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Fillpoints, fields, data elements … let’s talk terminology

Learning XpressDox exposes you to some new terminology, so let’s get a handle on what all the terms mean.


Documents containing XpressDox syntax are called templates, and are constructed in Microsoft® Office Word with the fixed text typed as in any normal document, but the pieces of client specific data are entered as fillpoints.



A fillpoint is an instruction in the template. It is enclosed inside the fillpoint delimiters, which are « and » , and represent a place in the template at which client specific data would be entered. Examples of fillpoints are «Client_Name», «Balance_Outstanding» and «Date_Payable». Fillpoints can consist of data elements, as well as commands and functions.


Data element:

A data element is the name given to the piece of data i.e. Client_Name, Balance_Outstanding, or Date_Payable. Whilst the template is being run, these data elements will have values assigned to them and those values will be placed in the assembled document. Commands can be applied to data elements to tell them how they should behave on the assembled document. Notes on syntax provides the rules for naming of data elements. At some point when learning XpressDox, you will come across the term Variables. This is not the same thing as a data element.



People are often tempted to use the term “variable” for what XpressDox refers to as a data element. Variables are temporary values in a template. They are set during the processing of a template, and then ‘forgotten’ as soon as the document has been assembled. The value of a variable is not stored in the dataset.



A command such as FormatNumber can be given to Balance_Outstanding to ensure that the format of the number is correct in the document. The FormatDate command can be given to Date_Payable to define the format of the date. Other commands such as ChooseFromList, or ReadOnly can be put on data elements to turn them into lists or read only fields on the interview.

«FormatDate(Date_Payable,'MMMM d, yyyy')»



When running a template, an interview is presented to the user which contains a number of questions that are needed in order to create the document. This interview may contain free format fields, long text fields, drop down lists, calendar captures, checkboxes etc.



The questions on the interview are known as fields, or input fields.


Assembled document:

After the user has completed the interview and pressed OK, a document is assembled.



A dataset is also created. This dataset is a reusable file created from the answers given in the interview. Both the document and the dataset can be configured to be saved in a customizable location.