Document Templates - Formatting related tables in a non-table view

We have a request to complete a document template that references multiple fields from multiple records. Additionally, the document format and layout cannot be altered. This would be simple to just include an embedded table and customize it’s layout. However, we cannot use the table, since the format is fixed and cannot be altered.

Below is a screenshot of the layout. In this it is meant to list all of the current and pending proposals/projects a PI is working on. Each box is meant to represent a record in the system. If we were using a print template for just 1 record at a time, it wouldn’t be an issue, but each time a proposal is submitted to the national science foundation, every current proposal needs to be listed, and the format of the completed document must follow this. To make matters even more complicated, the output needs to be editable (in a word, excel, text, etc) format, so even HTML layouts wouldn’t be helpful.

Is there any way to utilize related tables, or embedded search result fields on document templates that allow for customized layouts?


Hi Eli,

This is certainly a complicated print template! The closest I’ve got to something like this is by creating a HTML field in each record that, using a complicated formula, generates the entire ‘cell’. You then print the related table but only showing one column, this new html field.

You could also lose the related table and have multiple linked fields but that will only allow for as many rows as fields you have added.

Regardless, in any solution I don’t believe it’s possible to print ‘smart’ checkboxes (ones that ‘check-able’ in word) in print templates.

My last resort thinking, beyond writing something huge in HTML, or even an HTML report output and have them convert that to a word doc or pdf, some how would be creating something like 20 linked field sets and just adding these to 20 rows in the document. Even use some $startifs to only show “rows” with values, but this does have a finite amount of possible options.

It would be nice to be able to use field variables, with multiple values enabled, and build a table off of these to repeat.

With regards to the check boxes, that is possible, using odd fonts

Additionally, usually in these cases we just use an X without a box, and that is typically fine.

I would use tables within a table. You can also butt two tables up to one another to make them appear to be one table. Below is how I would suggest formatting the print template. You can remove the inner table lines to make them appear as a single row while leaving the outer lines in tact. I do something similar to this in signature print templates where I’m using a related table for signers. Here is the article to which I’m referring: See the template at the bottom of the article.


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The above screen capture may not be accurate. If it doesn’t work, then the following should work: