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How to implement a custom letterhead in Notes

Technote (FAQ)


In Lotus Notes®, how can you add a custom letterhead to a mail template?


This task is for an experienced Lotus Notes developer. If you are familiar with using the Designer client then you should not have any problems with the procedures below. Please be advised that you should carefully read the entire technote first before beginning this task.
Customized logos will not appear for recipients if they do not have a mail database which contains the same customizations, thus it is suggested that the changes be made directly in the mail template. Note: If the customized letterhead does not work as expected for a user be sure that the design of their mail file has been updated as expected by the server's Design task.

Note: IBM® Lotus® Domino® Web Access (DWA) releases 5.x, 6.x, 7.x and 8.x do not support the use of letterheads.

In Notes 8.0, and later, letterheads intentionally do not use background graphics. For additional details, including how to force the use of background graphics and how to remove unnecessary image resources, refer to the following document: Letterhead background does not appear (#1302884)

The Elements

In Notes release 5.0, letterhead graphics are made up of two Image Resources: a main element, and a background. The main element is the image that appears to the left of the address information on the form. The background image is tiled behind the address information.

What You'll Be Modifying - The "(Calendar Profile)" and "Memo" Forms

You must modify the "(Calendar Profile)" form and the "Memo" form in order to add custom letterheads. These forms are accessed via the Designer client and are listed with the other form design elements that appear when you select Forms in the left pane.

Within the Calendar Profile form, you must add your additional letterhead choices to the DefaultLogo listbox field (see list below in Supporting Information section). When adding additional letterhead styles, it is suggested that you use the alias format naming convention currently used. It is also suggested that you start numbering your custom letterheads at a value of 50, so as not to interfere with the letterhead numbers that ship with the Mail template.

The following paragraph detail is not required in Notes 8.0 and later - steps 2, 4, and 5 can be skipped: You must also alter the formula for the BGTableColor field, in the Calendar Profile form, Memo, Reply, and Reply With History forms. This must be altered in all of the forms as the field is Computed for Display, and not actually saved in the Calendar Profile document. The BGTableColor formula logic relies on the fact that the letterhead choices have aliases that all start with StdNotesLtr. For example, the Pony Express letterhead has an alias of StdNotesLtr17. The formula strips all of the alias name except the number, which is then used to identify which of the six (6) canned backgrounds is used. The canned backgrounds have names of bg_0, bg_1 ... bg_5. When creating additional custom backgrounds, you must use the existing naming convention. It is suggested that additional background image resources are numbered 10 and greater (for example, bg_10).

Steps To Create a Custom Letterhead:

1. Create an Image Resource for the main element. The recommended size is 88 pixels high and 70 pixels wide (although a size as large as 90 x 85 should fit in most cases). Change the alias so that the name conforms to the established naming convention (for example, StdNotesLtr##). Note that when working with Windows Paint, you can set the size of the object by using the menu option: Image, Attributes. Pels is synonymous with Pixels.

Note: In reply chains, the main element will be taken off of the background and will appear on its own. So, it is important that your main element look good on a white background, as well as on the neutral background. Make sure there are no white or dark "halos" appearing around the main element when it appears on either white or textured backgrounds.

2. Create an Image Resource for the background. As the background is tiled, it does not have a specific size requirement. Change the name and the alias so that it conforms to the established naming convention (for example, bg_##).

Note: The Image Resources created above are added to the database using the New Image Resource button which for Notes 5.x appears when you have selected the design element area Resources, Images. For Notes 6.x the design element area is titled Shared Resources, Images.

3. Edit the Calendar Profile form's DefaultLogo listbox field and add the new graphic choice with its alias. For example: "Our letterhead|StdNotesLtr50"

Note: The Calendar Profile form is hidden and it's name appears in parentheses in the form design listing: "(Calendar Profile)".

4. Edit the Calendar Profile form's formula for the BGTableColor field. You must alter the logic to include a check for the new letterhead's number.

For example:

Given our new letterhead alias of StdNotesLtr50, and a new background image resource of bg_10 (for example), our modified formula for the BGTableColor field would need to check for a value of 50 and return a value of 10.

The end of the current formula is as follows:
Image = 3:4:13:24;
@Return(BG_IMAGE_PREFIX + "5");
@Return(BG_IMAGE_PREFIX + "0")

The modified formula checks for the new letterhead number and returns the appropriate background number:
Image = 3:4:13:24;
@Return(BG_IMAGE_PREFIX + "5");
Image = 50;
@Return(BG_IMAGE_PREFIX + "10");
@Return(BG_IMAGE_PREFIX + "0")

(See the full formula for the BGTableColor field in the Supporting Information section below.)

    5. The adapted BGTableColor formula needs to be copied and pasted into the Memo form's BGTableColor field.

    Supporting Information:

    Full Formula Used for BGTableColor Field:

    Below is the full formula used for the BGTableColor field.

    Logo:= DefaultLogo;

    (Logo = "";


    (Image = "Gateway";
    @Return(BG_IMAGE_PREFIX + "3");
    (Image = 9:20:27;
    @Return(BG_IMAGE_PREFIX + "1");
    Image = 14:6:22:30;
    @Return(BG_IMAGE_PREFIX + "2");
    Image = 2:15:18:28:29;
    @Return(BG_IMAGE_PREFIX + "3");
    Image = 7:8:17;
    @Return(BG_IMAGE_PREFIX + "4");
    Image = 3:4:13:24;
    @Return(BG_IMAGE_PREFIX + "5");
    @Return(BG_IMAGE_PREFIX + "0")

    List of letterheads (and their aliases) that shipped with Notes release 5.0:

    Bouncy Earth|StdNotesLtr1
    Buck Rogers Mail|StdNotesLtr2
    Computer Chip|StdNotesLtr3
    Falling Spheres|StdNotesLtr5
    Frank Lloyd|StdNotesLtr7
    From The Desk|StdNotesLtr8
    Geometry |StdNotesLtr9
    Gray Gradient with Lines|StdNotesLtr13
    Green and Yellow Diamond|StdNotesLtr14
    Metal Plate|StdNotesLtr15
    Pencil and Grid|StdNotesLtr16
    Plain Text|StdNotesLtr0
    Pony Express|StdNotesLtr17
    Post Mark|StdNotesLtr33
    Purple Geometry|StdNotesLtr18
    Slashed Lines with Globe|StdNotesLtr21
    Squiggle with Backdrop|StdNotesLtr22
    Squiggly Line|StdNotesLtr23
    Teal and Yellow Lines|StdNotesLtr26
    Three Dimensional Relief|StdNotesLtr27
    Torn Paper|StdNotesLtr28
    Triangle with Dots|StdNotesLtr30
    Wild Confetti|StdNotesLtr32

    Cross reference information
    Segment Product Component Platform Version Edition
    Messaging Applications IBM Domino Designer

    Historical Number


    Product Alias/Synonym

    Lotus Notes Client
    Lotus Domino Designer Client
    Notes Designer for Domino

    Document information

    More support for: IBM Notes

    Software version: 6.0, 6.5, 7.0, 8.0, 8.5, 9.0

    Operating system(s): Windows, iOS

    Reference #: 1094814

    Modified date: 13 September 2004

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