FormsFly to Microsoft Word or Excel Docs

FormsFly allows you to export Data in the layouts you want by using Microsoft Word or Excel templates.  If you already have Word/Excel documents that you have been printing out to use as data capture Forms, this means that with a few minor changes you can reuse these as data templates.

This functionality works similarly to a Microsoft Word “mail merge” in that the system produces output based upon pre-formatted templates. You can ask FormsFly to send the output to a PDF if you like. This is a very popular option for form output.

The Word or Excel template contains the static (non-changing) text, images and formatting wanted in the final output. It also includes placeholders where Form entry answers will go.

For example, imagine you have an Inspection Form and you want to export the Inspection Data captured on the app as a standard letter.

You could create a Word template that sets out the standard text of the letter along with placeholders for where various Inspection answers should go.

Once you have uploaded a template onto your Form’s Settings, the system will use this template whenever a PDF is generated as well.

Uploading a template also makes new download options available on the Data area. You will be able to bulk download multiple Form entries in the native format of your template (i.e. Word or Excel).

Adding a Template to a Form

First identify the Form that you wish to create a template for.

If you don’t already have a Form, you can quickly create the Form using the Form Screen designer.

Next you’ll need a new or existing Word or Excel file.

If you already have Word/Excel files that you have been printing to use as data capture Forms, these can easily be reused as a template.

Go through your template and insert placeholders wherever you want the system to insert answers from data entries of your chosen Form.

Placeholders are entered using the unique data name of the Form field, wrapped in curly braces – e.g. {{dataname}}

So for example if your Form has a field with data name of “LastName”, then you can instruct the system to inject the answer for this field wherever the placeholder {{LastName}} appears.

Any formatting (font, color, highlighting, size etc) that you apply to the placeholder will be honoured by the system and applied to the answer value inserted.

Note that for Excel templates, we only support one placeholder per cell and the cell should not contain any other text around the placeholder.

Once you have inserted all the placeholders needed, upload the template file to your Form screen.

The upload fields are on the Form Settings page (found at Apps-> Screens -> Settings).

You can also add templates to Form Connectors (found at Apps-> Screens -> Connectors).

Testing Your Templates

If you upload your template file as the Default Template for a Form, then that template will be used for all PDF outputs as well.

Browse to the Settings page for your Form and upload your template in the Default Template field.

Once your template is in place on your Form, head over to the Data area and find existing Form entry data for your Form and the version against which you uploaded your template.

Once you have some Data results, hover over a row and click the Export PDF option to get an instant look at your template output 🙂

Special Note for Excel Templates

You cannot put pages horizontally side by side in Excel templates, you must put each individual page underneath each other.

This is because our Excel to PDF generator always exports using the “Fit All Columns on One Page” option found in the Print settings of Excel.

Avoid using manual page breaks, since this can cause issues with PDF page generation.

In the Page Layout tab of your worksheet:

Ensure the Height setting is”Automatic” in the Scale to Fit area.

To be sure you have no manual breaks, you can go to Breaks -> “Reset all page breaks”.

To get an accurate picture of how your Excel template will export, we recommend you turn on the following settings in Excel when creating a template:

Set your Print setting to “Fit All Columns on One Page”

Under the View option in the ribbon, make sure Page Break Preview is turned on.

This way you will see exactly what space you have to work with and also how the pages will be scaled (if necessary).