Templates: Add/Edit Templates Part I - Create Basic Template
- This tutorial covers working with communications templates, which includes templates for Newsletters, Letters, Labels, Event Invites, Event Notifications, Donation Acknowledgement Letters, and Donation Year End Thank You Letters
- The term Template can mean a master layout devoid of content (in which colors, fonts, borders, etc. have been added); it can also mean a configured content file (such as a draft newsletter that contains the articles and pictures you will send out to your readers). For the purposes of this tutorial, we will use the term “template” to mean a master layout devoid of content and the term “content file” to mean a configured content file/a template populated with content that will be sent to the end user.
- To create a new template (mastery layout devoid of content) from scratch, click on Communications on the Left Menu, select Create New Communication on the sub-menu
- Select the My Templates (user created templates) or System Templates (default “out of the box” templates) tab at the top of the screen.
- Scroll down to the category that you want or select from the filter on the left
- Templates are either optimized for email or optimized for print. An Email optimized templates are meant to appear in the body of an email. As such, they are built on HTML, are one continuous document (no fixed header or footer), preview only in HTML/can't be converted to word or PDF, and measure spacing size (for margins/padding) in pixels. A Print optimized templates are meant to be printed (from Word or PDF). As such, they have fixed header and footer space, preview in Word and PDF, can be printed easily from the system, generate matching envelopes, and measure spacing size (for margins/padding) in points.
- Hover over the template you want to use as your starting point and select Edit to edit the existing base template or Copy to make a copy of the template that you can then edit.
- Some templates will not provide the Copy option; instead, for these templates, select Use and then on the next screen, select Save as Template, which functions similar to “save as” and makes a copy of the template that you can then edit.
- Once you have selected Copy or Edit (or Use and Save as Template) and are on the edit template screen, configure your master template layout.
- Click the pencil (edit icon) next to the template name in the upper left-hand corner to give your template a name. Type in a name for your template and then click Save.
- The overall page/template defaults (margins, borders, background color, etc.) are controlled by the layout options on the right-hand side of the screen which will display by clicking on the gear icon on the right.
- The page editor menu/gear icon menu controls the frame, page, and body of the template. You can set the background color, border style and color, and left and right space. It is the layout of the overall page (screen or piece of paper depending on if you are creating an email-optimized template or a print-optimized template). It is the area edge to edge and top to bottom of the area in white.
- The content of the template is controlled by Content Widgets, located on the left.
- To add a particular type of content/widget to your template, simply click on the widget in the panel on the left and drag it to the body of your template. A blue Drop Widget Here box will appear in the main template area to show where you are placing the widget. Drop the widget anywhere you wish. You can move widgets within the body of the template by clicking on them and dragging them to a new location within the template.
Note: i) When you add images in an email template, please remember not to delete these images in the system as it will not render the image after sending.
ii) Embedded videos are not supported in our communications templates (and, in fact, will usually break the template). We recommend instead that users insert an image/screenshot from the video and hyperlink the image to direct to the video (on your website/youtube/etc., wherever the video is hosted).
- You can clone, edit, or delete widgets that have been added to the template by hovering over them and selecting from the icons that appear.
- To edit the content of a widget, mouse over it and select Edit (pencil icon). This will open an editing pane on the right, which can be used to edit and format the section you are working on.
- The Widget Editor Pane has two tabs: Content and Style.
- The Style tab allows the user to configure the Widget's background color/fill, borders, and padding/margins.
- The Content tab allows the user to configure the content of the widget, including text, pictures, tables, and hyperlinks.
- The editor is a full WYSIWYG editor - you can bold, add italics, change font, font size, font color, background color, insert pictures, URLs/hyperlinks, etc. Hovering over each button the editor's toolbar will tell you what the button does. Please Note: If you do not apply any specific font or font size to the text in a widget, the widget will use the default font and default font size of the web BROWSER of the person viewing the email (for communications sent in the body of the html). Every web browser has a default font that it applies to the text that it renders on the screen (all text that is viewed with a web browsing program such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox, Safari, etc.). If you don't tell the widget(s) a specific font to use, then the template will default to just using the browser default font. When you send your email communication, the viewer will see the text rendered in THEIR browser's default font. Because of this, your text may vary in appearance and size from computer to computer, recipient to recipient if you do not apply a specific font to your text.
- The Spell checker will help you proofread and will detect the incorrect words or spelling mistakes. Users just need to hover on the marked words for instant correction suggestions or click the dialog icon in the bottom right corner to have the whole text proofread at once. Read this article on How Spell Checker Works to know more details about spell checker.
- The maximize button will open the editing pane in a full-sized window/screen to make it easier to work with your content. Click the maximize button again to close the full-sized window/return to your template.
- Placeholders are the core feature of templates; each one will pull a piece of information into the resulting letter that is specified by the name or category of the placeholder.
- To add a placeholder to your template's content, click where you want the placeholder to be located within the content area. Next, from the Placeholder drop-down menu at right, select the specific placeholder you wish to use and it will be added to the content of your template.
- When working with placeholders please keep in mind the following:
- Any placeholder in the "Client" section pull information about YOUR organization. For name, address, etc. of your contacts, use the placeholders in the CONTACT section.
- If you use either of the Household Salutation placeholders (informal or formal household salutation), when you generate your communication, if the contact is an individual (not in a household), then the system will substitute the corresponding individual salutation in its place (so you do not have to do different batches for individuals and households).
- The Auction Items: Donated Auction Items placeholder for donation acknowledgement letters will place a table with the item details (Market value, Item name, Quantity, amount) where you place the placeholder.
- For Stock Gift Acknowledgement template, use the placeholder "Stock" and it renders as a table. Note- For stock gift's donation amount, use the "Tax Deductible" placeholder NOT the donation amount placeholder because for stocks, the tax deductible amount is the total donation amount from the DONOR'S perspective/under U.S. tax law (donation amount is the amount received by the organization, which is based on sale price). You can also use or copy our master template for stock gift available under System Templates with all the required placeholders. The transaction grid will appear where you place the placeholder. For example, If you add the placeholder at the bottom, the grid will appear at the bottom of your template.
For Year End Thank You Letters: Use the "Transaction Grid" placeholder. The Transaction Grid placeholder will provide a list of all donations for the given year. The fields included are Amount, Program, Gift Date, Tax Deductible Amount, Campaign and Tribute Information.
Note- The transaction grid will appear wherever you add the placeholder. For example, if you add the placeholder at the bottom of your template, the transaction grid will appear at the bottom of your text.
- When you have finished editing the content/layout of a widget, click Close to close the Widget editing pane.
- If the template you are creating is used for donation acknowledgements, the orange Assign Funds button in the upper right will allow you to select which Funds, Programs, and/or Campaigns will use the template.
- Select from the list of Funds/Programs/Campaigns currently configured (on the Configurations menu) by clicking/typing in each field.
- Click Save to save the Fund(s)/Program(s)/Campaign(s) selections and close the pop-up box.
You can preview what your template will look like by clicking the Preview button in the upper right hand corner. For print optimized templates,you will be asked for a template preview output of PDF or Word Doc; for email optimized template, you will be able to preview the template in mobile view and desktop view at the bottom right corner of the screen.
PRINT OPTIMIZED TEMPLATE
EMAIL OPTIMIZED TEMPLATE
- When you have finished making changes to your template, click the Save button in the bottom right. The system does also auto-save every three minutes.
- Use the Back button in the upper left hand corner to return to the Manage Template screen.