Field Formatting for Text

Online Template Builder provides all the formatting tools needed for precise document preparation with text formatting tools, predefined structure formatting, spot colors, layering and rotation for text and images.

Font: Choice of both windows system fonts and the fonts you added to your asset area will display. If this field is from a forms based template and you are using the rich text editor option, these are the fonts your customer will have to choose from when customizing their template. There is no way at this time to turn off the system fonts.

Size: Chose a font size ranging from 1 point to 250 points.

Formatting: If you would like to display the font with Bold, Italic or Underline choose those here. *It is recommended that you have the actual font (Helvetica Bold) instead of using the formatting buttons.

Alignment: Set the desired position of the text. 9 options are available. The alignment will apply to all text in the form field.

Tracking: Set the overall letter spacing for the group of letters and blocks of text in your form field. Use tracking to change the overall appearance and readability of the text to make the characters either closer together (tighter), or spread out (looser). The tracking applies to the entire form field and not individual letters within the group (which is kerning).

Leading: Set the desired leading, or choose "auto" which will use the leading specified for your particular font (typically your best choice). Leading is the distance between each line of text in that form field.

Opacity %: You may change the overall opacity of the text in your field. When lowering the opacity any images or text below this field will show through depending on the percentage you set. This should not be confused with Tint. It is not changing the tint of your text color.

Force Fit Text: If you need the entry from the customer to fit within the allowed space you set with your form field you can check this box to ensure all the text fits within the space. This is best for entries such as email addresses, website addresses, etc. where the entire entry must display and you do not want a line break. The characters in the field will shrink until they can fit. For Interactive Designer templates, the Force Fit Text option respects the Minimum Font Size setting in the field’s Rules tab. This means that whenever force fit goes into effect, it will not reduce the font size below the Minimum Font Size setting.

Max lines: This controls how many lines are allowed in the field and can be used if "Force Fit Text" is checked. If the user uses line breaks to produce more lines than the “Max lines” number you have set, their text will be truncated. Also, if reducing the text size is necessary, the end result will not have more lines in it than the “Max lines” you have set. Note that this may result in a smaller font size than would be necessary if more lines were allowed.

CMYK Color: Enter Cyan, Magenta, Yellow and Black values to define a process color for the font color.

Spot Color Name: If a spot color is needed, enter the spot color name in that textbox and ALSO enter the CMYK values to give the spot color’s approximate appearance. The CMYK appearance will be used on-screen and in color composite proofs.

Horizontal and Vertical Scaling: Applies distortion to the text based on the value entered. Distort the text to be wider or more narrow with the horizontal scaling option, or taller or shorter using the vertical text scaling. This option is not available in Interactive Designer templates. See the Rules tab for specific formatting allowed for Interactive Designer templates.

Font Outline, thickness and CMYK color for the outline: Use this option if you would like to add an outline around your font characters. You may choose the thickness and set a CMYK value for the outline. Spot color is not an available option. This option is not available in Interactive Designer templates. See the Rules tab for specific formatting allowed for Interactive Designer templates.

Text direction: Options are Horizontal (standard), Horizontal (right to left) and Vertical (Asian).

• Horizontal (standard) text runs in lines from left to right, with successive lines proceeding top to bottom.

• Horizontal (right to left) in the Format tab, will properly accept scripts — like Arabic, Farsi, Hebrew, and Urdu — that need to run in lines from right to left, with successive lines proceeding top to bottom. Important: Left-to-right scripts can still be typed in fields with this setting and will not appear incorrectly. However, right-to-left scripts will only work correctly when used in a field with this text setting.

• Vertical text runs in lines from top to bottom, with successive lines proceeding right to left. Important: only fonts that have been embedded in Unicode can use vertical text.


Text Reformat: Options include special case formatting, Telephone numbers, email, URL, European formats.

Please Note:


◦ Simple Title Case - The first letter in each word is capitalized.

◦ Intelligent Title Case (English) - The first word in each word is capitalized with exceptions: These words are always uppercase: PO RR CEO VP VP CFO COO III II IV CTO. These words are always left alone (their case not altered):: with, when, and, or, a, an, the, from, to. on, as, of, in, at, for, will.

