25 Jul FinancialForce Print Formatter Tips & Tricks
Print Formatter is a standalone app that you can use to create design formats for printing sales invoices, credit notes, remittance advices, and checks that can be completed with data from the FinancialForce Accounting application. Essentially, it consists of a canvas where you can add the fields you need to appear in the final print. Besides the position, you can also customize the way your data will look by modifying font, color, size, format, and more.
Before using the app, the first step is getting authenticated. You will need to provide a combination of your org password and its Salesforce security token. Additionally, remember to specify the kind of org (sandbox, production) that you want to access.
Once you specify your org’s credentials, you can select between opening a print format (to modify an existent one) or create a print format if you want to create a new one.
To see how the tool works, let’s create a new print format:
1) Click on Create Print Format.
2) Select one of the standard base templates Print Formatter comes with (we are going to create a check format, but according to your needs, you can select “sales invoice”, “sales credit notes”, “remittance” or “checks”). Use “blank format” to select one of the standard base formats provided by Print Formatter.
Now that we have our new blank format, it’s time for the fun part, the actual building process! At this point, you will be working on a layout where you must place the fields, labels, and images you want to appear in the final render.
You will want to start by adding a new section from the Toolbox, since that will allow you to add any available component, including data fields based on the type of section.
To add a new section:
1) Click on the section icon in the toolbox
2) Click on the layer in the spot where you want to see your new container.
TIP: You can include a section, field, image or any other component and define the size at the same time by keeping the click pressed meanwhile you adjust the size by moving the mouse.
Once you have your section defined, you can add any other component inside.
Adding metadata fields
Let’s be honest, the ability to add simple static text messages, images and tables wouldn’t make this app useful unless we had the ability to integrate data from our financial records. This is when the metadata fields come in. A metadata field allows you to retrieve data from your FinancialForce Account application by defining the specific field you want to show in the final render.
In order to define a metadata field:
1) Select the section you just created and click on the properties button. (For this example, we are going to select Check Summary so we can print general data from the check).
2) Click on the Metadata Field icon.
3) Click inside the previously created section.
4) Finally, click on properties to configure your new metadata field. (You can select the proper field amongst a bunch of fields available from FinancialForce Accounting, depending on the configuration of the section that is used as the container for the field).
TIP: Sometimes the set of Data Fields provided by FinancialForce and recognized by Print Formatter is not enough to comply with your requirements. Still in these cases, you are able to use the tool. You can add Data Fields to Print Formatter from any object that has a link to the Payment Media Summary. Set the custom fields on the object, then use a formula on the Payment Media Summary to map them to Print Formatter. Print Formatter will recognize any field with a prefix “ffdcpf” and make it available in the Data Fields list.
Once you added all your fields, it’s time to see how the format looks! Print Formatter gives us the ability to specify the criteria to easily retrieve a set of data that will be used to build the document based on our format. There are two ways to visualize the format populated with real data.
To test the formatting, use the Print Preview button. Or use the Print button, which will generate print events, and change the print status for sales invoices and sales credit notes to the status of Complete in FinancialForce Accounting data.
Whether you want to do an actual print or just test the format, by clicking on any of these buttons, you will be presented a window where you can specify the filter to be used to retrieve the data (by clicking on Next and then on Preview you can see the result of your query).
Finally, click on the OK button to obtain the PDF with your populated format.
TIP: you can sort the data to be printed by adding your sort criteria in the menu Sort Order under View. There, you need to specify the field to take into account for the sort process and the sort order to be applied.
Now that we have built our format it’s time to save our work to make it usable in the future.
We have different options:
- We can Export the format so we can have and standalone copy that we can import to any other organization
- We can save it in Salesforce by clicking Save.
- Or we can save it as a Template to use again.
TIP: Save your work frequently so you won’t lose your work after any crash from the application, or save changes that cannot be easily be rolled back, like some visual modifications.
For more information about Print Formatter, please visit your FinancialForce community, and for a deepest technical description, you can review the documentation provided by the tool by clicking the help buttons. You can download the tool here.
We hope you enjoyed these tips and see that printing has never been as easier with Print Formatter!
Written by Jordan Ojeda, Developer