Print component of Ultimate Forms is a versatile tool that makes it easy to produce printouts and generate various types of documents based on SharePoint (or even any other kind) data. With a simple click of the mouse your template will be filled out with data and then converted to HTML, PDF, Word or Excel format. You can then print it, download as a file or email it directly from the browser. And using integration with Actions component, you can completely automate this process and trigger it based on column value changes (such as Status changing to Approved) or on the timer (such as 2 weeks after approval date).
We have been offering support for Word documents for a few years now, but our document generation has been always pretty basic. We simply embedded a simple rich-text content block within a blank Word document, without the ability to use any of the advanced features of that application, such as headers and footers, styles, etc.
I'm happy to announce that that is changing now. You can now create your own Word document, add placeholders for column values, upload it into the print template and it will be used for Word document generation instead of the old approach. The old approach will still work though and the change is 100% backwards compatible.
Let me show you how easy it is!
- Create a Word document template using any format you want. Just make sure to sprinkle in placeholders for values (simply column names surrounded by double square brackets).
- Enter Ultimate Forms, switch to Print, create or modify a print template based on Item (we currently only support document generation for single item templates)
- As long as Type is set to Item, the new Word tab will appear. Switch to that tab and toggle Use MS Word template on:
- Click on Upload and choose your Word template file, then save the profile
- Return to list/library, select an item you want to print, click on Print, then click on the Word icon in the top right corner
- A new Word document will be generated and downloaded to your computer
- As you can see, the placeholders were replaced with actual column values from the item, while the layout of the template was fully preserved.
For Actions intergration, go into Actions, then modify or create a new action of type Print list items. Under Action settings, choose your print template and ensure Word is selected as output format:
Choose to make the action manual or run on event/timer, that part is up to you. Here how it would appear for manual actions:
That's it. Your generated Word document will now be emailed, stored in a document library or saved as an item attachment, that's your call.
One thing I want to mention. When you create your template, make sure not to add any styles within the placeholder itself, always surround it with styles, so our Print component is not confused by any unexpected characters within the column name. If you see that your placeholder does not get replaced, try to clear any styles by selecting the text in Word and using the menu bar to clear formatting:
Another remark - we do not yet support including image colums of any kind within the generated document. Your template can contain its own images, but we cannot bring in images from the SharePoint item.
This new feature is already available in SharePoint Online and will be implemented for on-premises customer in the next release of our Print component.
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