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How to Efficiently Create Custom Line Item Templates

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This video shows how to use a new screen that lets you define which fields and which order to place them for the Wizard to build you a custom tailored template with a Word table ready for you to further edit for how your line item data will be output.

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Proposal Pack HelpWatch this related video: How Wizard Outputs Line Item Tables Using Custom Templates

All right, in this video we're going to show the most efficient way to get started by creating a custom Word template for a line item quote database page. This video is a continuation of one of the other videos which is titled How the Wizard Outputs Line Item Tables Using Custom Templates. In this video we're going to show a new feature we've added into that since then.

We'll go into the Preferences, I'll go into Data and Display and then the Line Item Quote Database. Now we have a custom database set up here and this custom database right now is just a cloned copy of the Basic Product Sales database. We're going to do a couple modifications to this really quick to help illustrate the creation of a custom template.

In the previous video we showed how using a single database output to both the Cost Summary and the Invoice you can create different outputs. We're going to do the same illustration but just show a more efficient way to get started with your custom template for the Invoice. I'll go and edit the definition and you can see our globals.

We've got our weight subtotals and so on and we're going to go into the product category here and we're going to add in a product code. This product code, we'll mark it as invisible so that it does not show up in the Cost Summary and we're going to create a custom table and it's going to show it in the Invoice. We'll move this up.

All right, so I've made one custom modification to our database and now we're going to go into the Quote Templates tab. Just to double check if we already have any custom templates or not we'll just click the Edit Quote Templates. We get the little popup saying there are no custom templates for this database.

We'll just close that. That's just a quick double check to make sure we don't already have a custom template for the Invoice. So now click the Quote Related Templates button and we're going to highlight the Invoice because the Invoice is the page we're going to create a custom table for.

The Cost Summary is going to retain the same setup where the Wizard is going to do all the output. What we're showing here is where the Wizard is going to do the same exact output for the Cost Summary even with these database modifications we've made but it's the Invoice that's going to get get a custom output. We'll click the Copy to MyTemplates.

What we want to do is copy the stock Invoice template and create a custom version of that in the MyTemplates folder. It's going to be tweaked for this line item database output. All right, now you see all of the categories, and there's only one category in this database, but if we had multiple categories we just pick the ones that we want to output.

Normally if we just click this Copy to MyTemplates it's going to put a tag in that's going to cause the Wizard to do all the output itself to the tables. But we want to create a custom table so we're going to check this box Add Tables with Quote Tags. This box here was not in the previous video, this is the new feature.

Once we've checked this box this button becomes enabled. Click that, now we get a new screen here and we can pick from the global fields and for every category with line item fields you'll see an entry. So we click the Global Fields and you'll see Visible and Hidden.

So all of the hidden fields in the database definition, the ones that don't get output, are over here. And all the visible ones are here and these are the global variables. So we actually want to move the Total Weight over.

Now this is not going to change the database definition so when we're making these changes here in this screen it's not going to get saved to the database definition, this is just temporary use only for the purpose of creating this custom template in these screens. All right, so this ordering is going to be the order of all the global fields in the summary or under the category. Just to show how this ordering can work remember this later.

So right now by default the shipping comes before the discount. Let's just move the discount above the shipping just so you can see how this is going to create a custom output. Now we'll go to the Products category, now visible and hidden fields, so when it outputs the Cost Summary it's going to only output the visible fields.

But we're going to create a custom Invoice and we want the product code and the line item weight, we're going to leave the item weight hidden just because we don't want to take up extra space in the table and the one we are going to output is going to be the calculated item weight which is multiplied by the quantity. So we're going to move those over. Just to show how the ordering is going to get changed in the custom template we'll move the line item weight after the amount.

So what we're doing here is we're setting up our custom template to let the Wizard do as much of the heavy lifting of creating the custom table just the right way as possible so we can minimize the amount of hand editing when the table gets output. All right, so we're done with our changing orders and changing what's hidden versus visible. Now when I do this Copy and Setup Template the Wizard is going to take the stock Invoice template out of our library of all the templates, make a copy of it into the MyTemplates folder.

