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Print Templates 101: Customizing Templates

Basic Template Customization

Customization Process

Here's the basic sequence, step-by-step...

1) Think about what functionality you need from the template.
2) Decide if you want to use a Default template, or need to Customize one to suit your needs.

If customizing...

1) Consult the Template Data Library for your field options.
2) Sketch a design of your template.
3) Export the default template from your ILS (Millennium or Sierra).
4)
Prepare to customize the template by opening the exported file in your editor (iReport or Jaspersoft Studio) and resaving it using a incremental naming convention.
5) Customize the template to suit your needs.

6) Import your new template back into the system.
7) Assign the template to those who need to use it.

Tips for Customizing Print Templates

  • You MUST always start with the default templates
  • The default templates already been developed with defined page size and bands.Try not to manipulate them much.  For example, if you take away space from one band, you may have to add it to another.Try to work with what is given to you rather than developing something new. Hint: By default, all circulation notices print on a full page (U.S. Letter, 8.5" x 11" / 21.59cm x 27.94cm)
  • Make incremental changes, save, and test often!

Print Template Troubleshooting
CSDirect has a page listing the common problems (Log-in Required):

http://csdirect.iii.com/documentation/trouble_printtemplates.shtml#pt2

Innovative provides a Template Data Library of fields for each different type of template. When customizing Print Templates you'll want to consult these libraries to determine what fields you have available to work with. Below you will find information about the Template Data Libraries for Millennium and Sierra.

Template Data Libraries in Millennium

Please note that this list is not comprehensive, rather it highlights some of the more popular print templates in use. To see the full list of template data libraries consult the Millennium manual page #107515.

 

Module Template Data Library Manual Page
Circulation Courtesy Notices 107884
Hold Pickup Notices 107888
Hold Cancelation Notices 107886
Overdue Notices 107894
Recall Notices 107895
Item Paging Slips 107891
Item Paging Lists 107890
Title Paging Lists 107898
Transit Slips 107613
Hold Shelf Slips 107612
INN-Reach Paging Slips 107910
INN-Reach Transit SLips 107726
INN-Reach Hold Shelf Slips 107946
Pick-up Anywhere Paging SLips 107945
Serials Serials Routing SLips 107535
Cataloging Monograph Spine Labels 107534
Express Lane Due Slips 108197
Ecommerce Receipts 108196
Program Registration Attendance Lists 108141

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Template Data Libraries in Sierra

A list of the template data libraries available in Sierra can be found in the Sierra Guide under Sierra Reference > Print Template Data Libraries.

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The first step in creating a custom template involves exporting the default template from your system. Remember that print templates have to be enabled and the user has the appropriate permissions to begin the process of customizing a default template.

In the example found below you'll see screen shots from Millennium. The steps involved in exporting default templates in Sierra are exactly the same.

1) Start by logging into Millennium. Then choose the Settings option from under the Admin menu.

 

2) Select the Print Templates tab, and select the Output Type (template type) you wish to use from the drop-down menu.

 

3) Check the box for Use Print Templates. Next, click on the default template (default templates start with the underscore), then click on Export.

 

4) A Choose a directory (folder) window will appear. Browse to find the desired directory where you want to save the default template. Then click on the Choose a directory button.

***HINT: Make a folder within the Millennium directory called "Print Templates". Then make subdirectories that have names pertaining to the type of templates. For example: "C:\Millennium\Print Templates\HoldPickup"***

Things to keep in mind...

  • Format of the files is jrxml (Jasper Report XML)
  • If you have files in the directory you are exporting to, you can't see them in the Choose a directory window
  • If you have a file with the same name as the one you are exporting, it will be overwritten without warning!
  • Do not enter a file name.  The system will automatically name these exports
  • Graphic files used in templates are stored separately, and are exported automatically

Repeat the above process if you want to export other templates, and then select OK  to close the Settings window.

The next step is to open the default template with iReport and begin to customize it.

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Preparing to Edit

File Management

File management is a challenge.  This section is more of a recommendation rather than rule.  If you already have a process on how to manage print template file continue with what works for you.  This process defined below will help protect the integrity of the exported file as well as help you in tracking changes that are made to the template.

It is recommended when exporting the default templates from your system (Millennium/Sierra) to store and organize these files.

