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Template Editor - alernatives?


#1

Is there an alternative to the template editor? I am trying to recreate the letters I had previously set up in Profile and I am finding the process very time consuming using the taxcycle template editor.

I was able to do the letter up originally in Profile in less than an hour and I have spent at least a day trying to replicate it in TaxCycle.

Basically I am trying to create a corporate client letter that lists the tax installments for both Federal and Alberta (if an Alberta corp). There are a few other customizations as well. It’s not that I don’t know how to do the letter, it was easy enough to figure the field codes, it’s just trying to set it up with the template editor.

Typically I am pretty good at this kind of thing as I have a tech background but this is really taking too long and it’s because of the editor.

It doesn’t help either that you have to reload the tax return every time you want to test out a change.

Some nice features:

It would be nice to be able to see the format codes (Ie tabs, tables, returns)
Some type of syntax validation would be nice as well. From what I can tell if something isn’t correct there isn’t any feedback, it just doesn’t work.
Ability to update template changes in the currently loaded tax return
Ability to do a print preview of the template rather than having to print it out.
A list of the field codes in a document would be handy too.

So any tips from those who have customized the templates?

Anyone already have a template that lists out the corporate tax installments?

Thanks.


#2

We want to improve the way that the template editor handles tables and add highlighting of field codes and conditions and syntax to help you with it.

You should be able to keep a corporate return open in TaxCycle and then just view it in on the right side of the template editor. It updates as you make your changes to the template.

The underlying code of the default templates is in HTML and CSS. If you are familiar with both or either, it can be possible to edit those in an HTML editor.

If you get really stuck, send me what you have along with a copy of your original to info@taxcycle.com attn: Elizabeth. It might take me a couple days to get it done, but I’m happy to take a look.


#3

Thanks for the reply.

The documentation states that you need to reopen the tax file for the template to be updated, so that was where I got that information. I did not test that it worked differently.

I am familiar with HTML, and I actually did try that route, it is still a bit onerous to change things and I just wonder what ‘normal’ tax preparers without those type of technical skills would do?

Is there an HTML editor that you would recommend?

I will try again over the weekend – maybe with a fresh set of eyes it might work better. If I am successful I will share my template.

I definitely see the potential of where things are going, I just need those features now.

Thanks.


#4

I have no problem changing the client letter with a tax file open and modify the letter


#5

What I am finding is that yes it does refresh but I have to navigate away from the letter and back to see the updates in the tax return. I see the updates right away in the template editor. Not a big deal once you know.

I was able to get my letter created yesterday except for a couple of things:

How do I display the business number in 123456789RC0001 format? Right now all I can get is 1234567890001 (No RC)

How do I turn the gridlines off on a table?

My letter is almost done and I am happy to submit it to the community if anyone is interested in a corporate letter that list the installments.

Once I figured things out it worked ok – patience helps, but I still had to pop into an HTML editor to 'finesse it".


#6

The documentation states that you need to reopen the tax file for the template to be updated, so that was where I got that information. I did not test that it worked differently.

@Michelle, I will update the doc to be clearer. That is probably something left over from the early days where the file did not update immediately.

How do I display the business number in 123456789RC0001 format? Right now all I can get is 1234567890001 (No RC)

Unfortunately, I don’t have the answer yet for this one. I will check in with @Cameron and get back to you. We may need to add that change.

For many fields, you can add format( ) within the field code to get a formatted version of the data, for example, for the postal code {{ format(PostalCode) }} gives you the space after the first three characters. But when I tried {{format(CurrentClient.Info.ID.BusinessNumber)}} it didn’t change anything. Keep this trick in your back pocket for formatting issues in the future.

How do I turn the gridlines off on a table?

Unfortunately, this is something that is currently only accomplished in the source code. So, if you open the file in Notepad, or in Notepad++ (a free text editor that does HTML formatting), you can make the change. Here’s how:

  1. Find the <td> tag for the table data cell in the source HTML. It will probably look something like <td class="cs6186BAF9" valign="top" width="138">
  2. Copy or note the class="cs6186BAF9" generated number.
  3. In the <style type="text/css"> section the top of the file, find that same class. It will start with a period and look something like this: .cs6186BAF9{width:102.95pt;padding:0pt 5.4pt 0pt 5.4pt;border-top:1px #000000 solid;border-right:1px #000000 solid;border-bottom:1px #000000 solid;border-left:1px #000000 solid}
  4. You can either change all the 1px in this line to 0px, or you can delete everything starting with border-top to the end and replace it with border: none;. The result should be something like either of the following:

.cs6186BAF9{width:102.95pt;padding:0pt 5.4pt 0pt 5.4pt;border-top:0px #000000 solid;border-right:0px #000000 solid;border-bottom:0px #000000 solid;border-left:0px #000000 solid}

.cs6186BAF9{width:102.95pt;padding:0pt 5.4pt 0pt 5.4pt;border:none;}

Because the code gets generated, there may be other classes that also need fixing in the table. To test your change, you will need to close and re-open the Template Editor (not all of TaxCycle.)

To cheat, if you have no tables in the template that you want to have borders, you could just open up the file in Notepad and search and replace: 1px #000000 solid for 0px #000000 solid. You might want to keep a backup of your file.

We hear your pain on this one. We REALLY want to add border handling to tables soon.

My letter is almost done and I am happy to submit it to the community if anyone is interested in a corporate letter that list the installments.

If you were willing to share it with us, we could possibly add it to the default templates in TaxCycle T2.

A big thank you from us here at TaxCycle for your feedback.


#7

I have sent you my copy of the Corporate client template. It’s probably no where near as nice as what the experts at TaxCycle could do, but I am happy to contribute.

Now I just need my custom fields. :smile:


#8

Any updates on the display for the Business number for templates? I currently am overriding all my T2 letters to display the business number with the ‘RC’.


#9

Not yet. There isn’t currently a way to format business numbers in the template editor. We have a bug in to fix it.


#10

Is there any documentation on how to use the template editor.

More specific codes.

Thanks


#11

Check in the blog section under temple editor