust the placement of items in Coupon Designer until you get the desired result.
For Hecon printers you may need to add a blank text field just above and/or the image to position it correctly.
It is highly recommended to connect a printer directly to the PC used to design coupons so that you can simply click the printer icon to print instead of loading the voucher to an RVM!

To print directly to a printer attached to the PC, press the printer icon. Make sure the correct COM port is selected via the "File | Options" menu. Run the device manager to determine the COM port used by a USB to serial adapter.

In general, make the length of the coupon at least as long as a dollar bill (6.2", 15.5cm). Add a blank text field on the right side of the voucher to increase the length (you may need to increase the width of the Coupon Designer program window). For U48s, the ticket can be as short as needed.

For a Cybertech graphics printer, the maximum size of the actual printed area is 52mm x 147mm (2.05" x 5.8"). The width of the paper is 58mm (2 1/4"). The printer prints 8 dots/inch.

Once satisfied with the final coupon layout, make sure you print the coupon twice in a row to make they print identically. On rare occasions it wont' print correctly every other print. If this happens, change the text spacing around a bit and try again (specially if you have blank text fields, simply increasing the number of blank spaces may fix the problem).

To delete an item, click on the item to highlight it, then press the delete key. 

To move an item, click and drag the item to a new location or click the item and use the arrow keys to move in small increments (these increments can be changed in the Options menu).

Multiple item can be selected by dragging the mouse and using a selection rectangle. You can also hold the Ctrl key while clicking to select individual items. This allows you to delete or move multiple items.

Press Ctrl-A to select all items, which is useful to show the borders of all items. 

To align multiple items, select the items first, then select the appropriate alignment via the align menu. The last item clicked is the master item that the other selected items will align to. 

You can copy/paste items by selecting them first then using the edit menu.

Menu item "Edit | Undo" is handy for undoing changes.

Use the right mouse button to pop-up a context-sensitive menu (left-click on an item first to select it). When multiple items are selected, the command chosen from the menu will be applied to all items.

For Cybertech graphics and Hecon printers, you can resize the window to make the coupon designer area larger on-screen. Requires Coupon Designer ver 1.4.9 or later.

Clicking the first status panel displays a window showing all items and added the ability to delete an item by clicking it.

When saving a voucher/coupon as a ".VOU" or ".CPN" file, Coupon Designer also saves in a native ".ECD" format (Envipco Coupon Designer). For example, if you create the file "test.vou", Coupon Designer will also create "test.ecd".
To load a saved voucher/coupon back into Coupon Designer, you should load the ECD file, not the .VOU or .CPN file (unless they are in Cybertech printer format).
When loading the voucher/coupon into RVM using WinRVM, the RVM only understands the .VOU or .CPN format (do not load .ECD files into the RVM!).

If you load a .ECD file, the first time you click "save" it will prompt you for a filename as it doesn't know if you want to create a .VOU or .CPN file.
Note: when saving a voucher that contains graphics for a Hecon printer, only the filename is saved in the .ECD file. The image is not embedded into the .ECD file, so do not delete/rename/move the image or you will get an error the next time you load the ECD file into Coupon Designer.

When loading a .VOU or .CPN file, the Printer Type is set to Cybertech. When loading an ECD file, the printer type is set accordingly.

Coupon Designer creates an ECD file association on startup so that you can double-click .ECD files from windows explorer to launch coupon designer.

When done, save the voucher layout by selecting "File/Save as" and use ".VOU" extension. This file can be loaded into a CF1500 RVM via WinRVM. A warning will be given if the file size is too large for the CF1500 RVM (>15000 bytes).

The file menu contains a list of recently-used files.

Menu item "File | Export text to file" writes all the text in the current voucher to a file. This can be used to create a voucher for a text-only printer.

