Create an Exact Form

This topic refers to functionality that is not available to accounts on the QuickBase Essential plan. If the functionality described here does not match what you're seeing in QuickBase, your account is probably on this plan.

Say you enter all your client contact information in QuickBase and now you want to put it to work. It's time to generate your quarterly sales letters. So how do you get your data out of QuickBase and into your form letter? You can easily generate documents like this by creating an exact form. An exact form is a template you use to insert QuickBase content into documents like letters and invoices.

How exact forms work

If you have permission to create an application, you can create Exact Forms. Using QuickBase's special Microsoft Word template, you can insert QuickBase data directly into whatever document you create (like a letter, invoice or work order) and then print the document from within your QuickBase application.

To create exact forms, you download the QuickBase template, open it in Microsoft Word, then enter your text—including field codes that QuickBase uses to insert data from your records. Each field code copies values from the field you choose, directly into your document. (If you ever generated a mail merge in a word-processing program, you've seen field codes in action.) When you finish, save the exact form in your QuickBase account and use it to print documents from there.

The following figure shows a Microsoft Word (top left) form with field codes. When a user displays it in a web browser (lower right), the actual data from QuickBase replaces the field codes:

Requirements for exact forms:

To create an Exact Form:
  1. Download the QuickBase Exact Forms template for the Microsoft Word version you need to your hard drive:

    Note: The template will not work if you try to use it on Microsoft Word for Mac.

  2. Right-click the template you want and select Save Target As (in Internet Explorer) or Save Link As (Firefox) from the shortcut menu.

  3. If your browser asks whether you want to open or save the file, click Save.

  4. Select a location for the QuickBase Exact Forms template.

    You can save it on your desktop or in any folder you want. Be sure to save the file with a .DOT extension, or if you're using Word 2007 or later, save the .DOTM extension.

    Once you've selected the destination folder, click Save.

  5. Double-click the QuickBase Exact Forms template.

    Microsoft Word opens.

    Note: You must select trust all, or at the very least, enable this content for the template to work.

    The document that appears contains some explanatory text which includes links to sample documents.

    Click one of the links, and view a sample.

    To use it as a template, replace the field names with those from your table, then add the text that you want.

    Or, just work in the first document that opens, replace all the explanatory text with your own.

    Note: You must start with one of these templates because these files have built-in features that communicate with QuickBase and let you save the file there.

  6. Design and format the form.
    You can enter whatever text you want. Include field codes and formulas to draw in specific information from QuickBase. (These fields should all exist in the table to which you link the exact form in Step 8.)

    When you finish customizing the exact form, complete the following task:

    Do one of the following tasks for your version of Word:

    A sign-in dialog box appears. Enter your QuickBase User Name and Password.

  7. If your application uses a custom URL, such as mycompany.quickbase.com, you must replace the text that QuickBase inserts in the QuickBase Domain field with your own custom domain.

  8. When you complete all fields, click Sign In.

  9. Select the table that contains the data that you want the form to use.
    From the QuickBase Tables list, select the name of the application and table that you want.

    If that table already has an exact form connected with it, the filename displays in the QuickBase Exact Forms box below the table list.

    Note: You can save multiple forms in a table as long as you give each one a unique name.

  10. Enter a name for your form, for example, "Letter", then click Save.

    When you save your form, QuickBase generates multiple HTML pages—one for each record in your table.

    To store each file, the program automatically creates a URL (formula) field in the table you chose. The URL (formula) field is named "Print Exact Form name" (where "Exact Form name" is the name of your form).

  11. Add the new "Print Exact Form name" URL field to any reports or forms where you want it to appear.

    In a table report, click the button in the column heading and select Add a Column from the menu.

    The new URL field contains a link that opens the finished product: a document containing information from your application.

  12. To open one of these exact form documents, display a report of your table or a specific record in the table and click this link.

Note: QuickBase automatically creates the URL (formula) field that hosts your exact form, but you must add this column/field to any custom forms or reports in which you want it to appear. See Step 9 for details.

To print an exact form from QuickBase:
  1. Open a report or form that features this field, then click Print Exact Form Name.

    The page displays in a new browser window.

  2. Select File > Print.

    QuickBase Exact Forms print one record per document.

To edit an existing exact form:
  1. Open the QuickBase Exact Form template file, then complete one of the following tasks:

  2. Select the table that contains the exact form that you want.

  3. Select the form name, when it appears, then click Open.

  4. Complete one of the following tasks;

    To save the form in the same table:

    To save the form to a different table:

To view the exact forms in an application:
  1. Open an application, then click Home, then click SETTINGS.

  2. Click Pages.

Note: If you display an exact form in an application that requires application tokens, only a blank page appears. If an application that features exact forms, requires tokens, disable tokens for that app.

 

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