Using Word/Excel Comments To Preserve Template Formatting

Often when building a template, your formula or placeholder syntax – eg {{MyLongDataName}} – is too long to fit in the designated area of the template.¬†The result is ugly word wrapping and it becomes harder to see how the template layout looks because of the distortion of the placeholder text.Now of course the actual generated result still comes out just fine, but we wanted to make it easier to design your templates without having to constantly test the generated output to see if output formatting remained correct.What we need is a way to “annotate” the placeholder/formula syntax onto specified text in the template.

Comments were the perfect answer, since these hover above the Word/Excel content without changing the actual layout.

Our template generation engine actively scans for comments that contain placeholder or formula syntax, and replaces the text linked to a comment with the placeholder/formula extracted from the comment itself.

Below is an example of a Word template that is using normal inline placeholder and formula syntax, resulting in word wrapping of the table cells:


Now here’s the same template adjusted to use comments to hold formula syntax.
Note the checkbox characters in the table cells are simply text linked to the comments.
Those are replaced by the outcome of the comment syntax when the template generates.


Both of the above would result in the output shown below, but the second approach is easier to read, since you don’t have those great big formulae getting in the way of your smart template layout!


Built In Data for Templates. Sizing Images in Word/Excel Output. Send Form Data to Word/PDF/Excel.