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How Wizard Outputs Line Item Tables Using Custom Templates

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This video shows how to create custom Word tables for the Wizard to output the line item data into vs letting the Wizard create the tables. Custom Word tables are created by first making a copy of the stock chapter template into the MyTemplates folder then adding a custom Word table to the template.

Read this related article: It's All About Trust - Win Business Proposals by Winning Trust

Proposal Pack HelpWatch this related video: How Wizard Outputs Line Item Tables from Scratch

In this video we're going to show you how to set up custom Word tables instead of having the Wizard do all the complete creation of the Word tables for outputting the line item databases such as for quotes, schedules, and so on. Using a custom table gives you more flexibility because you have more control over things that say the Wizard doesn't have settings for altering how it creates its output. We'll go into the Preferences, click the Data and Display tab, click the Line Item Quote Database button.

We're going to use a custom database that we've set up set up. If I go to Edit Definition, go into the categories, we have a single category for a product database. This will be the same for any database you use whether it's one of our pre–made ones, a sample, one you've created yourself.

We're just going to the category fields and we've added a project code field, it's an alpha numeric. We have line item weights, so what we're going to show in this example video is how to output two completely different tables using the same database and line items in slightly different ways. We're going to let the Wizard do the output for a Cost Summary that's going to have fewer line items.

You can see we've marked the product code and the weights as hidden so when the Wizard does all the output it will not show the product code, item weight and line item weight. It's only going to show description, unit, price, quantity and amount. But for the Invoice we actually want to show all of the fields.

We want to show the product code, description, the quantity, unit price, the total weight for that line item and the total amount for that line item. So what we'll do is we'll set up the Wizard to do the output itself for the Cost Summary and then we'll set up a custom Word table so we can get the hidden fields actually output to the Invoice. All right, so we'll exit out of this to the main database screen.

What we need to do is we need to have a custom Word template for the Invoice in the MyTemplates folder. You can see we got our custom product database selected and if you go to your File Explorer, go to your default install folder for the entire Proposal Kit. By default that's the C: drive in the ProposalKit folder then the ProposalPack folder and then the MyTemplates folder.

The Wizard will always pull any templates you've put into the MyTemplates folder when it's building your document overriding the ones in the stock library. Because we can have multiple databases in use and different projects can be attached to different databases and that means you could have different layouts. We have to allow you to have multiple copies of the same template say the Cost Summary, Invoice and so on.

What we do is we prepend the database code to the file name so all these files in MyTemplates right now that say QDB and then a number and a dash in front of the template name. That differentiates what templates get used based on the database being used for the project. Okay, so the database code is set when you create a database and when you select different databases you can see here the codes change.

Our custom database we're using for this example example is QDB14 so we need to have a QDB14–Invoice in our folder here. Now you can manually manage copying and creating templates into this folder. The Wizard has features in here to do it for you so you don't have to worry about getting the names and file names correct.

You just click this Quote Templates tab and this is also how you check to see what what template the Wizard's going to be pulling in if there's a custom one or not. If there's no custom templates for a particular chapter here that means the Wizard is going to pull from the stock library and if it's going to pull from the stock library that pretty much means it's most likely going to be doing the creation of the Word tables by itself. If you want to ensure that you have more control over it and creating your custom tables you're going to want to create a template in this folder.

I've clicked the Quote Templates tab, click the Quote Related Templates. It shows me what templates are already associated with the category or categories in the current database. We know our category for this product database, the custom database we're using, is associated with the Cost Summary and Invoice.

So, for a custom table for either one of these we have to get that file into the MyTemplates folder. How do we do that? Well, I can just select Invoice. Oh, and also if you want if you're not sure if you're not actually using your File Explorer to go and actually look at the folder and find matching templates by the database code use this other button Edit Quote Templates.

If I click that it says there's no custom templates in this database for the MyTemplates folder. Okay, so we know there's no nothing in the MyTemplates folder. We don't even have to pop open our File Explorer to look.

We see a blank screen, that means there's no custom templates. Now I can check this box and say show everything. So it's going to show every file in the folder and that just shows us that there are hey there's other databases.

Not the one we're using that have some custom templates. Uncheck that, okay, boom we don't have any. So we need to get one in there, so go back, click Quote Related Templates.

I'm going to click the Invoice because that's the one we're creating a custom template for. I click the Copy to MyTemplates button. All right, now it will first pop up a screen showing you a list of all the categories in the current database and this gives us control of what categories do I want to output into this table.

If I just use the defaults to say Copy and Setup Template and I'll show you that real quick. This is not what we want to do because it's just going to add a single tag and this is how the Wizard will do all the output into the into the Invoice by itself. Okay you see this <<Q–QUOTE>> so that causes the Wizard to do all the the table inserting by itself and that's not what we want in this this example.

