Defining text masks

You can define text masks to replace specific data with another character. For example, you might need to block out (or mask) sensitive information, such as customer names and social security numbers.
The text you want to mask must occur in a consistent location on every page group in the file.
To define a text mask:
  1. In AFP Visual Environment, open a sample AFP file that contains the text you want to mask.
  2. If the sample AFP file does not contain page groups, use AFP Indexer to create page groups.
  3. Click Mode AFP Editor.
  4. Click the text you want to mask.
    The text blocks you can select are defined in the AFP file, from one character to the entire line of text.
    You see a red box around the text you selected.
  5. Right-click the text and select Create text mask.
    You see the Create Text Mask window with the default character x in the Mask character field. In the Masked value field, you also see how the selected text is masked with the mask character.
  6. Type another mask character if you do not want to use the default character. The value in the Masked value field changes to the character you selected.
  7. Decide whether you want to mask the entire text value or part of the text.
    You can edit the text to reduce the number of characters you mask. For example, if the account number is one text block, 01-345678, you can mask part of the account number, such as 345678.

    To edit the text mask value, click Edit mask value. Edit the value in the Edit Value window and click OK.

  8. Although text might appear to be present in the same location on each statement, slight position variations can occur in the AFP file. To change the threshold to look for a text value that is in slightly different positions on some pages, click the Advanced tab. You can select a range from 1/100 to 1 inch.

    The threshold defines how far the text can be from the original location and be considered a mask value. For example, a threshold value of 12 indicates that the mask value can be located within .12 of an inch either vertically or horizontally. Usually the default threshold value of 10 is sufficient.

    Keep in mind that if you increase the threshold above the default value, you might mask text you did not expect because the match is only done on location, so the first text block found in the threshold range is used as the text mask.

  9. Click OK.
  10. Verify that the correct text has been masked in all page groups:
    1. Double-click the page groups in the bottom pane and verify that the correct text has been marked.
    2. If the text mask is incorrect, modify or delete the text mask (Tools Definitions Modify and Delete).