• Always Reformat box should be checked if you want to include MANDATORY formatting. If this is not checked, the initial view by the customer will display in the format you choose here but they will be able to change it. An example of this would be a specific phone number format on a business card that uses periods between the digits (123.222.3323). If you want to make sure the customer can not change that format to use dashes in between the digits, you will want to check the box to always reformat, if you want them to have that flexibility and change it, then leave that box unchecked. Choice of "Custom" or "Custom - Digital Only" will allow you to specify your own unique formatting.

• Preserve Spaces makes sure the spaces set in the format do not truncate. (May be used when you want your customer to be able to use the space bar to insert more than one space between words. Normally multiple spaces are collapsed into a single space, according to HTML rules). Preserve spaces is also used when using field scripting and you want to preserve more than one space in a group of text.

This option is not available in Interactive Designer templates. See the Rules tab for specific formatting allowed for Interactive Designer templates


Color Palette: Refer to the chapter on Color Palettes for how to set your palettes. In this drop down you will choose which color palette you want to use (if any) for this particular field of text. This option will insure that the customer will only be able to choose from specific colors you want them to. This is great for situations such as stamps and thread where only certain colors are available.


Stacking Order: Specifies layering of text or image in relation to an image or other object. (This use of the word “stacking” has nothing to do with “stacking groups”, described later.) You may set your fields on different layers for many different reasons. Setting a stacking order of -1 would put the field behind the background. an example of this might be a template with a frame image with the center set as transparent. You want the customer to upload an image and have it behind that background in your master PDF. You will also use this option if you are using the Overlay Option. An overlay must be on layers 100-110 and these layers have specifically been reserved for the overlays and must not be used otherwise. Options for stacking order:

• -1 = below master PDF

• 1-100 = normal fields

• 101-110 = overlay fields - In Interactive Designer templates, these fields cannot be edited by the user and will always appear over user-added fields.


Rotation: Applies an angle to text or image based on the value, in degrees entered into the field. With the Interactive Designer you will also be able to let the customer change this rotation if you set it up to do so in the Rules Tab.

• 0° value =no change 

• 90° = vertical text 

• 180° = upside down

• -90° or 270° = vertical reversed

Rotate On: You must rotate on either the Center or Lower Left part of the form field. No other options are available.


Field Usage: Drop down defines four options for how the field will be viewed.

• “Proof and Production” viewable in all outputs

• “Proofing Only” will exclude the field from the production file.

• “Production Only” viewable on the proof, not included on the production file.

• “Hide Field” conceals the field from both production and proof files. Use this for fields where the user enters a value that is used elsewhere in scripting formulas.

Repeat Field: You can set this field to appear at the exact same position on subsequent pages of your template by checking this box. This option is not available in Interactive Designer templates. See Chapter 27 - Repeating Fields



Questions and Answers from the Knowledge Base:


• Spot Colors in Online Template Builder

• When specifying spot colors in Builder, the CMYK value is there for viewing the color on the screen only. The spot color is just a label. It can be/say anything and the information tagged with that will appear as a separate "plate/page" in the PDF that your staff can reference. The finished file in acrobat will show 4 pages/or separations typically c-m-y-k. If you also add information tagged as a spot color, you will have 5 separations c-m-y-k-spot color. It is important to know that we do not have the pantone color system, so you are not entering in a specific pantone color. You are labeling text in the pdf that will be referenced by the prepress department as being a spot color. You can then assign that plate to the spot color you need. If you don't enter in a CMYK value ahead of the field, it will show as black on the template.

Instructions for enter a spot color in Builder Field Scripting:
With a spot color, use the “spot” attribute, a color name, and a CMYK attribute (taking four decimal values separated by commas, or eight hex digits). For example <font spot=“gold:0,16,100,7”> creates a spot color called “gold” using a CMYK appearance of 0% cyan, 16% magenta, 100% yellow, and 7% black. The spot color may not have spaces in its name in the field scripting. The CMYK values can also be specified using eight hex digits, in the format <font spot=gold:#00106407>. You can further define the shade of ink for a spot color by adding a slash and then 2 hex digits, for example: <font spot=“gold:0,16,100,7/4B”>, which would yield a 75% gold color. If a hex digit contains a letter, that letter must be capitalized in the field scripting.

After you have named the spot color once using the syntax above, the CMYK appearance can be omitted from further uses, for example: <font spot=“gold”>. You can specify and use more than one spot color in the same field scripting area. If the same spot name is accidentally used with more than one CMYK appearance, the first appearance will be used, and if the name of a spot color defined in your field scripting matches the spot color name entered in the Format tab, they will refer to the same spot color.