So, I'm going to check this box, this is the important part here, add tables with quote tags. So this just gets us a starting table inserted into this template for us to start editing. It just kind of saves us a time having to start with a blank document with no table in it and then having to figure out how to completely create it from scratch.

All right, and I'm going to select everything because I do want the entire category setup. Now, if we we have other categories in here and we want to decide some go in the Invoice some don't then we would check the specific categories that we want. So I'm going to click Copy and Setup Template again and what the Wizard's going to do here is because the MyTemplates files have the formatting details stripped out because that all gets added back in when these MyTemplates versions of files get built into your documents.

So now I just clicked Open Template and I could doubleclick this QDB14 so you see this file just showed up. So if I double click this, that's the same as clicking that button to edit it here. Okay, so now we see the Wizard has output full tables and now we have a table that we can customize to make our custom table.

So now we don't have to start from scratch and figure out how to properly construct a table and get all the tags in the right places, it's pretty much done the work for us. But you'll notice it created the table in the same way it would have created its normal output, that means the two fields that we wanted to show in the Invoice that were hidden they're kind of hidden here, so we need to add those back in. So it's possible we'll add another option soon, if you see another checkbox down here later that gives you the option to output hidden tags that'll probably be something added in the future soon.

We're also going to make some other customizations, so in a previous video we show where we showed how to turn off these major headers, say the main Product category header and the Summary. This is something we can do with a custom table where we want to keep the Summary line but we want to get rid of the chapter header line. Now we need to get our line item fields that we're going to add back in.

So if I just go back out to Definition Info so you can see our category for products and this product code and the total weight for the line item are something we want to add back in. So I can click this View Template Tags button and that just brings up a screen with all the possible tags for the database that we could be adding back in. So if you look around here you can see <<Q–PRODUCTCAT>>.

What's that? PRODUCTCAT that's the tag to insert the category name Products. Because for every category you can create your own labels so when the Wizard does all its assembly it's going to replace <<Q–PRODUCTCAT>> with the word Products because that's the label of that entire category. But we're just going to get rid of this line completely.

Delete this row. Now we want to add in rows for a product code and the line item weight so we're going to have to add a column here. We'll put this in front of here and we'll go and add a weight column over here and I think we'll want to clean up the Summary a little bit.

So we just shift that over, we're not going to really make too many changes here. One thing we can do is since the Invoice has a lot more info going on up here maybe I want to shorten up this table. So we can use one line item row for all of this stuff if we want.

So I'm going to just make some changes here to this table to make a custom one. Another thing we can do instead of manually retyping or moving things around we can always insert using this screen. If you only have one other Word document open other than the Wizard which is the template you're working on, you can't have extra documents open because the Wizard needs to kind of identify which one you're going to be editing and it does that by just looking at what other one document is open that is not the Wizard.

So we have our cursor point set, so instead of typing or moving <<Q–PCSALESTAX>> I can just highlight the line here, insert tag in document. Insert that, all right clean this up a little bit and remove all these older rows, delete cells, delete entire row. Move this left there, so now we've tightened this up into a single table row.

Now let's go add in our missing columns here. Oh, and a couple other things, so when I mentioned all the design elements are removed when this gets rebuilt into a full document. That's done by the Wizard when you create your projects.

That's when it's going to readd the logo, wording for Invoice and the logo, it'll add the sidebars, the watermark graphics, page numbering, footers and so on. It will also apply the color scheme for the design. How the Wizard figures out what colors to replace in tables is it uses three specific colors 0,0,0 these are RGB colors 150, 150,150 and 210,210, 210.

So you see black, light gray, dark gray. Your color scheme will get reapplied to these cells. So if you want the Wizard to correctly apply the cell table colors keep these colors.

If you make custom color changes to these cells the Wizard will keep whatever custom cell colors, table colors you've applied. You'll also note we use Word Styles. There are other videos on Word Styles but this is how you can make font changes across your entire document consistently.

We have some specific Word Styles set aside for use in tables to make sure that the color contrast works. So that's why we have white text against the dark two colors and black text against the light color because your color scheme should be set up so that instead if you're not using black you should be using a dark color. If you're not using this darker gray it should be a darker shade of some other color and that your light gray here should just be a light color of something else so that the contrasting light or dark text stands out.

If you're using different colors than white and black for your fonts you just want to make sure you use a light or a dark shade and that's all set up through the Word Style screens. There's other videos and manual chapters on that but I can just show you real quick if I highlight Description I go over to Styles you'll see all these custom Word Styles that are created for every document you've got in there in your system. So Proposal Kit Table Text 1 and then we have Proposal Kit Table Text 2 and this one is just the normal body text.