For example:

Create the directory (folder) structure on the workstation where you plan to use the print template editor (iReport/Jasperstudio).  Keep everything together, so files can be easily found when modifying them.  In our environment we create a subdirectory within the system's directory called "Print Templates" (C:\Sierra Desktop App\Print Templates).

Sierra Desktop App Directory Create Print Template Directory

Then create additional subdirectories for each print template type. For example all print templates that would be associated with Circulation make each one a subdirectory.

Sierra Desktop App Directory Create Circulation Directory

The final Hold Pick Up Notice directory would look like the following in this example.

Print Template Organized Template Structure

The directory path is C:\Sierra Desktop App\Print Templates\Circulation\HoldPickupNotice.

The default print template files are outlined in red.

The customized files are outlined in blue (notice the version in file name).

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Editing the Default Template

1) Navigate to the directory where the default template was exported during the export Print Template process and open file With Jaspersoft Studio (.jrxml).

Jaspersoft Studio Open Default Template

***NOTE:  2 files came with this export.  A graphics file that is used in the default template is automatically downloaded ***

 

Here is how the template will look when opened in Jaspersoft Studio:

 

2) Go to File, then select Save As

Jaspersoft Studio Defalult Template Save As

 

3) Give the file a new name using a predetermined incremental naming convention you've established. For example: Here, we've used the naming convention of HPNv0x0.jrxml, which works out to... Hold Pickup Notice version 0.0.

Jaspersoft Studio Save As Version Number

This file will now be save to the defined Jaspersoft Studio defined workspace.  This workspace can be used as a temporary editing location.  It is recommended that once the customized print template is finished to move it to an organized directory of all the completed print templates.

***NOTE: As changes are made to the template it should be saved in incremental versions of HPNv1, HPNv2, etc. This way, if something goes wrong in one of the versions you can easily go back to a previous version that worked before the change was made.***

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There are three different ways that you can delete a field from a template. The examples found below were created using Jaspersoft Studio. Examples of how to delete fields using iReport can be found here: http://libguides.uccs.edu/c.php?g=464620&p=3176308

Deleting Fields-Option 1

1)  Click on the field you want to delete.

 

2)  Right click on the field and select Delete from the menu.

 

The field has been deleted from the template.

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Deleting Fields-Option 2

1)  Click on the field you want to delete.

 

2)  Hit the Delete Key on your keyboard.

 

The field will be deleted from the template.

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Deleting Field-Option 3

1)  In the Outline View panel click on the name of the field you want to delete. That field will become highlighted in the Outline View panel and in your template.

 

2)  Right click on the Outline View panel field and select Delete from the menu.

 

The field will be deleted from the Outline View panel and the template.

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There are two different ways you can resize a field. The examples found below were created using Jaspersoft Studio. Examples of how to resize fields using iReport can be found here: http://libguides.uccs.edu/c.php?g=464620&p=3176310

Resizing a Field-Option 1

1) Click on the filed you wish to resize.

 

2) When you move your mouse over the green "handle bar" boxes a white double-sided arrow will become visible. Left click and drag your mouse to resize the field, and release when the field line has reached the desired position.

 

Your field has been resized.

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Resizing a Field-Option 2

1) Click on the filed you wish to resize.

 

2)  In the Properties Menu, click on the Appearance button and then in the Size menu change the numbers in the the W (Width) and H (Height) fields to change the size of the field box.

***NOTE: Increasing the numbers will expand the height and width while decreasing the numbers will narrow the heights and width.***

 

Your field has been resized.

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There are two different ways you can move fields. The examples found below were created using Jaspersoft Studio. Examples of how to move fields using iReport can be found here: http://libguides.uccs.edu/c.php?g=464620&p=3176286

 

Option 1

1)  Click on the field you would like to move.

 

2)  Left click on the field, then drag and drop the box to where you'd like it to go.

 

Your field has been moved.

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Option 2

1)  Click on the field you would like to move.

 

2)  In the Properties panel click on the Appearance menu, under the Location menu, change the numbers in the the X and Y fields to change the position of the field box.

***Hint: Decrease the number to move the field to the left or up, increase the number to move the field to the right or down.***

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Below you'll learn...

Static Text Field Defined

Static Text is used for text elements in the template that do not change.  An example of this would be the instructions section of a routing slip.

Static text fields are represented in and Jasper Studio by this icon:

In this picture of the Outline View panel you can see examples of the different static text elements found in a routing slip:

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When to Use a Static Text Field

Static Text Fields can be used to...