To copy multiple text/image/barcode objects from one coupon to another:
- Open the ECD file of the source coupon with a text editor such as Notepad.
- Copy the desired "item:N" lines (see end of each line for text)
- Open the ECD file of the destination coupon with a text editor such as Notepad.
- Paste the "item:N" lines at the end of the file (no need to manually renumber the lines)
- Open the destination coupon ECD file with Coupon Designer and verify your copied objects are in the correct location (some objects may be hidden behind existing object - if so, move the top-most object out of the way temporarily). If you know you're going to have an overlapping problem, before you start this process you could edit the destination coupon ECD file with Coupon Designer and move objects around to make room for the copied objects).
Alternate ways:
- To copy a few lines of text you can double click a text line in the source coupon and copy the text, then paste the text into a new text box in the destination coupon with Coupon Designer. You'll need to manually set the font size & attributes manually. You'll have to do each line individually.
- If you have a lot of objects to copy it may be easier to simply make a copy of the source ECD file and make your changes with Coupon Designer.

If designing a voucher that prints an amount due, for Hecon X56 printers, add a blank line graphic after the amount due field as highlighted below: 

 You can see all the fields by clicking “Edit | Select all”. Download the ACME voucher here with this blank line graphic.
Without this blank line, the U48’s “reprint vouchers” are extremely long (we’re not sure why - the CF1500s don’t have this issue).
If this voucher is for a CF1500 I still recommend adding the blank line graphic so that the voucher doesn’t have to be redesigned if a U48 is placed at the same store.
The blank line graphic is compatible with the CF1500 also.

Eliminate spurious empty text fields (see below) at the end of a lines as this sometimes causes problems. Draw a selection rectangle around this area to highlight it, then press the Delete key. The other blank fields are OK and needed to properly add vertical spacing. 

 After designing a voucher I always click “Edit | Select all” to look for this.



Options:

Click the wrench toolbar icon to display:

If using images, "Don't snap to grid for any printer" should be enabled to avoid alignment problems.

For tips on Hecon printer vouchers, see the 1.3.6 release notes.



WinRVM -
Select "Send to RVM | printer tickets/coupons... | cash voucher".  [ PCRVM - Select "Load table to RVM", select "voucher description files". ]

The program will prompt for a file name (if it automatically sends "CASH.VOU", then hold the shift key while making the menu selection). Enter the file name such as "PAQUITO.VOU", "LOOKCOLA.VOU", etc. The voucher will be sent to the RVM. Keypad diagnostic #1, 46 can be used to print a voucher.

Tip: for WinRVM versions 1.8.5 or later, simply press F6 to resend the last voucher to the RVM.



Trouble-shooting / FAQ:

The text or images on the voucher don't print exactly as shown on screen.
Always run the latest version of Coupon Designer, and enable "support landscape firmware" for the Hecon X56 printer in the options. Disable "Insert blank lines at end of voucher" in the options.

Note: this setting is saved with the coupon, so if you have the setting enabled then load a coupon that was saved with this setting disabled, the default will now be disabled! So if you load an old coupon to make changes, double-check this setting in the options before saving to make sure it’s enabled.

Text and graphics aren't printed exactly as it appears in Coupon Designer, you'll need to adjust the placement of items in Coupon Designer until you get the desired result.
Move items on screen and reprint until you get the desired results.
For Hecon printers you may need to add a blank text field just above and/or the image to position it correctly.


One or more lines of text don't print.
If the lines of text are overlapping on-screen or are too close together this can happen (don't do this, text should never overlap on screen!).
Always run the latest version of Coupon Designer, and enable "support landscape firmware" for the Hecon X56 printer in the options.


How do you increase the length of the ticket?
For landscape tickets: add a text box with many spaces such that the spaces run off the right side of the page. You could also add trailing spaces to an existing text field that is near the right edge of the ticket.
For portrait tickets: add a text box with a few spaces at the bottom of the ticket. You can resize the Coupon Designer window to show more of the ticket.


The last line of text doesn't print.
Add a line of text containing a few spaces below (to the right) this line.


The paper is cut too close to the last line of print.
Add a line of text containing a few spaces below (to the right) the last line.


Two text fields overlap when printed from the RVM but print normally from Coupon Designer (Hecon X56 printer).
If you have a barcode, reduce the amount of whitespace after the barcode. You can also select the text after the barcode and use the "Align | Space evenly horizontally" and use a value of at least 110.


A Hecon voucher is too long.
Turn off “insert blank lines at end of voucher” in Coupon Designer. This feature doesn’t work well when using stored images or the "support landscape firmware" setting in the options.


After power cycling the RVM the top part of the next ticket is messed up (particularly on the Hecon C56 printer).

