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Mark up a Document to be a Template (further explanation)

Getting Started:

A quick run through on creating your first template is available here.



Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the XpressDox terminology here.



And click here to browse through some ways you should be looking for help on the program.


Another look at marking up a document to be a template:

Now that you have been through those resources we can take another look at marking up a document to be a template.

The document:

The first template that you will want to create will probably be based on a document that you already have, and which has the names, addresses, contact details, etc. of parties in it.

Suppose you have a lease agreement which is between a tenant and an owner, and the names and addresses of the parties, as well as dates of the lease and all other information has been completed.  Here is a snapshot of the first few paragraphs of a sample lease, with the completed information highlighted in blue. And a quick glance at this document snippet shows that there are quite a few items which will change from one lease to another.


This highlights some important issues, the first being that there are a fairly large number of items in just half a page of document, meaning that the traditional way of preparing this kind of document – i.e. take an existing document and replace all the existing items with the new ones – is vulnerable to error: it is so easy to miss out just one of the important pieces of information. This in turn highlights the need for a tool like Xpressdox to be able to produce even relatively simple documents correctly every time. Secondly, there is information such as the Property description which is repeated in this Agreement. Although not visible in this snippet other information such as the Owner’s and Renter’s names would also repeat throughout the Agreement.


When data elements are repeated in a document:

Now to the process of marking up this document. First an overview: this is really a straight forward process. It consists of either

  1. Re-using the field (either click on the Re-use field button) or simply double click on the field name in the Data Elements section of the Command Assistant; or
  2. If an element, e.g. the Property address, appears multiple times in the document, it might make more sense to use the XpressDox find-and-replace rather than insert the same field multiple times. This involves:
    • finding the item in the document which needs to change (e.g. the string “100 Peachtree Street”) and deciding on a name for it (e.g. “Property_Address”). This name is the XpressDox data element name for the property.
    • using the XpressDox find-and-replace to find all instances of “100 Peachtree Street” and replacing it with «Property_Address».


It should be possible to use the MS Word Find-and-Replace tool to perform the second step above.  The problem with that though, is that the MS Word find-and-replace does not allow you to type the XpressDox fillpoint chevron delimiters (« and ») into the find or replace text areas (you have to type ^0171 and ^0187, and even then it sometimes translates the chevron as a quote ” – totally unworkable in this context).  For this reason, XpressDox implements its own Find-and-Replace especially for the purpose of marking up a template from an existing document.  This is found in the Utilities feature:



Here’s how to use the Utilities button in order to mark up the document that we want as a template:

1. In the document, select the phrase “100 Peachtree Street”.

2. Click on the Utilities button on the ribbon (as in the screen shot above).  The following dialog form is displayed:


3. Press <Ctrl F> (or click on the Find and Replace tab on the above dialog), click inside “Find what” and notice that the XpressDox Find-and-Replace dialog shows with the selected text.

4. Now in the “Replace with” area just type the data element name, in this case Property_Address. Notice that the fillpoint delimiters are supplied automatically around the data element name.

5. Press the “Replace All” button, and the document will look like this:


6. Notice how the text “100 Peachtree Street” has been replaced in the two places that it occurred in the document snippet that we are dealing with.

7. Repeat this for other items which occur in multiple places e.g. the Owner and the Renter.