The ol' Check Chesnut

Wells Fargo Check

Quick one today, Im looking for feedback/information - I have written about check printing here on numerous occasions, the one piece we as a product struggled with was signatures and their security. I wrote about some of the 'soft' alternatives to securing the signatures in a previous post. It has always niggled me thou, that we could not help those folks that had invested in a 'hard' security solution.
By that I mean that their check printer has a removeable memory module that contains the signature images. To get them out on to the page the printer is passed the appropriate escape sequences in the document and low and behold the signatures appear as long as a the memory 'stick' is there.

The key to supporting this 'hard' solution is that these printers use the PCL file format for printing - as many of you know, we dont natively support PCL, just PDF and PS, that is until now! We are working feverishly on our own PCL output (at last) and we are not far away from completing it. Once we have it we then have complete control over the PCL generation that is sent to the printer. Yeah, so what?

Well this means that we can allow you to embed you signature escape sequences into your RTF templates that will be preserved all the way through to the printer and that means you can wrap conditional code around them too and that means we will have a complete 'hard' signature solution for check printing. A dream come true ... OK, maybe not a dream but a nightmare I and a some customers I have been working with, can wake up from soon.

So, its coming but I need some help. Ideally we need a check printer that we can test with - its a long shot but if anyone in the Bay Area can let us borrow their check printer and a couple of hundred pages of fresh check stock, along with their routing and account numbers well be in touch soon ... from Tahiti :0) Seriously thou, if we can get a printer that would be fabulous.

Failing that, some details around what the escape sequences are that you need to pass to your printers would help. Without a check printer to test with, we are working along the lines that if we can put an escape sequence in a template that contains say 'Hello World' and have it come out at the printer. Then we can extrapolate that you'll be able to embed your escape sequences into your RTF and have your signatures come out the other end - a safe assumption I think but we need more information. If you have the info and would may be like to become a Publisher Guinea Pig testing the solution and helping us out, drop me a mail.

Ok, so I said it was a quick one today, I lied, those that know me know, that when a 'yes' or 'no' answer will do I cant just say yes or no. Im the opposite of a bolshy teenager who manages to answer the most open question, inviting a diatribe of verbose verbiage, with a one word answer. See there I go again ... Im shutting up now, mail me!


Hi, a very interesting development as the company I'm working for is using a Troy check printing solution and I'd like to migrate it to BIP. Tried to click on on the here link above but it's not working (maybe the new format). I could out help if you need any further info, cheers Alan Telford

Posted by Alan Telford on July 04, 2008 at 11:23 PM MDT #

Hi Tim, Your articles are very helpful so far. We are in same boat of getting the Troy fonts and Troy sig printing from XML Publisher generated PDF (check) output. We are not sure how to proceed. Just checking if there is any solution for this hard security. Thank you. Madhu

Posted by Madhu on January 27, 2009 at 05:34 AM MST #

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Posted by rbvdritdntm on March 31, 2009 at 10:11 PM MDT #

Hey Tim, Is there a solution yet to this 'hard' signature issue? We presently create PDF reports in house that are FTP'd to a printing vendor that prints our files for us. A part of this process is they 'flash' the signature onto our cheques at the time of printing (post file creation) for security reasons. We have hit a snag in that we have a multi page potential for each cheque package. What this means is we have the first page printed on stock paper with the cheque at the bottom, but if there is more than one page worth of advice lines we need to switch to regular paper and print the remaing pages that follow the cheque then switch back to stock for the next cheque and repeat. The PDF contains thousands of cheques and potential pages following each one. Is there a way we can inject PCL or PS at the time of PDF creation in order for it to swap printing trays? The vendor says there is no way using just the PDF file that they can determine on which paper to print each page. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by Tyler on May 07, 2009 at 03:59 AM MDT #

This is an great article, I'll definitely be adding this blog to my blogroll :)

Posted by Charles Werner on December 09, 2009 at 02:41 PM MST #

Tim, we are trying the same. Printing checks on troy printer. can you please let us know if you were successful

Posted by oracle user on December 11, 2009 at 01:01 AM MST #

Cool post! Just came across your blog today from a google search, I really like the way you have things laid out!

Posted by Checking on December 27, 2009 at 08:45 AM MST #

Did you get it to work? Can you please share it with me? Thank you.

Posted by L on April 07, 2010 at 08:46 AM MDT #

You just pointed me to the solution of my problem here. Thanks!

Posted by Guinea Pig Run on April 11, 2010 at 09:22 AM MDT #

A topic close to my heart thanks. Please consider a follow up post.

Posted by Kitty on July 28, 2010 at 03:27 AM MDT #

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