Text masks

A text mask replaces text in an AFP file with another character, for example the x character. Text masks are useful if you do not want anyone to view or print sensitive information, such as customer names and social security numbers.

You can block out, or mask, text that is consistently present in the same location in each page group. You define a text mask by selecting a block of text that occurs in a consistent location on every page group in the file; for example, a customer's social security number. You can define multiple text masks so you can mask different information in a page group, such as a customer name, an address, and an account number.

You can use the default character x for the mask value or select a different character. The selected text is replaced in the AFP file. For example, when you use an AFP viewer, instead of displaying social security number 213-87-2967, the text mask xxxxxxxxxxx is displayed. When you print the AFP file, instead of printing the social security number, the text mask prints.

Tip: To make sensitive data completely inaccessible, mask the text instead of hiding the area that contains the data. When you mask text data, the original data is no longer in the AFP file. However, when you hide an area, the original data remains in the AFP file. In both cases, an AFP viewer does not display the data and the data does not print.