Please note: Spot colors can only be specified within <font> tags and will not work within <span> tags.


• What type of fonts are supported in Online Template Builder?

• Fonts must be in Open Type (.otf), True Type (.ttf), or Type 1 (.pfm + .pfb) format. Unsupported mac fonts must be converted to the windows platform using one of the many inexpensive conversion utilities available.


• Can I use a drop shadow on my font?

• There is not a direct way to do a drop shadow. There are a few options that may work for you:

a) There are some fonts that include that feature automatically. You could upload one of these fonts to the template and use that template for the field in question. This will work in both standard forms based and interactive designer templates.
b) On a standard Builder template, you can have two separate fields. Set the fields almost exactly on top of one another, but the field below would be just very slightly offset from the field on top. On the "Field Type" tab you would set the field to be a text field coming from another field. This will work in a standard forms based template.

• How to change the color of individual characters in a field:

• How to change the color of individual characters using field scripting

The example below uses a color that exists in a palette that has already been defined under the Color Palettes tab at the top of the window. The example color is RED, so there is an RGB color of RED defined in the color palette that will be used on the field.

Edit the template in Online Template Builder, and go to the Field Setup section. Expand the settings for the field that will use the script. Go to Format, and look for the Color Palette setting at the upper-right. The Color Palette needs to be set to the name of the palette that contains the color RED, as used in the example.

Then go to the Field Scripting tab. Choose the VBScript radio button, and an edit text box will open below it. The text to put in the edit box uses a replace command, the name of a field, a text value to find (the period), and a text value to replace (contains the period as well as style tags). The name of the color is plainly visible in the script text.

replace(fieldName, ".", "<font color='RED'>.</font>")

Click the Save button to the left of the script edit box to save your changes to the Format and Field Scripting tabs, and then click the Commit Changes button at the top before testing your setup.


• How do I get the correct production PDF for a product with spot UV?

• Online Template Builder does not have any way to "split" the output file into two PDFs as you describe. The best that you can do is to define a spot color named UV, and make use of that color for the objects that need UV coating coverage -- either objects in the master PDF or text fields added by Online Template Builder. (Graphics added by Online Template Builder would need to be uploaded as PDFs that also make use of the spot color.) This will then show up as a separation when the PDF is ripped.

Most printers that do process + spot color are perfectly fine with PDFs containing spot color separations.



• How can I keep a line from breaking on my template, such as an email address?

• If you wrap some text in a <STYLERUN> with the attribute 'wrap=false', then nothing inside that tag will wrap at all.

<STYLERUN wrap='false'>Email is: @email@</STYLERUN>

will always have the full "Email is:" on one line, shrinking to force-fit if that's turned on and truncating otherwise.

This is only helpful with HTML or VB scripted fields, not direct Text Box or Rich Text fields.

wrap='false' can also be used with <P>, <FONT> or <SPAN> tags.

IMPORTANT: Using wrap='false' completely invalidates force fit. When any part of the script contains wrap=false, the mechanism for telling force fit that the text doesn't fit yet, is turned off. So force fit can't be used with wrap='false'.


• Users frequently desire to use force fit to shrink a field while preventing any lines from breaking into two. There is no way to accomplish this. Wrap='false' plus force fit will not do it at all.


• Can we set a font to be small caps in the "formatting" area?

• You cannot set a field to use small caps in the formatting area of the field. However, you can use field scripting to set a field to be small caps. It can be set in both an HTML and a VB script.

HTML Usage
<smallcaps fontsize="17">FieldName</smallcaps>

VB Usage
smallcaps(FieldName, 17)

The fontsize specifies how large the small caps will be. The true capital letters, therefore, need to have their size set outside of this function, either in the field format tab, or in other field scripting.


How are fonts embedded in production PDF files?

We embed fonts in the production PDF files, and do not outline fonts. Either complete or subset embedding, Uncode or Latin embedding, controllable with the advanced settings part of fonts assets.

If you go into an Online Template Builder account, and edit one of the templates, under Template Assets > Fonts there is a Show Advanced Options. If that is turned on it will show you Encoding and Embedding options on a dropdown for each font.


Previous Chapter: Chapter 15 - Field Setup: Format - General

Next Chapter: Chapter 16b - Setup: Format for Image Fields