Steps to Modify an Existing GP Word Template

Join us in today's blog post as we go over how to Modify an Existing GP Word Template. Click to learn how with our easy step by step guide.

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    These steps are specific to modifying an existing Word Template.  If a report is printed and Microsoft Word automatically opens up to display the report, then a Word Template is being used.

    IMPORTANT NOTE:  Even though the end result appears in Word, the Dynamics Report Writer (DRW) report is still being used to pass the field data to Word.  If a field needs to be added that is not available in Word, then it needs to be added to the report using the DRW first.

    STEP #1:  Determine the Exact Name of the Report

    In GP, go through the steps to print the report.  At the Report Destination window, make sure the Report Type is set to Standard and not Template.  This will print the report using the DRW.  Send the report to the screen.


    Once the report appears on the screen, the exact name of the Report will appear in the window title bar.  In the example below, the report title is SOP Blank Quote Form.  There are four formats for each open SOP document type in GP.  There are typically another 4 for historical versions.  Most report definition windows in GP print several different reports depending upon the options selected.  Therefore, to be sure to get the correct report, this is the only reliable method.

    IMPORTANT NOTE:  Because the fields available on each of these reports is different, modifications made to one report cannot be copied to another.  This means that the modifications made to a SOP invoice cannot be used as a base starting point for the SOP quote.


    STEP #2:  Determine the Exact Version of the Report

    There are four possible versions for each report in GP:

    1. Original – This is the ‘out-of-the-box’ format from Microsoft.
    2. Modified – Once a report has been modified using the DRW, this will be the format.  If additional fields are required on the Word Template, they must first be added to the GP report, creating a Modified version.
    3. Alternate – Using a development tool, an alternate version of the report can be created.  This is usually necessary when more than a simple field add is required.   These are rarely acquired for free, so if Alternate reports are used, it will likely be known.
    4. Modified Alternate – When an Alternate report format is modified using the DRW.

    To determine what version of the report is being used, navigate to Tools | Setup | System | Alternate/Modified Forms and Reports.  Be aware that there may be different IDs created for different groups of users.  Select Product: All Products and Type: Reports.  There may be a delay in pulling up information.

    Expand the appropriate Series folder, and then search for and expand the report name determined in Step #1 .  In the example below we can see that the Invoice and Quote forms are using an Alternate product, while the Order form is using the original.  We can also see that there are modified versions of both the Invoice and Order, however the modified versions are not being used for this ID.


    STEP #3: Export the Current Word Template

    Navigate to Reports | Template Maintenance.  In the drop down for Report Name select the correct Report and version as determined in steps 1 and 2 above.  If the report has not been modified on the current machine, More Reports (see below) will need to be chosen.

    IMPORTANT NOTE:  Know that the version indicated here refers to the version of the report being used (step #2) and does not correlate to whether the Word Template has been modified or not.


    One of the benefits of using Word Templates is the ability to assign different Word Templates to different customers/vendors.  If this is the case, then there may be multiple templates listing in the window.

    If this is the first time to modify the template, then only the original template will be listed (ends with an *).  Select the template to be modified and then click the New button at the top of the window.  Only the highly experienced should use the Blank Template option, most users will create a new template from an existing template.  Give the template a new name and click Create.


    Now highlight the template to be modified, and click the Modify button.


    STEP #4: Import the Modified Template Back into GP

    Saving the Word document that opens after Step #3 only saves the file to the local computer, it does not impact what is stored in GP.

    Before we import the changes back into GP, there are three important Best Practices to follow:

    1. IMPORTANT NOTE:  Save and test frequently.  It is very easy (especially for newbies) to delete something hidden and critical.   Unfortunately, the only reliable way to test is to import the document back into GP and run the report.
    2. IMPORTANT NOTE:  Be sure to save a copy of the Word document as you originally exported it, in case it ‘breaks’ and a ‘do-over’ is necessary.
    3. IMPORTANT NOTE:  When importing back into GP, the file name must be EXACTLY the same as what was exported.

    Navigate to Reports | Template Maintenance.  In the drop down for Report Name select the correct Report and version.  Highlight the template that has been modified, and click the green plus.  Browse and select the modified file saved to the local computer and click Open.


    Additional Notes:

    • If Word Templates have never been used before, they will need to be configured using Reports | Template Configuration
    • If this is the first time working with a report, a default will need to be assigned to both the companies and customers/vendors before it will print automatically.
    • If extensive modifications need to be made or if working with fields, then it is advisable to install the GP Word Add-in available on the GP installation DVD.