Working with Templates
Templates are a powerful feature for customizing and formatting the correspondence you send to your borrowers about their loans.|
Templates are stored directly in the portfolio file. When a new portfolio is created the default templates are copied into the new portfolio where they can be changed independently from the original defaults. Templates can also be copied to and from portfolio files from the Manage Templates dialog.
To open the Manage Templates dialog, select from the Main Menu.
From the Manage Templates dialog, you can create new templates or duplicate existing ones, modify their layouts, and copy them to and from other portfolio files. The Manage Templates dialog opens two other windows as needed: the Edit Template Information dialog for managing the name, description, size, paper type and focus of a template; and the Template Designer dialog for managing the layout of a template.
Selecting the Right Template Focus
Templates have two types, set by the Template Focus dropdown in the Edit Template Information dialog: Individual Payments and Individual Loans.
Individual Payments will create a voucher printing scenario. The date range for the vouchers can be selected from the Print Templates dialog before printing.
Individual Loans will create a statement/general correspondence scenario.
There are two differences, one is that Individual Payments templates can print many templates for a single loan at one time while Individual Loans templates can only be printed once for each loan at a time. The second is that some fields report different values depending on which type of template is printing. Individual Loans templates always display the current information associated with a loan. With an Individual Payments template the folowing tags differ as described:
<LoanCurrentRate> - Displays the interest rate as of the date of the voucher's specific payment due date.
<LoanRegularPayment> - Displays the regular payment as of the date of the voucher's specific payment due date.
<LoanTodaysOtherFees> - Displays the fees assessed to the loan for the period between the previous payment's due date and the voucher's payment's due date, including the due date of the current payment.
<LoanAmountDue> - Displays the regular payment plus any other fees as they are described above.
<LoanNextPaymentDate> - Displays the due date for the voucher's specific payment.
<LoanNextPaymentNumber> - Displays the payment number for the voucher's specific payment.
All other fields are identical.
Structure of a Template
Templates consist of a single Template record and any number of TemplateObject records associated with the Template records.
Template Objects come in four forms: Text Box, Long Text Box, Shape and Image.
Common traits of all template objects include position and size, color, name, and Z-Order. The position (Left and Top) is the distance from the upper left corner of the template's page to the upper left corner of the template object. Width and height determine the size in inches of the template object. The name of the template object is useful for identifying the object from the list on the left side of the Template Designer dialog. The Color determines the color of the text in Text Boxes and Long Text Boxes, and the color of the line or fill in Shape objects. changing the color has no effect on Image objects.
Z-Order is used to determine which objects are on top of other objects. A number from 1 to 100, this setting represents layers on top of each other. Objects are drawn in order of Z-Order and Name. If a solid-fill rectangle were placed in the same location as a text box, the rectangle might be drawn over the text box. Setting the text box's Z-Order to any number higher than the shape's Z-Order would ensure the text always appeared on top of the rectangle.
Text Boxes are useful for smaller amounts of text. They can contain up to 250 characters. Long Text Boxes are the same as text boxes but can hold up to 10,000 characters. Because a long text box object is much larger than a text box object, using text boxes wherever practical can significantly reduce the space needed in a portfolio file and improve printing times across a network. Try to use long text boxes only when the extra space is necessary.
Text Boxes and Long Text Boxes (referred to collectively as text boxes below) have an associated font which may be bold or italic and of any size. Each text box stores its font settings independently so they may be changed individually. The font color of the text is availble from the Color option of the Edit Template Object dialog. An optional .01 inch border of a selectable color can be added around the text box, and a background fill may also be selected.
"Special Values" may be inserted into the text and always appear within <> signs. Clicking the <<Insert Value>> button in the Edit Template Object dialog displays the list of all recognized tags that may be added to a text object. When the statements are printed, the tags are replaced with the values from the corresponding Loans, Borrowers, and Lenders.
Shapes can be used to add graphical formatting to a template. A shape object can be either a line, rectangle, oval, or rounded rectangle. The line thickness may be set, or the shape can be filled completely.
Images allow you to put an image onto a statement. The image itself is stored within the portfolio file and need not remain on a computer's hard drive after adding it to a template. Template Images are very large objects and can quickly increase the total size of a portfolio if used too frequently. When an image is added as a template object it is refomatted into Moneylender's native image format. The image will be streched or shunk to match the width and height specified in the template object. If an Image object is given the name <CompanyLogo> the image is replaced with the logo on file for the Lender associated with the current statement. Naming an Image <Borrower1Picture> will replace the image with the picture on record for the primary borrower associated with the current statement.