RICOH Visual Workbench lets you display and define enhancements for sample AFP files that represent your production AFP files. Examples of enhancements include creating page groups, indexes, barcodes, and text; assigning values to document properties; and adding content to white space areas. RICOH ProcessDirector then applies the same enhancements to production AFP files when it prepares them for processing.

Page groups or documents are AFP structures that organize AFP files into smaller, uniquely identifiable units. For example, an AFP file contains several bank statements that all have the same format. Each statement is a page group. RICOH Visual Workbench lets you apply the same enhancements on all the page groups in the AFP file.


RICOH Visual Workbench has these modes:

  • AFP Indexer lets you create AFP page groups and indexes, and define supplemental pages.
  • Document Property Designer lets you assign values to document properties.
  • AFP Enhancer lets you create barcodes and text, and hide areas that contain unwanted content, such as obsolete bar codes.

  • Pipeline Manager lets you configure and run a set of filters, in a specific order, to process large AFP files quickly and efficiently.

RICOH Visual Workbench , AFP Indexer, Document Property Designer, Pipeline Manager, and AFP Enhancer are all part of the AFP Support feature.


Two components plug in to RICOH Visual Workbench :

  • The AFP Editor component, like AFP Enhancer, lets you create barcodes and text, and hide areas that contain unwanted content. In addition, AFP Editor lets you:
    • Create PDF417 barcodes.

    • Automatically replace POSTNET barcodes with Intelligent Mail barcodes that have the same routing code.

    • Create a condition between two barcodes that determines which barcode is created in a page group.

  • The Whitespace Manager component lets you define available areas of white space in AFP files and then fill the white space with content, such as images and text, during the production process.

Control files

RICOH Visual Workbench creates two control files:

  • Visual Workbench control file

    When you enhance a sample AFP file with any of the modes or plug-ins, RICOH Visual Workbench creates a Visual Workbench control file with information about the enhancements you made. One or more steps in the workflow use the control file to apply all the enhancements, except those made with AFP Enhancer, to production AFP files.

  • EnhanceAFP control file

    One or more steps in the workflow use the EnhanceAFP control file to apply all the enhancements made with AFP Enhancer to production AFP files. You export the EnhanceAFP control file when you are ready to use it in a workflow. If you want to make more enhancements with AFP Enhancer after you export the EnhanceAFP control file, first you load the Visual Workbench control file that contains the original enhancements. You use AFP Enhancer to make the additional enhancements and save the Visual Workbench control file. Then you export an updated version of the EnhanceAFP control file to apply the new enhancements to the workflow.

User interface

The RICOH Visual Workbench user interface displays the sample AFP file and lets you select modes and plug-in features to enhance the file. The user interface lets you interact with the file by clicking text to select it and drawing boxes to indicate positions. For example:

  • You click text that you want to index or use as a trigger to create page groups.

  • You draw a box you where you want to create a barcode or text.

AFP data requirements

AFP files that contain data in Mixed Object Document Content Architecture for Presentation (MO:DCA-P) format are required for use with RICOH Visual Workbench .