…there were some adjustments required for a few existing templates and merge tags, but most of the kinks have been worked out. Subscribers can now create more professional looking templates via CSS, support for image embedding, great support for tables, shading, fonts, etc.. Lots of wonderful options to create great looking guest correspondence!!!
We recently upgraded and consolidated our HTML editors across Lodgix to the latest version of ckEditor. This is great and allows much more flexibility when creating pretty emails that you want sent to your guests. ckEditor was also implemented within the PDF templates area of the application, replacing fckEditor which was old and outdated.
So now we have this beautiful new editor, with many new features but we are still using an old PDF rendering engine that doesn’t support most of the more advanced HTML now possible with ckEditor. What to do? The most logical solution is to replace the PDF rendering engine with something better!
The problem with this is that the PDF rendering engines are tricky. It’s just not real easy for a pdf renderer to support all the various types of formatting and styling allowed by HTML and CSS1, CSS2 and CSS3. Our old renderer works well on the existing templates we designed because we designed them specifically to work well on the old renderer.
The new renderer might cause some small (or large) styling issues on existing templates. We are going to do our best to limit styling issues, but we do need to improve the renderer to allow subscribers to create much nicer looking PDFs that more closeley match what you create in ckEditor. That’s really the issue, is trying to match as closely as possible what you see in ckEditor in the PDF that is create using the rendering engine. With our current rendering engine only simple documents will render correctly.
So be prepared, there may be some editing of existing PDF templates required to have them render correctly using the new editor. Hopefully the changes will be small, but please bear with us as we work to make the system better for everybody!
As we work to integrate digital signatures into the Lodgix platform, we are taking the opportunity to upgrade many of the systems that are affected by the new functionality. Creating and editing PDF templates today became much easier as we’ve upgraded the entire interface and made the process of finding, selecting and inserting merge tags much easier.
Additionally, the editor now supports direct copy / paste from Word, which will make the setup process far easier for subscribers have existing rental agreements and other documents in Word, etc.. that they wish to replicate on Lodgix using Merge Tags. Enjoy!
PDF Templates are easy to create and easy to edit. Follow the instructions below and you’ll be up and running in no time!
- Clicking on the pencil icon will allow to edit any template
- Clicking on the two sheets of paper will allow you to copy a template
- Clicking on the "Hide" link will hide a template from view. Remember any template you create will be displayed in the communications and correspondence areas of the application
- Clicking on the "Restore" link will allow you to restore the default template in the event you really screw things up!
Edit PDF Template
To create or edit a PDF template a WYSIWYG (What You See is What You Get) editor is utilized. This means that how the document looks on the screen should almost mirror how the document looks when it’s converted to a PDF.
- This is the name of your template. If you’ve created a new template or copied an existing one, you would want to enter a custom name here.
- This is the area where you can define if the page is to be displayed in Portrait or Landscape mode.
- Merge Tags.. Position your cursor where you would like the variable to be inserted, them choose the merge from the drop down list provided. Click the Insert Tag button to insert the tag.
- Anything with a [ ] on the page is a merge tag that will pull invoice specific data from the application when generating the live PDF.
The merge tags have been grouped by Invoice, Guest, Property, etc. They’ve also been ordered by the order in which they are typically used. Each merge tag has a short description to aid in finding the correct merge tag to use for your template. If you can’t determine which merge tag is the correct merge tag, a good way to test is to choose a merge tag, save the template and then generate a test pdf or go to an invoice and generate a live PDF to determine whether the PDF output is what you require. If it’s not, rinse and repeat.
Tips for Success – IMPORTANT!
- In general text from Microsoft Word can be cut / paste directly into the editor. However, at times a bunch of junk formatting from Word will carry over that will screw up your template. If that happens, copy the contents to a text editor first like Notepad and then copy / paste into the template. That will assure a clean import.
- The “Source” button will show you the actual source formatting code. If you are experiencing issues with formatting many times digging into the source will help you delete unnecessary formatting.
- [clogo] will allow you to display your logo in the template, if a logo has been uploaded within the Important Settings area of the application.