Document Templates in intelligentcontract allow you to create a format for Documents you need to create regularly.
This could be such Documents as: Sales Orders, Purchase Orders, Cancellation Letters, or even Contracts themselves.
The Template feature allows you to use 'placeholders' within the document that allows the system to replace these placeholders with actual data from your chosen records.
This means that you can have generic Document Templates that can be used across all your Contracts. Currently, Document Templates can only be created for Contract data, but development in the future will allow for other aspects of the system to be utilized.
You are able to create as many Document templates as you wish to use within your intelligentcontract account.
Creating a new Document Template
Navigate to: Configuration => Templates => Documents
Fig 1 - Document Templates
To create a new Template, click [New] and you will be presented with the Template creation screen. Here you can give your Template a name and then either upload an existing Template document that you already have, or you can create one using our Editor tool.
Currently the only Template Type that we have is for Contracts - this will be expanded on in the future
Fig 2 - Creating a template record
Once you have uploaded or created your Template, press [Save] and this Template will now be available for selection whenever you want to create a new document of this type in the system.
When you click 'Create New' when creating a new document anywhere in the system, you will now be presented with your Document Template for selection, along with any others that you have created.
Fig 3 - Template selection
Creating a new Template using the Editor
If you wish to create a new template using our Document Editor feature, then select the option of 'Blank'. You will be presented with our online Document Editor where you can create your Template format.
You can create your Template just like you can a normal online document. Please refer to this article that explains the function and features of the Document Editor.
When the Template Document Editor screen is opened you will see a panel to the left listing a number of fields.
If you cannot see this panel, click on the 'Plugins' option on the toolbar and select the intelligentcontract 'Placeholders' option. The panel should then be visible to you.
Note: Placeholders are only visible when creating a Template
Fig 4 - Activating the placeholder panel
Placeholders are inserted into a document to display relevant field data that may change depending on the record in question. For example, you can add the placeholder for Title. This means that when the document is created, it will replace this placeholder with the actual Contract Title.
Using placeholders allows the Template to be generic and to correctly populate relevant data based upon your records.
The values are displayed in alphabetical order, and represent all the Contract related fields that you can select.
Note: The Editor will display all available fields for you, even those you do not track on your Contract Layouts.
Fig 5 - Editor with Placeholder panel
If you scroll to the bottom of the panel you can see that there are additional Sub Titles highlighted with an arrow next to them.
Fig 6 - Sub Title placeholders
When you create any record within intelligentcontract, you are presented with one or more tabs at the bottom of the record. These tabs allow you to add or view relevant and additional information regarding the record.
The information held within these tabs can also be selected for your Document Template. These Sub Titles hold the corresponding Contract Sub Tab information. Click on one of the Sub Titles and it will open up to display the corresponding fields available within that Sub Tab. To close the list, click on the Sub Title again.
Fig 7 - Contract Sub Tabs
At the top of these Sub Titles there is an option called 'Standard Placeholders'. This option will contain placeholders such as 'Current Date'.
Fig 8 - Standard Placeholders
The placeholder values in the panel will display in a format that is easy for the User to understand (field names). However, when they are applied to the Content section, they will display in their programmable name. For example:
Current Date = [[currentDate:d-MMM-yy]]
Title = [[title]]
Primary Person = [[related_PrimaryPersonLink-15_name]]
Start Date = [[termStartDate:d-MMM-yy]]
Fig 9 - Placeholder Program Names
In the Content section, the full placeholder values must be kept. If you alter a program placeholder name or delete a' ' character, then this will then be deemed as text and will display as such.
The _RELATED_ identifier shows that this field is taken from a sub tab linked to your selected record i.e. Contract People.
Custom fields will be displayed in the panel as the normal Custom field name. But, if it is added to the Content, then it will be represented by the value written in the 'Name' field when you create the Custom field.
This Custom field 'Area' has the value of: 'Contract Area' in the Name field.
Fig 10 - Custom Name Field
When selected in the Document template, the Placeholder value will display this field value.
Fig 11 - Custom Field Placeholder Name
When you select a date field, the placeholder is displayed with a date format code at the end i.e. [[currentDate:d-MMM-yy]]
This format must be kept at the end of the placeholder so the system knows what format you wish the dates to be in on your document. The default format is taken from your accounts chosen date format.
If you wish to change this format to another then you change the format code, this will not change your account format, just the format on this Template.
All available date formats are explained here: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/dotnet/standard/base-types/custom-date-and-time-format-strings
If you choose a date format that is incorrect, then the system will read the placeholder as text instead.
The above example in Fig. 9 will generate the document as below:
Fig 12 - Document created using placeholders
Identifying Placeholders in a Template
If you have chosen a placeholder within your document as it is identified with the programmable name, sometimes it is hard to see which field you have actually selected.
