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The Ink Question Type empowers the end user to handwrite content over a designated area on the form.

The Ink Question Type can be applied onto an e-form in two ways.

  1. To prompt the end user to handwrite something on the e-form; for example: to enable the end user to digitally sign the form.

  2. To provide the facility to upload an image that can then be marked/highlighted/commented on, using a digital handwriting tool (like a stylus or the mouse-pointer).

How to use Ink Question Type on a form

  1. Drag and drop the Ink question from the toolbox and name it.

  1. Set the required properties from the Properties tab of the question.

The 2 unique properties for Ink questions are:

*Background Image: Enables the form designer to upload a background image to the response area of the question.

*Ink Color: Specify the color for the writings.

How to set the Background Image

  1. Click on the ellipsis button to the right of the ‘Background Image’ property.

  1. Navigate to the location of the image and open it.

 The selected image will appear in the blank space provided.

  1. To make the background visible in the output document, tick the Include background in result checkbox. To allow the user to upload a background image during the project run-time, tick the Allow background upload checkbox.

How to set Ink Color

  1. To go the bottom section of the Properties tab of Ink.

  2. Select the required color from the drop-down list of the Ink Color property.

3.To allow the user to choose the ink color during the project run-time, tick the Allow ink color choice checkbox.

See the results

  1. Open produce and run the project. The following images show the design outputs.

a. If no background image is provided.

Ink Zoom Feature

The ink question type that facilitates drawing on a predefined background, requires the largest UI and can often cause the UI to scroll when combined with other question types.

For situations where the ink question is being targeted by the user, we now allow the user to trigger a temporary full-screen zoom so that the image can be as large as the screen size, aspect ratio and resolution of the device allows. The image must allow drawing/erasing both when the image is presented in the form among other question types and in the full-screen view.

When activated the full-screen zoom will attempt to fill the maximum area of the screen without stretching or skewing the image meaning the image will continue to grow until:

_The maximum size of the background image has been reached. I.e. the image won’t grow past 100% of its original size.
_Either the maximum horizontal/vertical width/height of the screen resolution has been reached.

How to configure ink zoom

Form administrators have the ability to specify firstly if the zoom feature is appropriate and the maximum height/width of the form view (non-zoomed) representation of the ink question so that it can be controlled.

Start with an ink question type

The option to Allow Zoom is unchecked by default for an ink question under Properties.

You can check Allow Zoom if there is no background image, but this is not very useful unless you also allow uploads so the user can upload a background image.

Set the thumbnail width and/or height

When you tick the Allow Zoom option you get two more fields - Thumbnail Max Width and Thumbnail Max Height. Both are optional, are used for the non-zoomed image, and are measured in pixels.

If you want the image to actually zoom you need to specify at least one of these values and it should be smaller than the background image size. There are 4 possible combinations:

  1. Thumbnail max width set but no height: when displayed in the form the background image will be constrained to the set width with the height adjusted to correctly scale the image.

  1. Thumbnail max height set but no width: when displayed in the form the background image will be constrained to the set height with the width adjusted to correctly scale the image.

  1. Max width and max height set: when displayed in the form an uploaded background image will be scaled to fit within the dimensions set, so if the scaled width produces a height too big for that specified, the image will be re-scaled so the height fits (making the width smaller as required). If the image fits entirely within the thumbnail size given, it will not be re-scaled.

  1. Neither value set: image will be displayed at its original height and width in the form, but a zoom option (which will display the image at its original height and width but in the zoom window) will be available in the form. This is not a very useful option.

If you allow image upload, then the allow zoom with the thumbnail sizes set can be used to ensure user loaded images don't exceed the allocated space available in the form for the ink question, while still allowing the user to work on the image at full-screen size.

When inserted in a document as a placeholder the background image and/or associated ink will appear at the full size of the background image, unless the dimensions or scale ratio are specified in the answer properties or placeholder controls.

Viewing an ink zoom question in Produce

On the form page

_An ink question with Allow Zoom set will appear in the form with the size constrained by the thumbnail sizes set in web design. In addition, if a background image is supplied it will appear and a Zoom In button will appear.
_If the background image is not supplied no Zoom button appears, but if a background image is uploaded by the user, or by some other form action, then the Zoom In button will appear.
_All the other tools for managing an ink question will appear as normal, as per settings for that question in Web Design.
_The ink size will be slightly smaller than normal for the thumbnail to better take into account the reduced image size.

Zoomed in

Clicking on the Zoom in option opens a full-screen window with the image sized to best fit in the window but with the image scale maintained.

_The tools for managing an ink question appear as per normal, the Zoom In option does not appear but a Zoom Out button does appear.
_The only way to close the window and save the changes to the ink is to click on the Zoom Out button.
*The ink size will be slightly larger than normal for the zoomed in version to allow the ink changes to be visible when zoomed out again.

Viewing an ink zoom question on a Mobile device

On a mobile device, there is a default size limit on background images that are uploaded within the form. If you zoom into an ink question on a mobile device and the background image seems too small, see the section below on "How to Control the size of an ink question answer"

Viewing an ink zoom question in the Windows App

The difference between Produce and the Windows app should simply be that Zoom In and Zoom Out are an icon in the Windows app and a button in Produce.

How to Control the size of an ink question answer

SmartIQ allows users to control the size of the ink question answer that is to be inserted in the document.

Answer size can be defined by a range of measurement units, e.g. pixels, inches, points etc.

Ink question answer properties can be defined via the ‘Properties’ tab of an ink question answer as shown in the image below.

See screenshot below:

The attributes that help to specify the size of ink question answer are described in the table below:

Max HeightThe value assigned to this property is the maximum height.
Max WidthThe value assigned to this property is the maximum width.
UnitsThis property provides a range of units.
Stretch to FitChecking the ‘Stretch to Fit’ checkbox stretches the image to fit the max height and max width value.

Note: If ‘Max Height’ and ‘Max Width’ values are greater than the original size of the image then the resulting image will take the original image’s size dimensions unless ‘Stretch to Fit’ is ticked.

However, If ‘Max Height’ and ‘Max Width’ values are less than the original size of the image, the resulting image will accept the given size dimensions, even if the stretch to fit checkbox is not ticked. Thus the resulting image size will get reduced from its original size.
Alternative TextThe value provided to this property will appear as an alternative text in the generated document.

When using the ink question on mobile devices, setting the answer size may be critical. By default on a mobile device the maximum width or height of an uploaded photo or image from the device gallery is set to 500 x 500 pixels. This is to prevent extremely slow uploads and/or overloading the device memory.

If you are using the zoom feature and/or need to store a large resolution background image from a mobile device you need to set a suitable set of answer dimensions. Note that increasing the answer dimensions will slow the upload and zoom screen rendering times for the question.