  • Provide an important message, note, or directions for all template users to be aware of. For example, a note on a routing slip stating When done routing this item please return it to the Circulation Department.
  • Serve as a "label" for Text Fields.

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Adding a Static Text Field to a Template

There are two different ways you can add a Text Field to a print template. The examples found below were created using Jaspersoft Studio. Examples of how to static text fields using iReport can be found here: http://libguides.uccs.edu/c.php?g=464620&p=3176282

 

To add a Static Text Field to Your Template...

1)  In the Palette, left click on the Static Text button then drag the field into into position on your template.

 

Adding/Editing Text in a Static Text Field

There are two options for editing/adding text found in a Static Text Field.

 

Editing a Static Text Field-Option 1

1) Double-click on the static text field to select it.

 

2) Type your text into the box. When you are finished hit Enter.

 

Your new text will appear in the box.

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Editing a Static Text Field-Option 2

1) Click on the Static Text Field you wan to add text too or edit.

 

2) In the Properties menu, click on the label Static Text tab. You can then edit/add text in the Text box. When you are done typing your text hit Enter.

 

Your new text will appear in the box.

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Below you'll learn...

 

Text Field Defined

Text Fields are used for text elements in the Template that come from the Template Data Library (Fields) of Millennium or Sierra.  Unlike Static Text, which does not change, Text Fields will show different information based off the data it is pulling from the system.

Text Fields are represented in Jaspersoft Studio by this icon:

In this picture of the Outline View panel in Jaspersoft Studio, you can see examples of the different static text elements found in a Hold Pickup Notice:

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When to Use a Text Field

Use Text Fields when you will be pulling information from your ILS into the templates. Examples include:

  • The title, call number, and location information for a requested item on a paging list.
  • A patron name field on a circulation notice.
  • A magazine name on a routing slip.

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Adding a Text Field to a Template

There are two different ways you can add a Text Field to a print template. The examples found below were created using Jaspersoft Studio. Examples of how to add Text Fields iReport can be found here: http://libguides.uccs.edu/c.php?g=464620&p=3176364

 

Adding a Text Field-Option 1

1)  In the Palette, left click on the Text Field element then drag and drop the field into position on your template.

 

2) In the Properties panel, click on the Text Field tab. You can enter the field you wish to use in the Expression box, or your can click on the icon to the right of the box to open the Expression Editor.

**Note: You can click on the field in the template and enter your data element, but using the Custom Text Editor button allows you to select the element, eliminating the possibility of error.**

 

3) The middle column of the Expression Editor will show you all of the fields available in the Template Data Library for the type of template you are editing. Double-click on the field name to add it to the string. Once you have added the filed(s), click on Finish.

 

Your desired field type is now inserted in the Text Field. If necessary, use the field box Handle Bars to resize the box so that all of the text is visible.

 

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Adding a Text Field-Option 2

1) In the Outline View panel click in the arrow next to the Fields menu to expand it.

 

2) Find the field you want to add to the template from the list, and then drag and drop it to your desired location on the template.

 

Your new Text Field has been added to the template. If necessary, use the field box Handle Bars to resize the box so that all of the text is visible.

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You may wish to modify text found in a field in order to draw the users eye to a particular piece of data or in compliance with your institutions' branding requirements. Below you'll learn how to...

 

Change the Font Type, Font Size, & Adding Emphasis to Text

***TIP: It is best to use standard fonts like Times New Roman, Ariel, Tahoma, Georgia, etc. as Millennium and Sierra can have problems recognizing fancier fonts like Comics Sans.***

***TIP: When selecting a font, a font size, and emphasis think about your user's needs! You want the fonts on notices that will be sent to the public to be simple and easy to read, especially for those who may have visual impairments.***

 

There are two options for changing fonts. The examples found below were created using Jaspersoft Studio. Examples  showing you how to change font style, color, and text emphasis using iReport can be found here: http://libguides.uccs.edu/c.php?g=464620&p=3176283

Changing Font Type, Font Size, & adding Emphasis to Text-Option 1

1) Click on the field you want to modify.

 

2)  In the Properties panel click on the Field tab (in this example it's a Static Field). Under the Font menu, choose the font type, font size, and special emphasis type you wish to use from the drop-down menu.

