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Santiago Uribe
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September 14, 2018

Using Microsoft Word and Google Docs to Create Templates for Your Apps

Two of the most powerful functionalities of the AppSheet platform are Workflows and Reports.

We are happy to announce the ability to add Microsoft Word documents as templates for automated messages. 

With Workflows and Reports, you can extend the reach of AppSheet apps and interface with other services, including sending push notifications, SMS, PDFs, and email. All of those services are in addition to the richness of our Web API.

Thousands of emails and pre-formatted PDFs are sent every day through AppSheet workflows and reports; one thing that App Creators have done since day one is making their own templates using Google Docs as the tool to configure the document.

At AppSheet, we use templates across multiple internal apps, including quote and invoice templates that we send to customers for any of AppSheet's Business Subscriptions.

Gdoc Template

If we send you a Business Subscription proposal, it was entirely created through an AppSheet app!

The only limitation with Google Doc templates is that many of our users that use Microsoft, Dropbox, and Box had to add a Google account to achieve the same result.

Today we are happy to introduce the ability to add Microsoft Word documents to workflow rules and reports.

Creating and Using Templates with Microsoft Word Documents

Creating templates with Microsoft Word works the same way as with Google Docs. Simply create a Word document template and add it to your workflow or report. Just make sure the template file is available in the cloud drive of choice and select it when you create a new workflow rule or report.

 

 

If you want to learn more about the process and the type of templates you can create, we recommend getting started with our help site. Remember that the key is to include variable information, picked from the app, between double arrows like <<[Column Name]>>.

How App Creators are Using Templates

In the time it took me to write this blog post, over 4,000 emails were sent via workflow rules and reports on our platform. There are thousands of templates being used to send those emails. Here are some ideas you can apply to your apps:

  • Summary information after capturing data. After hitting save in a form, trigger a workflow rule to send summary information from the form, including images.
  • Receipts and ticketing. If you have field technicians performing work, an app that captures signatures can also send a formatted receipt or closed ticket back to your customer with their signatures included.
  • Order summary. Once a collection of items has been added to an order, send an order summary including a table with all items that are part of it.
  • Invoices. Yes. You can create an invoicing app with AppSheet! That's what we use in-house!
  • Send documents for signature. Create rich word documents with all the legalese you need and include placeholders for the variable info. AppSheet will create a PDF that you can then send to a third party for print and/or signature.

Do you use templates for emails and PDFs in your apps? What kind of information are you sharing? Let us know in the comments.

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