Have you ever wondered how the Cover Image tab in the lower pane of the report writer works? If you are using content provided by 3D Inspection Systems, you normally just use the Cover Image tab in the lower pane of your inspection to quickly select a nice overall picture of the property you are inspecting. And it automatically prints on your report cover page.

How does the cover page know how and where to import your image? May you import it into other documents you use? How do you adjust the size of the printed image? Here’s what you need to know to set up or adjust documents to use the automatic cover image feature.

How the Cover Image works
cover image tabb
The Cover Image tab in the lower pane is used to select a general image of the property you are inspecting. Since the photo would be different for each report, a special Cover Image field is used to automatically import the image into your document, similar to other merge fields. That way you can have a standard cover page set up, but the correct image for each report automatically is included at final print time.

To make the cover image import into your cover or another document, you just need to include the Cover Image field in your document where you want the image to import.

Tip: Make your cover part of your index doc
Most inspectors include their report cover as part of their index document. That way they never have to remember to attach it to the report (since it's automatic) and all their company info, company logo, job information and front picture of the house just merges in automatically at final print time. Set it and forget it.

The index document also is special in that it doesn’t merge information immediately when attached but waits until print or preview time. Otherwise it would prematurely replace merge fields before you had a chance to actually select a cover image or before your inspection forms were completed so it could properly calculate the page numbers for the index or table of contents.

How to set up the cover image field in a document

  1. Edit your master document. For example, to edit the index document that attached automatically to reports, use File > Page Setup to access your print layout and click Customize for the Index document.
  2. In the document, position your cursor where you want the cover image to be included.
  3. We recommend including the cover image within a table. Use Table > Insert Table to create a table. If you wish the cover image to be centered on the page with nothing alongside it, just insert a 1x1 table. If you wish to include job or other information alongside the picture, then include an additional column for that information. Note: The table cell frame will not print unless you choose to make them visible by adjusting the table format. Usually there is no need to do so.
  4. Click into the table cell where you want the cover image to appear.
  5. Click Insert > Cover Image.
  6. You may adjust the number in the [COVER_IMAGE:4] code to the width in inches that you wish the photo to print. For instance, 4 will import the image at 4 inches wide. 2.5 would import the photo at 2.5” wide. Note: The final image will only insert up to the width the table cell allows.
  7. You may format the cover image field to position it within the table cell. For instance, if you want the final image centered, click center paragraph in the toolbar.
  8. Be mindful that when the image is actually imported, the height of the image will automatically push any information following or beneath the code down automatically, so you don't usually need to include any extra space below the field. The document will adjust automatically.
  9. Save and Exit the document when done. Your master document template is now set up for use with all future reports.

This example shows a portion of a master summary letter template set up to automatically merge client information and the cover image to the right. A table is used to position the cover image to print alongside the information.
summary template example

How to select your cover image for any report

  • In the report writer, click the Cover Image tab in the lower pane.
  • Click Select Image.
  • Use the tree to locate and import your image. A preview of the selected image appears in the pane.
  • When you print or preview, your cover image is automatically included wherever you have the cover image field included in your document attachments.

If a cover image field was included in your index document master, it merges automatically into the _index.w3D that automatically attached when you created the report.

If you included a cover image field in other documents, the current cover image will import automatically into the document when you attach it to your inspection. Make sure your cover image is selected before attaching the document.

If you adjust a document master for future use and wish to attach it to an existing inspection, or if you attached a document before selecting your cover image, you may simply remove the attached document in the lower Attachments pane of your report (right-click and Remove the item). Then just reattach your document again. In the case of the _Index.W3D file, just close and reopen the report to attach your current index master in Page Setup to your inspection.

Now that you know how to customize your documents so your cover photo is where you want it, your reports can be all dressed up with somewhere to go, and referrals to get!