Add a blank text line at the top of the ticket.


A thin line appears on the printed voucher but is not visible in Coupon Designer.

There is probably a line command in the voucher that has a very small length. Load the voucher into notepad and look for an "lv" command and delete that line.
Or, delete each item in the voucher, one at a time, paying attention to the "items:" indication in the lower-right of Coupon Designer. If you delete all items and it still indicates "items:1", then draw a selection rectangle over the entire voucher and the hidden item should now be selected. Once you know where it is, reload the original voucher and draw a selection rectangle around the hidden item to delete it, then resave the voucher.


The printer doesn't print or prints garbage.

Make sure you have the correct printer type selected.
If using a Hecon X56 printer make sure the lever on the right side of the printer is pulled out (it has 3 positions).
Remove images from the voucher and see if it prints. If so, you've got a problem with your image (see below).


The printer prints garbage characters instead of the image.

Make sure you have the correct printer type selected.
Make sure the image has a 1-bit color palette (use Paint Shop Pro's "Colors | Decrease Color Depth" menu.) and matches the size and format for your printer.


The image is coming out inverted.

Update to Coupon Designer 1.6.8 or later.


The coupon only prints about 1/3 of the ticket then the Hecon X56 printer jams.

For the If you have multiple graphics on the coupon with quite a bit of space between them, move the graphics closer together. Basically, move objects around on your coupon until it prints correctly.
As a last resort, try reducing the "X56 print speed" setting in the options from the default value of 90 to 70 and resaving the coupon. Set back to 90 for the next coupon.


One or more coupons prints garbled from the RVM but prints normally from Coupon Designer.
You may have exceeded the maximum memory capacity of the RVM, see file size maximums.


A run-time error 9 occurs when trying to print:

Update to Coupon Designer 1.6.8 or later to avoid problems when using Photoshop.
This can be due to a problem with an image. Remove image to see if problem goes away. Sometimes Photoshop causes these problems, use Paint Shop Pro instead.


If a "run-time error 53" (file not found) occurs:

Don't use Windows' long file names for PCX files (use 8.3 DOS format).

Place the PCX files in a folder with a short name such as C:\CF1500.

Right-click on "convert.bat" and select "properties | Program" and make sure "close on exit" has a check mark. Under "Misc", move the "idle sensitivity" all the way to the left = low. If you have an existing shortcut named "convert" in c:\program files\coupon designer, delete that first before setting the properties of convert.bat.


If a "run-time error 430" occurs:

Reinstall CouponDesigner via the setup files.


A "Required file: _ISource21.dll not found" error message is displayed when loading a voucher with an image.

Download CouponDesignerExtras.zip and unzip the contents to c:\program files\Coupon Designer


A "Required file: rotate.bat" error message is displayed when importing a BMP image for the Hecon printer.

Download CouponDesignerExtras.zip and unzip the contents to c:\program files\Coupon Designer


Coupon Designer won't run or closes after a few seconds.

Your antivirus program may be incorrectly flagging Coupon Designer as a virus (Avast has been shown to do this). Temporarily disable your AV program then run Coupon Designer, if it works then add an exception in your AV program.



The image doesn't print properly (image shifted way to the right) and it shows a brown background in Coupon Designer such as the logo on the right:

Solution:
Use Coupon Designer 2.0.0 or later to add images (for Hecon C-56 or X-56 printers).
If you want to manually create the black and white image:
Don't use gimp as the output BMP files created may be incompatible with Coupon Designer. See top of page for image editor recommendations.
If you must use gimp, you can load your final BMP image into IrfanView and resave.








Cybertech printer problems

The Cybertech printer doesn't cut the ticket.

There appears to be a bug in the Cybertech 9250 printer that causes this if 180 degree rotated text is used.

A black band appears in the printed image on a Cybertech printer.

The PCX graphics file must be resized so that both dimension are divisible by 16. Even when divisible by 16 you may get an on-screen black band, but the printout will look fine.

Coupon designer shows a black rectangle instead of the PCX image, but it prints correctly in the RVM.

This can happen when using Paint Shop Pro X5. Use a different version of Paint Shop Pro such as X3 or save the final image in BMP format and use another image editor to convert to PCX.


 

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          page last updated: 12/20/16 12:39 PM