How to create a document template with Microsoft Word
In this tutorial, you will learn how to create a document template in Microsoft Word.
Creating a document template in Microsoft Word
Justinmind goes one step further in specification document generation by allowing you to create your own document templates with Microsoft Word (MS Word). Just grab one of your documents from a previous project and open it using MS Word (versions 2007+). Use the list of tags provided by Justinmind to define what you want to generate.
In the Contents tab you can also decide which screens, templates, scenarios, and data masters you wish to include in your report. Those categories depend on the chosen template. In the ‘Filters’ tab, you can choose whether to include the prototype’s comments – including whose comments (UX team, clients, developers) – and whether to include requirements and of which category (accepted, revised, discarded etc.).
Now that we have Microsoft Word ready and understand the template tags we will need to write, it’s time to build our first documentation template. Open the document you want to transform into a template or write your own from a blank document. Then, open the hierarchies file to be able to copy and paste the names of the nodes and follow the structure.
Once you have created your document, setting up as a template is easy. There are two types of elements you can get from your prototype and put into the template: text and images.
Go to the “developer” tab of MS Word’s interface, and you will see a group called ‘Controls’. That is what we’re going to use to build the template.
Here is a brief description of the controls:
Rich text: used to include text with styles or to include more than one element. It can be thought as a container for other elements or controls.
Plain text: used to include plain text.
Picture: used exclusively for displaying images.
So, all you have to do is select the text or image you want to bound with data from your prototype and click in one of those controls, depending on its type. A blue container should appear including all of your selected elements.
In the upper left-hand corner of this blue container, there is a mini tab. If you click on it, all of its contents will turn blue and the tab will be selected.
You can change the name of the control and put one of our hierarchical elements. On the right-hand side of the controls in the ribbon toolbar, there is a ‘Properties’ button. If you have the tab selected, the button will be enabled, and will display this dialog:
Inside this dialog there are two main input fields: title and tag. In these, you need to fill in one of the elements of the hierarchy in order to establish a link between your data from the prototype and the element from the Word document.
If you need to remove the control from the document, select the element inside the control and right click to show up the contextual menu. From there, use the ‘remove content control’ option to remove it.
For more detailed instructions about creating a template, click here.
For examples of document templates created with MS word, click here.
Things to remember when creating Microsoft Word templates
- Make sure the xml hierarchy is well represented in the template. When you have controls inside other controls, they must respect the hierarchy or nothing will come out.
- Don’t change the name of any node of the hierarchy, as they won’t be found.
- Don’t use the <Screens> or <Templates> tags to repeat information. The only ones that repeat data are those marked with the “repeat” modifier in its node.
- Don’t add any controls to header or footers, as they won’t be processed.
- Depending on how you do the template, after the generation process, Word can will warn you about bad structuring. Word usually can fix these minor problems itself. If not, you should check the template.