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FinancialForce Print Formatter Tips & Tricks

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Print Formatter is a standalone app that you can use to create design formats for printing sales invoices, credit notes, remittance advice, and checks that can be completed with data from FinancialForce ERP Cloud. Essentially, it consists of a canvas onto which you can add the fields you want to see in the final print. You can also customize the way your data will look by modifying font, color, size, format, and more.

GETTING STARTED

Before using the app, the first step is getting authenticated. You will need to provide both 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 an existing print format or you can create a new one.

CREATING A NEW PRINT FORMAT:

1) Click on Create Print Format.

2) Select one of the standard base templates (we are going to create a check format, but you can also try selecting “sales invoice”, “sales credit notes”, “remittance” or “checks” depending on your needs). Use “blank format” to select one of the standard base formats provided by Print Formatter.

Now that we have our new blank format, you must place the fields, labels, and images you want to appear in the final render.

Print formatter screen shot 2 on Nubik.ca blog

You’ll 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 while you adjust the size by moving the mouse.

Once you have your section defined, you can add any other component inside.

ADDING METADATA FIELDS

Being able 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 since that’s when the metadata fields come in. A metadata field allows you to retrieve data from FinancialForce by defining the specific field you want to show in the final render.

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).

FinancialForce Print Formatter screenshot Nubik.ca blog

2) Click on the Metadata Field icon.

3) Click inside the previously created section.

4) Select properties to configure your new metadata field. (You can choose the proper field among a variety 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 are not enough to comply with your requirements. In these cases, you can still use the tool. 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’ve 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.

FinancialForce Print Formatter tips and tricks blog post screenshot by Nubik.ca

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).

Print Formatter app by FinancialForce screenshot on Nubik.ca

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.

FinancialForce app Print Formatter screenshot on Nubik.ca Tips and Tricks blog

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:

  1. We can Export the format so we can have and standalone copy that we can import to any other organization
  2. We can save it in Salesforce by clicking Save.
  3. Or we can save it as a Template to use again.

TIP: Save your work frequently so you won’t lose your work by accident, or save changes that cannot easily be rolled back.

For more information about Print Formatter, please visit your FinancialForce community, or you can press the help buttons to review the documentation provided by the tool. You can download the tool here.

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