All right so the white colors are going to be using a Word Style table text one or table text two, the only difference is the color will be the same, the difference is the size of the font. The larger fonts are usually going to be used for the header labels and then the smaller font will be used for the body. All right so that covers the color, the design elements for colors and fonts.

I'm going to go and split the cells now, this is all Microsoft Word I'm using. These are not features of the Wizard. All this table editing I'm doing is just straight Microsoft Word.

So I can only split one cell at a time and this is another caveat for customizing Word tables for the Wizard. Wsing Word I can create all sorts of splits between cells and things so if the same number of fields are always used that's fine. What you cannot do is say split a cell into two rows.

So what if I were to do something like this. Now Microsoft Word will allow you to do this manually through their normal interface and that's a legitimate Word table. But Microsoft Words API that the Wizard uses for modifying tables cannot process a table like this where you have different number of cell rows across say another a full row so if you try to do something like this the Wizard is going to generate errors that it can not process the table.

That is a limitation of Microsoft Word itself for when it's doing automated processing and traversing of tables. All right so I'll just undo this. So just don't do that.

All right so I've got a new column setup here for a product code and it's okay if our tags here wrap down because when these tags get replaced the tag will get replaced with the length of the actual data. Okay, so I've kind of got the table set up, I've got the widths set up and now I just need to get the tags for these two. So what is our tag for the product code? I just go back over here to my list of tags for the fields and here's my product code tag.

Okay, I've got my cursor in the field, highlight that, click the insert button and it puts the tag in the document for me. I click my cursor over to the weight, see the cursor is flashing right there. There's two weight columns, one is the weight per item, we want the calculated weight.

If I'm not sure which one I can always go back into the database definition and double check which one is the calculation. But I kind of know already this LIWEIGHT is the calculated amount which is the line item weight times the quantity. Hit insert so insert that.

Now we have a completely custom table that has all the fields you want. Now you'll notice here when I was doing this insert it had QS tags but when I dropped them in it had Q tags. That actually will cause some errors in the Wizard because you have to have every field using a QS tag or every field using a Q tag.

Okay what's the difference between Q and QS? This has been covered other videos but that is how you determine if the Wizard is going to create one table line item row and put it every line item row into a separate Word table row or you're going to have one Word table row that all the line item data gets dropped into. If any of your fields are going to have data long enough to wrap down to the next line we want to have one table row per line item. All right so we use the QS tags for that.

Now if I had checked this box before I clicked the insert, here I probably should just click this show QS box so now all these show QS tags. I can just use the keyboard and clean this up real quick QS and QS. All right so now every line item code starts with QS.

So what we're going to show in this example also is what if we want to have the Cost Summary have all the data dropped into one table row because there are fewer columns and that we have more room for the description. But in the Invoice because we've added some extra fields there's a higher chance our description could wrap so we want to ensure that every line item in the Invoice goes into its own Word table row. This will all get shown when we start building actual documents.

Okay, so I think we have a pretty good custom table layout here. We've got everything we want in it. We've got everything lined up the right way, we got the colors set so they're replaceable with the design theme.

Everything looks good. So we're going to save this. Now if I go back into this Quote Templates button then Edit Quote Templates now you see our custom Invoice.

Now we know that, oh, there's a custom QDB4–Invoice docx in the MyTemplates folder that's the template that is going to get used. I can just click the edit button or I can use the File Explorer and that just brings up this template we've been editing. Okay now we're set to actually start building and testing some documents but first let's double check our settings.

Okay table rows, Multi–Table Rows. Because we're going to be setting up the Cost Summary to have one table row for all line items but we've set up a custom Invoice that'll ensure that it gets split out into multiple table rows already we're going to uncheck that. And I think we'll keep everything else the same.

All righty, so let's go build and test a document. All right, I have a new project it doesn't have a database associated with it. I'm going to associate the custom product database.

Let's add some line items. All right added a few lines items. We have our product codes, descriptions, weights, price, quantity is calculated out, the total line item weights and the amounts.

Let's get our globals set. We'll have a tax rate of 7%, $50 for shipping and give them a $20 discount. Now we can do a Test and Preview and let's see what these look like.

So you can see that <<Q–QUOTE>> that you just saw flip up there. That means the Wizard is doing all the table creation for the Cost Summary and you just see it pop up in the Invoice here. Now it's pulled in our custom table to drop in the data into the tags and we'll just look at the difference.

So it's the same line item database, same definition, the same set of actual line item data. The default settings for the Cost Summary you can see we're turning off the Multi Table Rows. Now we have one Word table row that all the line items get dropped into.

Now we could use the Wizards setting options for changing up the output a little bit. We might just be able to give us more room in the description by making the the price column a little shorter if we were using long descriptions but this this does work by itself. Now over on the Invoice we can see we also have the code field and the complete weight field.

