difference between a and z in encoders

I'm talking to software that tracks through an incremental shaft encoder. I'm actually trying to trick the software into seeing one round of the encoder wheel as 1 'click'. The machine originally is set up to use 'a' and '-a' signals from the encoder. I figured if I use 'z' and '-z', then the machine will think each revolution is a single click. But I don't register anything when I wire it up that way. It acts as though it's not getting any signal at all.

Does anyone know if there is electronically a difference between 'a' signals and 'z' signals?

Any information would be appreciated.

Here's the encoder I'm using:


Please and Thankyou
Clearly encoders have changed since my days of use ..
What you have is a programmable one with a specification I cannot comprehend.
From what I recall incremental encoders had a simple quadrature pulse train, some having a 'revolution pulse' which is perhaps what you are looking for.

The Z pulse on the one you have (Z for zero) is merely a datum marker or starting point from power up.
Providing the configuration is correct it will give one pulse and nothing else.
It's not clear what you mean by a single click.

Perhaps you can explain what you are trying to achieve.
A signal, if I understand it, gives 1200 pulses (or 'clicks') per revolution. I want one pulse per revolution.

I'm tracking an envelope through some mailing equipment. The software either tracks by inch, or by cycle. Cycles track by a proxy sensor being tripped, inches track with encoders. The problem is, there's physically only one cycle input (proxy switch) on the machine and I'd like to track in more than one spot for cycles. I noticed that if I defined something as a cycle, the software still allows me to choose encoder as the tracking method. But the envelope being tracked zips right through because it sees 1200 cycles per encoder revolution. I thought I could use the Z signal and only get one cycle per encoder revolution. But it's not working out that way.
The encoder has three pairs of differential signals A+,A-, B+.B-,I+,I-. For standard operation you need to use A+,A-, B+.B or A+ and B+ as single ended connection. The resolution of A,B signals is 1200 pulses per revolution; 1 pulse per revolution is for I signal. You must configure your interface for counting Index only or divide A,B by 1200.