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Advanced Template Techniques

  • Create new templates using “Manage My templates”, keeping the template as a personal template until you are happy with it.
  • Test the template using a test patient
  • The template can then be shared with your organisation from your personal templates list, or copied to the Organisation Centre as a new template using source code.
  • Only share templates with the organisation if it adds value for other users and it is approved for use.


Position and size on page

For a table heavy doc start it off in Word, then copy into a template using paste from Word. Copy the content in the Word doc (Control+C works better than right-click copy) then in Letter writer click on Paste from Word

[Control+V] works better than right click paste - it holds the tables and formatting better.

The formatting will frequently not transfer 100% accurately so work from the top and review the template line by line.

Once formatting is complete, click on the Source button and find the line that describes the size and justification of tables in the template. It will usually look like this:

 <table border="1" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="width:622px">

Replacing that line with this line throughout the template will give you a table that extends the width of the page and is centred on the page.:

<table align="center" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" style="width:1000px">

Scroll carefully to identify each time it appears in the template - once for each separate table in the form/template. This will make your table the width of an A4 page and centre the table on the page.

Formatting Tables


To format specific cells in the table, place your cursor in the cell and right click.
You will be presented with a range of options to add, remove, merge or split cells.

Select Cell Properties to view additional configuration options

  • Width/Height - specify using pixels, the size of a cell
  • Cell Type
    • Data - text will be normal intensity and left aligned.
    • Header - text will be bold and centred in the cell
  • Span - select how many rows or columns the cell will be aligned with
  • Alignment - horizontal or vertical - align the text within the cell.
  • Background colour - click on Choose to select a colour to fill the cell
  • Border colour - click on Choose to select a colour for the cell border
    • White border colour can be used to make a table disappear whilst keeping the text and fields aligned as desired.

Rows and Columns

To add or remove rows in the table, place your cursor in a cell and right click, select Row.
You will be presented with options to add before, add after or remove a row.

To add or remove columns in the table, place your cursor in a cell and right click, select column.
You will be presented with options to add before, add after or remove a row.

Table Properties

To edit the table, place your cursor in any cell and right click, select Table Properties.
You will be presented with a number of options to define the table.

  • Rows/Columns - define the size of the table by rows and columns
  • Width/Height - in pixels. define the width and height of the table on your page
  • Headers - text in the selected rows will be bold and centred within the cell
  • Border Size - define the width of the border lines
  • Alignment - set the table's position on your page
  • Caption - adds a label to the table (immediately above and centred on the table.)


For complex or fancy headers or footers, use snipping tool to copy & paste from the original document – this saves a lot of fussing!
In this instance though you can [Control+V] and paste the image directly into the template.

Right click on the image properties

and set the width to somewhere between 900 and 1000 pixels – this will fit nicely across an A4 sheet.

The aspect will be locked so the height will change by the same percentage.

Remember that footer position may not be able to be predicted as some documents will have much content added to them when being used. It may be better to use the PDF page setup in the letter itself.

Adding Page Breaks to a Template

If you have a need to add 'page breaks' to your letter or form, please ensure you leave a space before and after the place where you add a page break.

Select this icon to add a Page Break.

manual/template_tricks.txt · Last modified: 2020/05/06 01:49 by sarahb