Now if we are using long descriptions, if the descriptions wrapped everything stays in line so that's one of the reasons for maybe splitting up using multiable rows or not. It really comes down to do you need to shorten up tables to get more space on the page and does your data wrap or not and that's going to determine whether you really should turn off the Multi Table Row option. We probably would make one more little change here so I can go, I'll go and make a couple little tweaks.

I'm going to go and change the price width here and I'm going to go and add in so we forgot to add in the total of the weight. I'm going to show how to do that in line in the body of the document. I'm going to save my project without building the documents.

I don't want to kick off the full build over here. So this is an example of how you would usually go about making custom table changes. You would set up your table, make your initial changes, you go do a preview of some live data, decide what you want to change and then you just iteratively go back and forth until you get your table set up just right.

This is actually showing you what you would normally do in practice. So I'm going to go back into Edit Definition, go to our categories. We got our products, go into the Category Fields.

Now for Price let's I'm going to edit the field. This is only going to affect the Cost Summary where the Wizard is doing all the output. This will have no effect on the Price column in the custom table we created because we custom set the width in an actual table to 50.

So widths are in points and in Microsoft Office 72 points is 1 inch of your width in your document. So 50, that's going to be you know maybe 3/4 of an inch or so. Okay, now the other change we wanted to make was to actually put in the full calculated item weight for the entire order which we were missing in the Invoice.

So I'll go to Quote Templates, Edit Quote Templates. Edit our Invoice, View Template Tags. So what we are missing, tax rate, shipping, oh, here we go.

Total Weight, so total weight is that's a global level field and it's the sum of all the weights for all the line items. So where would we want to put in this weight. We want to kind of show how to put tags outside of a table.

You don't have to put all your tags inside of tables all the time, only the line item tags like these have to go in tables. You cannot put the category level line item tags in the body of a document because what the Wizard does in line items it actually has to expand the Word table as it's adding rows or it has to go to the end of the column to insert the next piece of data for the next line item and it just doesn't know what to do with a line item field in the body of a document. But we can put global gields, so I'm just going to put the total weight up here.

All right, so go over this tab. I could just type this with the keyboard and whatever tag I have highlighted wherever my cursor is is going to insert it. Okay so now we have a global level line item tag in the body of the document.

Go back into our project and we'll do another Test and Preview. All right, so now we have our custom table, you see our price is now set to the width of 50 which gives us more room over in the description and our total weight is right there. Now 20 point 8, what is this? Pounds, ounces, kilogram? So this is where you might want to use formatting fields or we can just type in the letters lbs, kgs, whatever after the tag in the template.

You have got multiple options on how to get your raw data formatted differently. That is how you use custom templates to have more control over your output. Now we'll just do a full build of the document so you can see all the styling and everything added to those templates.

A front and back cover, an introduction. Now we'll do a Okay, Save Projects and Build Documents and this will kick off the full build. All right now the full build is done we're going to open up both the document and the invoice.

Now the invoice is typically generated by default as a separate document because it's not usually used within the full proposal. You might be just be pulling it out later after you've submitted the proposal and it's been approved but at least it's ready and everything matches what was put into the proposal. All righty, so here's our full document and we're using one of our vending design themes for illustration.

Here we got the Introduction and now you can see Cost Summary has the extra elements added to it and also the Invoice you noticed before in the preview it didn't have the Invoice graphic logo header here. Didn't have the sidebar, didn't have the footers. So now all that is applied during assembly.

All right that all looks pretty good. So really that's how you create output where you want control using custom Word tables versus having the Wizard do the output and you have options there as well for the output. Use custom Word tables when you really want more control over the output than what the Wizard defaults can do.

I'm just going to pop back into the Preferences real quick. We're going to go back to that list of custom templates that are in the MyTemplates folder and I'm just going to open up those and show you what they look like for other databases. It'll show everything, so let's go look at a budget example.

So this is for a template that's not a cost summary page this is for a budget. You can see a custom template here all laid out for a three–year budget. Now if you had added the budget template to your project you would have had categories for adding income sources, assets, expenses and putting in all those line items and then when your document gets built this custom table gets used.

For a schedule now if you use the schedule chapter this is a custom template that is set up by default for using schedules. Now this one has days to complete is one of the summaries. So what if you needed something like instead of days you know weeks, months, years to complete.

Some of these schedule databases already have those extra global fields defined and you could just change this from say compdays to compweeks, months and so on or add your own custom calculations if you need something that's not in the stock database. So that is the bulk of what you need to know about creating custom Word tables for your line item databases. This works for every database whether it's completely created by yourself, custom, any of our stock ones, it doesn't matter.

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