***Note: This menu gives you emphasis options for Bold, Italics, Underline and Strike Though.***

 

Your font type, size, and emphasis choices will be applied to the field. Check to see if you need to resize the field so that all of the text is visible.

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Changing Font Type, Font Size, & adding Emphasis to Text-Option 2

1) Click on the field you wish to modify.

 

2)  Choose the font type, font size, and special emphasis type you wish to use form the toolbar located at the top o your screen.

***Note: This toolbar only gives you options for Bold and Italics.***

 

Your font type, size, and emphasis choices will be applied to the field. Check to see if you need to resize the field so that all of the text is visible.

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Adding Color to Text

The example found below showing you how to change text color was created using Jaspersoft Studio. Examples of how to add emphasis to text using iReport can be found here: http://libguides.uccs.edu/c.php?g=117509&p=764920

 

1) Click on the field you want to modify.

 

2) In the Properties panel click on the Appearance tab. Under the Color menu, click on the box found next to the word Forecolor.

 

3) You can create/select a custom color using the Advanced Colors Menu.

 

Or you can choose a preset color from the Web Colors Menu.

 

The color you have selected will be applied to the font in the field.

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Adding emphasis to a field can help draw the patrons eye to important information or just make your templates look extra nice. Here you will learn how to...

The example found below were created using Jaspersoft Studio. You can learn how to add emphasis to a field using iReport here: http://libguides.uccs.edu/c.php?g=464620&p=3199516.

Adding Background Color

The use of color in a template field is always more practical when the template is being delivered via email rather than being printed.

1) Click on the field you want to modify.

 

2) In the Properties panel click on the Appearance tab. Under the Color menu, click on the box found next to the word Backcolor.

 

3) You can create/select a custom color using the Advanced Colors Menu.

 

Or you can choose a preset color from the Web Colors Menu.

 

The color you have selected will be applied to the font in the field.

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Adding a Border to a Field

1) Click on the field you want to modify.

 

2) In the Properties panel, click on the Borders tab and and under the Borders menu select a Pen Color, Pen Style, and Pen Width. The click on the Border Style you want to apply to the field.

 

The border has been added to your field.

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Lines can be used to indicate a division between bands or fields in a template.

Adding a Line

1) Click on the Line element found in the Palate and then drag and drop the line to the Band where you want the line to reside.

 

2) Use the handlebar boxes on the field to reshape and resize the line. If needed, move the line to the desired position on the template.

 

3) To modify the appearance of the line click on the Borders tab in the Properties panel and select a different Line Color, Line Style, and Line Width from the Line Menu.

 

Here's what your template should look like after you have made these modifications...

 

You can click on the Preview button to see how the line will look on the printed/emailed document.

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After you are done customizing your template you need to import it back into your system. In the example found below you'll see screen shots from Sierra. The steps involved in importing default templates in Millennium are exactly the same.

1) Start by logging into Sierra. The select Settings from the Admin menu.

 

2) Select the Print Templates tab, and select the Output Type (template type) you wish to import from the drop-down menu.

 

3) Ensure that the box for Use Print Templates is checked, then click on Import.

 

4) A New Print Template Attributes window will appear. Fill in the Template family name and the Description.

***TIP: it is beneficial to use an incremental naming scheme with the version of the template which you are importing (e.g. Hold_Pickup_v1).***

Once you have named your files click on Browse.

 

 

5) Navigate to the directory where the template was saved. Select the template (.jrxml), and then choose Open.

 

6) The template will be imported into the Templates files field of the New Print Template Attributes window. Click on OK.

 

7) The customized template is now imported into your ILS and should be listed within the Other Templates pane.  You can now highlight the new template and choose the Preview button to see a quick representation.

 

Your ILS will now open a Viewing window to preview the template.

 

 

***Hint:  At this point it is a good idea to test the template.  Ways to test the template may differ depending on the type of template. Our Hold Pickup notices are emailed. For this kind of testing, we run the job for "Hold Pickup Only" notices type with the current template. Once the job is cleared, a book is placed on hold. Then we immediately run the job again. This time we will select the new template.  Hopefully, our test hold is the only one to send. This is a cumbersome method, but we haven't found a good way to test emailed templates. After the test is done and the template is confirmed to be working correctly, we continue with modifying the custom template.***

 

8)  Use the arrows to move your template over to the Preferred Templates Field.

 

 

9) Click on Save Settings, then on OK.

 

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