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How To Create A Template

How To Create A Template

This is a short guide on how to begin creating templates with XpressDox. Before you begin, you should watch the short tutorial videos.

The first step is to add fillpoints (questions) to your document which will ask for input when the template is run.

  1. Begin with a fairly simple Word document—for example a short agreement or letter or something not too complex. Open the document in MS Word.
  2. Next, highlight all of the information that will change. (This is purely to organise your thinking.)
  3. Begin by selecting the text you wish to replace, and then clicking on the Insert Fillpoint button in the XpressDox toolbar, which is located in MS Word.
  4. Each fillpoint will require a unique name. For example «Company_name». Note that fillpoint names are case-sensitive, and they cannot contain spaces or illegal characters. (Use underscores instead of spaces as the underscores are converted to spaces in the interview. (So Company_name would display as Company name in the interview.) Fillpoint names can be long if you wish (for example «Enter_the_name_of_the_purchaser») but then you need to ensure that you get the spelling 100% correct if you use the fillpoint elsewhere in your template. (Name is different from name is different from NAME, etc. Got it?)
  5. It is also good practice to stick with one form of capitalization for all of your templates so that you don't need to remember this each time you repeat fillpoint names in your template. For example, stick to first word capitalized in a fillpoint name, or maybe every word capitalised. (For example Company_name or Company_Name). But stick to one convention for all your templates if possible. (I promise you will understand this the first time you come across it!)
  6. Next, you might need to add some list choices. The simplest command is ChooseFromList. (Click on the command name to read more about it.) [An example: «ChooseFromList(City,London,New York,Sydney,Toronto)»] Important: The Choose command only gives you a list of choices, but you still need to insert the fillpoint into the template if you want the list to appear in your interview. Like this: «City».
  7. You may also want the fillpoint named «City» to be in Upper case, like this: «ToUpper(City)». The first chevron determines the style for the entire fillpoint (like this: «City»), although it is easier to identify at a glance if you make the entire fillpoint bold, like this: «City». Or red, like this: «City».
  8. Another useful Choose command is the radio button list, like this: «ChooseFromRDBList(Tax,Yes,No)» (Remember to use the fillpoint in your template or the command will not appear in your template, like this «Tax». A close relative of the RDB list command is ChooseUsingCheckBox. (Click on the command name for help on that command.)
  9. If you would like a more descriptive question in your interview, use the Caption command, like this: «Caption(City,Enter the destination city here)». Note that you can have spaces in the second part of the caption command. It is also possible to change colour/font/size for caption commands.
  10. There is one more simple command which we will cover here, and that is CaptureAsLongText. This allows you to capture multi-line addresses or other long text.
  11. The final step is to name and save your template: Click on the Save Template button in the XpressDox toolbar. Next click on theRun Templatebutton.
  12. If you have done everything correctly, you should see an interview (questionnaire) on your screen. Answer the questions, and press OK to assemble the template.
  13. If you haven't done everything correctly, you will receive an error message. Don't panic—we all get those from time to time! Most error messages are very helpful, and in addition to telling you what the problem is, XpressDox will take you to the place in your template where the error occurred.
  14. Assuming you have created (and run) your first template successfully, there are now a few things you can do to learn more about authoring templates.
    1. In the XpressDox toolbar, click on the Commands button to display a list of all commands. Click once on a command name, and then press the F1 key for detailed help on that command. Or double-click to insert an example of that command into your template. And lastly, right click to display a wizard for that command.
    2. You can also view the Cookbook of examples and the User Reference section.
    3. And there is a list of all commands in the help center, as well as a list of the Top 40 commands, which are most often used to create templates.
  15. If all else fails, email us at support@xpressdox.com with your query and one of the team members will reply to you.

Congratulations on creating your first template. With a little practice, you will soon be able to create more advanced templates. Just one bit of advice though: Learning XpressDox is a bit like learning a new language. It takes a little practice (and patience) to become fluent. The great news is that in this language, you only need about 40 words (commands) to speak the language!