Word Add-in Help Guide

June 8, 2021

Additional support: Contact us at hello@afterpattern.com if you have additional questions about how to use the Microsoft Word Add-in.

The Afterpattern Word add-in allows you to quickly transform a Word document into an automation-ready template that can be populated by your Afterpattern apps.

Download the add-in

You can download the Word add-in from Microsoft's AppSource store. From within desktop Word, you can access this store by clicking Insert then Get Add-ins:

Search for "Afterpattern" to find our add-in.

How it works

In a nutshell, the procedure for using the add-in is:

  1. Connect your Word document to a pre-existing Afterpattern app;
  2. Add variables to the Word document;
  3. Upload the Word document back to your app; and
  4. Inside the App Builder, determine how you want to use your new document template (e.g. give it to app's end-user, send it as an email attachment, or upload to a database).

Step 1: Connect to app

Connect your Word document to a pre-existing Afterpattern app.

Step 2: Add variables

You can now insert variables from your app onto this Word document, or you can create and insert new text variables.

1. Insert existing: Gives you a dropdown of all the variables defined in your app. If you don't see your variable, try clicking "refresh variables."

2. Create new text variable: This allows you to create a new variable inside your app; specifically, a text variable made by a Text Logic Block. A text variable is simply equal to a block of text, and you define that text directly in the Word add-in:

After you click "Create new text variable", click on the new variable and you will open this ^ editor to give that variable a definition and add conditional logic.

3. Match variables:

Sometimes it's tedious to use the "Insert" button to add variables to your Word template, particularly if the same variable appears throughout your document. In those cases, you may want to use the "Match variables" button. For example, if you have an app that defines the variable "Full Name":

Question block defining the variable "Full Name"

You could manually type that variable into your Word document and enclose it in double angle brackets with a space before and after the name of the variable like so: << Full Name >>

Word document with variable name manually typed in as << Full Name >>

Next simply press the "Match variables" button in the sidebar and every variable name you've enclosed in double angle brackets is automatically converted into a real variable (which you can then add Insert logic and dynamic formatting to):

Result of using "Match variables" button to convert "Full name" into a real variable

This feature is particularly useful if you have a document you want to rapidly convert into an automation. For example, if you have a contract with a company called Acme and want to use that same template for other companies, you could create an app that defines the variable "Company" and then use Microsoft Word's "Find and replace" feature to swap out all instances of the word "Acme" in your document with the hardcoded variable << Company >> and then use the "Match variables" to insert real variables.

Step 3: Upload to app

When you're done adding variables, upload the Word document to your app (click "Upload template"). Now, you can go to App Builder and you will see under the Templates tab a new Word document template (you may need to refresh the web page): 

Now, you can determine how you want your app to use this document template. For example, you can attach the template to a Page Block to give it to the app's end-user, or send via email as an attachment. Learn more about automating documents with apps.

Insert HelloSign variable

There are two types of e-signatures your app can collect: Afterpattern default e-signatures or HelloSign. If you use HelloSign, your app will have a special HelloSign e-signature variable. You can insert that variable onto your Word document with this 'insert HelloSign variable' button. Learn more about e-signatures.

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