Managing Form Templates

There are several ways to modify form templates for Blue Prairie Forms.  You can use OpenOffice or LibreOffice installed on the Linux print server to edit the templates..  This is possible because OpenOffice/Libre Office is already installed and because the server already has access to the templates using the Samba shared directory from the MultiValue host.  Here’s an example of a procedure used to load, modify and save a template:

You can use the GUI console as a handy way to navigate to and modify the document templates used by BPF.  Remember that BPF templates are simply Open Office / Libre Office odt documents so you can edit them with Open Office, Libre Office.  While it is technically possible to view documents in Microsoft Word, we do not recommend creation or modification of .odt templates in Microsoft Word.  Differences in internals can cause unpredictable behaviors within the templates.  The handy aspect of modifying templates using the GUI console is that OpenOffice is already installed there so you don’t need to install OpenOffice on your PC.

Navigate the menus to Applications > System Tools > File Browser  (using VNC to access to BP Forms Console see Administrative Interfaces)

 

Click on the left menu under “File System” then all of the directories will appear on the right.  The directory shared from your MultiValue Host can be found under the directory “mnt”.  So, go ahead and click on that directory and the window will refresh and will look like this:

You should see a folder called bpi_forms.  Click on it

A folder called ‘templates’ will be shown. This is where the templates are stored.  Remember that we’re actually navigating a folder that lives on your MultiValue server. 

By scrolling down, you should see our document templates.  In the example above we’ll be viewing/editing a template file called wallwork_pickticket_1.odt.  If we click on it, Open Office (or Libre Office if you are using that product) will be summoned and you can edit and re-save the document.

Remember that you are saving ‘live’ templates so be careful when ‘playing around’.  You may wish to make a backup copy of the template you intend to change so that if you make a mistake, you can easily restore it.

You may also browse to queue directories or other directories shared from the MultiValue host.  Keeping a queue directory open might be a nice way to see documents being dropped onto the queue directory by Blue Prairie Forms.

 

Tip:

If you stop a phantom and then generate a document from the MultiValue host, you can then navigate to the queue directory where the application drops the document then call up the generated document using Open Office.

If the phantom is running and the phantom thread definition record is defined to move the printed document to an archive location, then you can use the samba connection and explorer to navigate to the archive directory and to view the generated file.

Using the console can be very handy to manage your Blue Prairie Forms installation.

Other ways to edit templates:

  1. Configure a Windows drive letter on your PC and then edit the templates using Open Office, Libre Office, or Microsoft Word
  2. Use FTP to download the template file to your PC then edit it on your PC and upload it back to the MultiValue Host when finished