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How Wizard Outputs Line Item Tables from Scratch

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This video shows how to setup the line item database for when you want the Wizard to create the Word tables itself. See how to add tags into templates the Wizard will replace with complete tables.

Read this related article: 9 Steps to Accurate Estimates and Proposals

Proposal Pack HelpWatch this related video: How to use Data Types in Line Item Databases

In this video we're going to show you how to output your line item databases to a Word document using the Wizards line item database settings. This is a two–part video, the second video will cover how to make your own custom tables. So this video is for when the Wizard creates all the output for tables from scratch.

How do you determine which method the Wizard is going to use? That is determined by if you have created a template in the MyTemplates folder or edited the stock template for the page the category is associated with. Either inserting a tag for the Wizard to do the insertion of the tables itself or if you're going to custom create a table for the Wizard to just drop content into. So we can just go into the Preferences and go into the Line Item Database and you'll go to this Quote Templates tab.

Now this is all going to be based on the database we have selected up here. We can go to Edit Quote Templates. There are no custom templates for this database in the MyTemplates folder.

The stock templates will be used. If you see this kind of message you will know that the Wizard is going to be creating the output for you and you can see there are no templates for this database. I can say Show All My Templates and you can see QDB13, 16, 17, 19 and so on.

These are all custom templates that have been set up for other databases, not the one we're using. If you uncheck this it's going to show you templates for the actual database you're currently using. So since we have none we know the Wizard is going to create the output for us.

Now we can create a template and set it up for the Wizard to do the output and we'll do that just to show you how this all works. We can go into Quote Related Templates and for the current line item database it's associated with the Cost Summary and the Invoice. If I just highlight the Cost Summary and say Copy to MyTemplates what it's going to do is it's going to make a copy of the stock Cost Summary template, append the database code to it and make a copy into your MyTemplates folder.

If you bring up your File Explorer and go to the default install folder for your Proposal Kit which will usually be the C: drive, the ProposalKit folder then the ProposalPack folder and in there you'll find a MyTemplates folder. This is the folder where all the custom templates are stored. When we say let's make a Copy to MyTemplates of the Cost Summary for our currently selected database it brings up all the categories in that database.

If I have all categories selected and I say Copy and Setup Templates what we can see is it just added QDB3–CostSummary docx over here. If we just click Open Template it's actually going to open this file. You can just go to the MyTemplates folder using your File Explorer and just manually open and edit these templates.

The Wizard interface is just giving you another way of managing files in this folder. If I say Open Template we can see what it did is it took the stock Cost Summary, it removed the headers, the footers, the design elements like the Cost Summary header that usually at the top of the page because that's all going to get reapplied when your entire document is assembled. Our MyTemplates files are just the base body text of the document.

When you see the <<Q–QUOTE>> tag, this tells the Wizard to completely insert and create the quote tables for every category that's associated with the Cost Summary, which in this case is the product and services category with a summary table. It will replace this tag with its output. Now we can change this up a little bit, let's say we only want the product category in the Cost Summary.

You can see instead of <<Q–QUOTE>> it's added <<Q–QUOTE–PRODUCTCAT>> which is the code or identifier for the product category. So this way the Wizard is only going to output the products to the Cost Summary and not the services. We can manually add this in if we just type with the keyboard <<Q–QUOTE– and we see SERVICESCAT is the code for the services table like that.

The Wizard will then replace each one of these tags with an entire table, one for the product category, one for the service category and one for the summary. The difference between using <<Q–QUOTE>> like this versus spelling them out individually is if every category going into this page has the same number of columns (the same number of fields) it will create one table for everything. If you split it up like this it's going to create three individual tables with some white space like a line or two between them.

Now if you have a category with different number of fields even if you use the <<Q–QUOTE>> tag it will cause the Wizard to split it up into three individual tables. All right, so this is how we set up our templates for when we want the Wizard to completely create the table output. For right now I am going to leave this as <<Q–QUOTE>> and I'm going to save it.

So, when the Wizard builds our entire document it will look in the MyTemplates folder first. If it sees a Cost Summary docx file with no database label it will use it. If it sees a CostSummary docx instead with our currently selected database QDB3– in this case it will then override the use of CostSummary with the database specific one.

If it doesn't see any templates in MyTemplates folder it's going to go grab the stock Cost Summary from the library of the thousands of templates for the design theme. So we have our Cost Summary set up with a single tag to drop in the entire table. Now if I go into Edit Quote Templates now you'll see an entry here for QDB3–CostSummary docx.

Now another little feature is I can open this file with the Edit button and say I want to instead of typing with keyboard, I can say View Template Tags, I got all the tags that can go into a Word document and I can just highlight and click Insert Tag in Template. If I only have one Word document open the Wizard will know to insert at the cursor point whatever tag I have highlighted. So I can click the Insert Tag in Template button and you see it inserts that.

That just saves me having to type the whole thing out with the keyboard and possibly misspelling something. All right, so we'll resave that. Now we just have a <<Q–QUOTE>> tag.

The Wizard is going to do absolutely everything for us. We'll go build a document with the stock settings so you can see what the output is going to look like. Then we'll go and make some edits using the available settings for adjusting how the Wizard will create the output.

We've already set up a project. If I go into Line Item Quote then Manage Data I can see I've got three lines in the products category, a few widgets. I've got a couple lines in the services category and if I view the globals I can see my subtotals, discount amount, shipping, tax rate, total amount/grand total.

All right, so if I do a Test and Preview I can get a quick preview what the Cost Summary is going to look like. Since I also have the Invoice associated it's going to output a preview of the Invoice as well. You can see here <<Q–QUOTE>> and it just replaced that with all its output.

We're going to focus just on the Cost Summary so we just close this Invoice. Now you can see how it replaced the <<Q–QUOTE>> with a single Word table with lines for the products, lines for the services, our headers, all of our amounts, subtotals and all our globals. That doesn't look too bad.

But what if you want to make some adjustments to how the Wizard does its output. Say what if we want to shorten things up and remove this major header Products, Services and Summary and shorten things up a little bit. What if we want a single Word table row for all the data instead of one table row per line.

That will help shorten up the size of the table. Now there are other settings so we can say left justify all these labels over to this side. We can change the width of these so maybe we'll change the width of the Price column so we get some more space over here.

All right, so how do we make all of these adjustments. We will just go back out and I'm saving the project without building the documents so I don't want to kick off the full document build yet. I'll go into my Preferences, Data and Display, Line Item Database.

The Basic Product and Service Sales is the database we've been using and I'm going to go into the Edit Definition. If I go into Table Settings, Multi Table Rows – that is checked. So that's what's going to cause every line item to have its own table row so if I uncheck that that's going to drop all the data into a single table row per category.

Now if you have lines like say your descriptions that are going to overflow and wrap down to the next line you're not going to want to use this option because your other columns will be misaligned. So do be aware of how your data is going to wrap if you're going to start changing this. No Table Header Rows, so when I mentioned hey let's turn off the main chapter rows where it said Products, Services and Summary.

We want to check that. That turns off those rows. Table Width, probably not going to have to change that.

Vertical Alignment, Space Before and After, that's just going to adjust some little spacing in the cells and so on. Summary Label Alignment, so you saw all of our summary labels were aligned to the right. I'm going to align those all to the left.

Now because we turned off these table rows we don't have anything in the table that distinguishes the Products from the Services it's just going to say Description and so on in the column. I think we should probably go and change a couple line item fields. If we go into the categories you know you can change the default alignment of the category labels.

But we actually just turned those off. We can hide the display name in the table header but we just actually turned that off. I'm going to go into the Category Fields.

For the product category which says Description I'm going to edit this field and I'm going to change Description to Products and notice I have some other fields here where I can change the alignment, the column width, hide the label. We're just going to change the label. If I go edit the Services category change that Description to Services.

Now I also wanted to change this field width so if I go edit the Rate and I'm going to make this 50. I'll want to go back to the Product category change that one as well. Change that width to 50.

Now we've made all of our adjustments to the table output and let's go preview this again. So this is how you can go back and forth maybe multiple times between changing settings and looking at the preview till you get your table layouts just the way you like them. Then when you're all done with that then you can start building your final documents.

I go back into my project, now if you were building your project instead the entire thing, you would wind up having to uncheck the Locked for Editing box you would see up here then delete the files and rebuild the project again each time. Using the preview is actually faster so it's only going to build a quick preview of the of the database enabled pages. Okay, so now we can see we got rid of these products, services and the summary line.

These are the descriptions we changed from Description to Products and Services. You can see we have one table row for all the data. You can see how this column is now shifted over in length from when we left it from default to setting it to 50.

We could probably shorten up this, we could probably shorten this up a little bit if we needed more room over here in the description lines. Now because we got rid of the summary line we might want to go and change something in the subtotals just so we don't have the subtotal here twice. Yeah, maybe we could add a blank line or something so that's up to you to how you're going to start adjusting all of these settings but you can see that all those settings we changed have all been applied.

That is how you get the Wizard to do its output and then change settings. So we'll go and do a full build of the final document and we've selected five chapters, front and back cover an introduction, the cost summary and the invoice. All right, the entire document has been built we'll take a look at it.

We're using one of our nature design themes so we got the front page, introduction, here's our cost summary. Now you can see in the final document it's readded design elements like the sidebars, the logo, the header, page numbering, footers and so on. So that actually doesn't look too bad.

You know, I think we would just make maybe one minor tweak here so we don't have subtotal the subtotal of the services right up against the subtotal for the services plus the products. We just change one of these labels to something else. That is all there is to making some changes to how the Wizard does the table output.

So make sure to watch the other video on on how you can custom make your own tables if you need something more custom than what the Wizard will output by itself with the settings that are available.

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