DREL Template - Answers are Blank

We have an existing form which it appears ProntoForms helped configure; the form needs to output to a pre-formatted Word document, which was set up for us in the past. This document shows as a standard Word document and references a different "Template", which we can not access as admin users (appears this is something on the back end). I have to make an update to that word document and change form fields to reflect.

I followed all of the support articles exactly as stated, and set up a DREL template with an MSWord file type, working through the XML cut and paste and attaching to my form. The form output is in word, and every field that should be filled in (as denoted with the drel requirement "%a[QuestionLabel], but not a single one works. The only form field that will output to my template is a date field, which calls on "%d" for the entry. Nothing else on the form works at all. Anyone experience these issues? Support just wants to email me links to articles i'm already following rather than jump in and fix it.


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    Danielle Morley Official comment

    Hi Victor, 

    Usually this issue is caused by the DREL question reference being "interrupted" by some formatting in Word.  Unfortunately, this is an MS Word issue, and the only really easy way to spot it is by looking at the XML file you export from Word, and going to each reference to check.


    For example, you might look at the XML  and spot that  %a[QuestionLabel]   will actually look like:      

    %a <:some MS Word formatting code>[Ques <:some more Word formatting code>tionL</Word formatting code>abel]

    When ProntoForms interprets DREL, it's looking for the uninterrupted string -- if it's interrupted like that, the system can't recognize that it's DREL and not just a sentence you've typed.  

    You could fix all those references yourself in the XML file, but it can be quite tricky to fix them all properly.  Also, if you re-export from Word, they'll be there because you didn't fix the source.  One thing that MIGHT work better is if you Open the file in Word,   highlight your DREL references (preferably the area around them, too, and "Clear Formatting" -- that might clean up the formatting that is interrupting your DREL string.

    Otherwise... this method of creating documents in this manner is a workaround that we suggest to our customers, rather than a full-blown feature, and we've noticed that this problem (Word adding formatting that interrupts the references) started cropping up more after some recent updates to Word.

    Some features that will help you avoid this problem entirely are:
    - Our Pro Services team is able to edit existing Word documents that have been developed for our customers

    - We also have a new feature that will allow you to build custom Word, PDF, or HTML documents, although HTML and CSS is required to build them.   This is a limited release feature, but you can read the details here: https://support.prontoforms.com/hc/en-us/sections/360000065186-Custom-Documents-with-Handlebars

    If you would like to use that feature, please let our Support team know, and they can turn it on for you. 

  • 0
    Victor Schiano

    This is very helpful - thank you! I will try to work through the XML and follow up if I need more assistance. 

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