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SetEmptyMarker – XpressDox

SetEmptyMarker in XpressDox refers to the mechanism for placing a code into the assembled document to highlight any unanswered questions.


Empty Markers can be determined by the Configuration or by the template.



  1. There is a tab panel in the Configuration form, currently called “Other Settings”, and the Empty Marker can be set there.  This means that the Empty Marker will apply to all templates run from that folder or any sub-folder deeper in the folder hierarchy.
  2. If the Empty Marker contains the character “^”, then when the Empty Marker is applied, the “^” will be replaced with the data element name.  If you want a caret (“^” ) to actually be part of the empty marker text and NOT be replaced with the data element name, then you must escape it – i.e. use “!^”.



  1. An Empty Marker configuration setting can be overridden in any template by use of the «SetEmptyMarker()» command.  For example, «SetEmptyMarker(‘{^}’)» will set that Empty Marker for all empty data elements in the template, regardless of whether or not another Empty Marker has been set in the configuration.
  2. The command can also be used to clear the Empty Marker for a specific data element / data elements. «SetEmptyMarker('',Test1,Test2,Test3)»
  3. The «SetEmptyMarker()» command can also specify a list of data elements to which it applies.  For example, «SetEmptyMarker(‘[*^*]’,Name,Address)» will apply that Empty Marker to the Name and Address data elements.
  4. «SetEmptyMarker(‘’)» will cancel any previous setting of the Empty Marker.  For example, if an Empty Marker has been configured for the folder from which the template is run then «SetEmptyMarker(‘’)» will negate that.  Following that with «SetEmptyMarker(‘[*^*]’,Name,Address)» will mean that only Name and Address will have the Empty Marker applied to them.  All other empty data elements in that template will cause an empty value in the merged document.
  5. An Empty Marker can also be set in the Define command.


Fillpoint syntax:

  1. Empty Markers are applied only to data elements where the entire contents of the fillpoint is that data element.  In other words, an empty value for Name in the example above will place [*Name*] in the merged document for a fillpoint «Name».
  2. The Empty Markers in the document can be colored using syntax like the following:
    «SetEmptyMarker('[~cyan~@~]')»This will color the “@” character in the colour cyan, while leaving the “[” and “]” in the ruling document font.Other variations would be:


    The Command Assistant wizard has a drop-down with a list of the colours available to this command.



Using the Empty Marker with calculations

In the situation where a calculation occurs where one of the data elements in the calculation is empty, the result of the calculation will be the string “NaN” – meaning “Not a Number”. This special string, when encountered by the FormatNumber function, will be regarded as an empty string and the relevant empty marker will be input into the assembled document.


Note that the Empty Marker feature is available only in Version 4 and later of XpressDox.