It will prepend the database code to the file name and it will process the file to get it ready for use as a template that's going to get pulled in during document assembly. It's going to custom create a Word table with tags in it based on what we did in this form. Okay, now it's ready.

I'll open it up. Now you can see it's created a custom table and another thing it's done is it's removed out it's stripped out any visual formatting details. So instead of the color scheme of the the design theme which is in shades of blue, which you'll see later, it's got black, light gray, dark gray.

And there are no headers, there's no footers, there's no sidebar, no watermark graphics. There's no Invoice header graphic up here. So that all gets added back in when this template gets actually put to use in assembling a document.

So we're going to make a few extra changes but you can see here, notice how it put the discount above the shipping because we changed the order in the form. It moved the weight after the amount because we changed the order of that in the form. And weight and product code used to be hidden fields and now they're output so now we don't have to manually add in columns into the table and get the right codes pasted in.

We don't have to manually move the order in the table. The Wizard did more work for us so now we can just do some minor tweaks to the custom table. So let's just get rid of this entire row here, clean that up a little bit.

We'll shorten up the product code so we get a little more room in the description. Maybe we'll shift these over a little bit get some more room in our description field. You maybe will want to pull this over a little bit.

All right, so we have a customized table and we can do other things like say if we want some global level fields that are down here in the summary. What if we want those up in the body or up in one of these tables up here. You can make those kind of changes.

So global level tags don't have to exist within a table. These tags for the line items, those do have to go within a table. You cannot put line item tags outside of a table.

All right, so all our changes are made, we'll save that. We'll close this now. If we go to Edit Quote Templates button now we see in the MyTemplates folder there is a QDB13–Invoice dox file that is the custom template that will override the use of the stock template.

We can just click the Edit button, open that up anytime. You can also go directly using your File Explorer to the MyTemplates folder. That's typically in the C: drive.

If you did the default install location there's a ProposalKit folder and then in that is a ProposalPack folder then you'll see a MyTemplates folder. So you can just go straight into there using your File Explorer if you want to get directly to the files. Okay, so we have our custom template all set up, now let's go use this in a project.

Add a New Project, click the Line Item Quote. Now this is a new project, it doesn't have a database assigned to it, doesn't have any templates. We're going to click our custom database and now I can do Manage Data.

We'll add some line items. Now in actual use for complex databases you might actually be creating pre–made line items you can just select from a drop down instead of manually filling in every field every time. Now remember we kind of made a short width column for the product code so we're going to make the product codes short.

All right, so we've added three line items. You can see the line item weights calculated out based on the item weight and quantity. We can go fill in some globals.

So we have a tax rate of 6 and a half percent. Now we know that everything's calculated out, we can see the weight is 46, got the subtotal, discount, shipping and so on. Now let's do a Test and Preview.

We'll just preview what the Invoice and Cost Summary will look like. You can see how now it's adding back in the color, you can see it'll change from the blacks and grays to blues. So it's adding in the color scheme, the visual effects, and now we can see the difference between the Cost Summary.

This is the table output completely by the Wizard using the attributes in the database definition and this is the Invoice which is using our custom created template. So you can see the product code, the weight column we added, the weights are added up to here the total weight and put the discount in front of the shipping whereas shipping is in front of the discount over here. So that is how you can efficiently create a custom table for your line item database pages using that new form in the Wizard's Preferences.

We'll go and just do a full build of a whole document now that we like the preview. We'll add a cover letter, front and back cover pages, maybe add an introduction. Now we go do a full build.

All right, our full build is done. I'll go take a look at that and now you can see the rest of the visual effects have been added like the sidebars, the top graphic. Now we got the color scheme and we just shorten this up to a single page.

For the full proposal we got the front and back cover, introduction, cost summary. There we go, that is how you can efficiently build a custom Word template for your line item database output.

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