What's a template?

Templates are "blueprints" used to create dynamic documents with your data.

What are Templates and why do we need them?

If we wanted to create a static document we could do this easily by using one of the many document editor applications on the market (ie. Microsoft Word, Google Docs, etc.). But what if we wanted to create the same type of document (ie. invoice) multiple times and each time it had different information? We could create a document in a traditional document editor and manually update the contents of the document every time we needed a new version. This process is tedious, error-prone, and takes a long time. What if we automated this process? This is where templates come in.

Templates allow you to design your document with information placeholders called variables. At the most basic level, variables tell Documint where in the document to place your data when it is created. This, however, is just the beginning. You can also use variables to conditionally show or hide content in your template and even repeat certain elements of your template based on the data being merged.

So, how do we actually create documents from our templates? The process of creating documents from your data is called "merging" and it occurs when data is sent from your data source application (ie. CRM, database, etc.) to your template. Documint receives the data and places it in the corresponding variables that you've added to your template.

Documents created from templates will grow or shrink to as many pages as necessary to fit its content.

If you already have an idea of what you need a template for (ie. invoices), you can save some time by selecting one of the standard templates already provided in Documint.

For example, to get started on an invoice template, select the invoice template option on the Documint home screen.

Getting Started with the Template Designer

To design a template from scratch, start by clicking the New Template button on the top right and selecting the blank template. The next screen is the template designer.

Unlike other document generation applications that use a word-processor style editor, Documint uses a block-style drag-and-drop editor. This gives you the most control over your template design and layout.

The template designer is composed of three main panes:

  1. On the left is the Add pane, which has Content and Layout elements you can add to the document

    • Examples of content elements include forms of information like text and images

    • Examples of layout elements include ways of organizing the template space, such as sections, rows, and columns

    • Selecting an element will enable you to configure its properties, this pane will also appear on the left

  2. At the center of the screen is the canvas, where template elements are placed according to your design

  3. On the right hand side is the Data pane, where you can link Document to other services through integrations, as well as create and manage data placeholders called variables.

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