If you double click or highlight on the placeholder in the content section, the placeholder field panel on the left will update and show you the field that the placeholder is relating to.
You can see below when the placeholder [[termNoticePeriod]] is selected, the panel to the left updates to show the related field [Term] Notice Period.
Fig 13 - Single Placeholder Selection
If you double click or highlight a value within a placeholder (such as [[title]]) then this could relate to multiple placeholders (such as Contract Title, Document Title etc.). If this is the case, then the panel will update accordingly and show all the matching placeholders.
You can see by the below, when the placeholder [[title]] is selected the panel to the left updates to show all related fields that have a value for 'Title'.
Fig 14 - Matching Placeholder Selection
RULE Text in the Editor
Entering the text of [[RULE]] allows you to tell the Editor what you wish to happen for certain blocks of text. This could be to only display text in certain circumstances or to repeat certain blocks of data that could contain multiple values.
For example, you could have text that should only display on a document if the Contract is a certain Type.
You surround the text you wish to appear in certain circumstances with the Rule text.
At the beginning of the text you wish to appear, enter: [[RULE
Click on the placeholder you require (in this case it is Contract Type) - which will enter the placeholder value of type.
Enter the Criteria with a colon character : Construction]] ending with the square closed bracket.
At the end of the text you wish to appear add the rule text of: [[ENDRULE]]
Fig 15 - Rules for blocks of text
This Template when used, will only display section 4.3 if the Contract it is generated for is the Type of 'Construction'
Repeating Blocks are sections of data that you wish to repeat. In order to do this you must tell the Editor where you wish the repeat to start and end, you do this by entering [[RULE]] values.
In sub tabs that hold more than one line (such as Financials), if you wish to have these multiple lines displayed in your Template then you need to tell the editor to repeat the selection for each line of data it can find.
For this example I have a Contract that has 3 separate lines of Financial information.
Fig 15 - Financials data in a Contract
I want some of this Financial Data to be displayed in my Document, each on a separate line. Generally, data like this is presented in a table, but that is an optional aspect.
I first create the table with the required number of columns and enter headers (optional) and then open up the Financial Sub Title to see the Financial fields I can select.
Fig 16 - Table creation
I then add in the second row of placeholders I wish to populate (Name, Type, Price, Qty, Total).
Fig 17 - Financial Placeholders
Then I need to tell the Editor which part I wish to repeat.
Fig 18 - Add a RULE to a table
- Click at the beginning of the section that you want to repeat and enter a value of:
[[RULE Repeat for each: <entity name>]]
- At the end of the section you enter a value of:
*I have entered the RULE text in red to make it easier to see in this article*
The <entity name> I have chosen the placeholders from is Financials. You can tell because each of the placeholders I have selected in the table have a prefix of 'FINANCIAL' so I write: Repeat for each: FINANCIAL.
Note: the prefix for placeholders will be different, the text you enter after 'Repeat for each:' comment must be everything before the backslash \ with no square brackets [[ from the program name displayed in the Content.
This has now told the Editor that when it finds these placeholders, if there are multiple lines, put each one on a new line.
The above example generated can be used to create a document as below:
Fig 19 - Document with repeating block data
Repeating Block with Criteria
You are also able to specify Criteria for specific repeating data. In the above example, I may wish to only display Financials where the Financial Type = Product'.
You need to identify the placeholder field that you wish to add criteria for. In this case it is the Financial Type field, which is [[FINANCIAL\type]]
Fig 20 - Identifying criteria placeholder values
Go to your beginning RULE text and then add a semicolon ; after the original text, the placeholder field name, then colon : and the criteria
So the original text of:
[[RULE Repeat for each: FINANCIAL]]
[[RULE Repeat for each: FINANCIAL; FINANCIAL\type: Product]]
Fig 21 - Repeating Block with Criteria
This has now told the Editor to repeat the block of data but only for records where the Financial Type value = Product.
The above example template can now be used to generate the below document. Here only the Financials of Type 'Product' are included.
Fig 22 - Repeating Block with Criteria document
You can use repeating blocks and Criteria any where within your template and as many times as you wish.
Here I have created a Template with multiple blocks showing both all Parties and People linked to a Contract and another set of blocks where I have added criteria to only show specific data:
Fig 23 - Multiple Repeating Block with Criteria
This Template results in the below document:
Fig 24 - Repeating Block with Criteria document
Complete your Template using the placeholders and the Editor. Once finished, close the Editor down and you will be asked to save a version of the Template. Initial Templates start at version 1 and then increment as you edit the Template further.
Fig 21 - Template versioning
You can Download, Edit, Rename, Replace, Email, and see the version History of your template by clicking on the [...] option when the Template is saved.
Fig 22 - Template options
For more information regarding these actions, please refer to this article.
Once your Template is saved you can now select it when creating a new Document. Data from your selected record will populate in the placeholders by the system.