Variables are pieces of data that inform the dynamic behavior of a document.
This article discusses how to insert variables into a document, template, or content asset to create text that is dynamic-- meaning the text can change based on data provided to Collaborate. For more information on specific types of variables, see the Variables overview article.
Variables streamline the document creation process. For example, variables can drive showing or hiding specific pages in a document, showing or hiding specific paragraphs, or autocompleting sections of text, tables, and other information.
To insert variables into your content
- In a document, template, or content asset, click the Variables panel on the right side.
- You will see a drop-down list showing the types of variables available to you. Expand the categories or search the variables by name using the search bar at the top.
- The most commonly used type of variable is a field from your integrated CRM. Expand the Salesforce or Dynamics CRM category, for example, to see fields that you have mapped from your integrated CRM.
- Place your cursor in the document content where you’d like the variable to appear.
- Click the + sign next to the variable name to add the variable to the document.
You can also type the “%” sign in your document to pull up a list of variables while creating content. As you type after the “%” sign, the list of variables will be filtered based on what you type.
Variables inserted into a template or content asset will display the field name highlighted in gold. This indicates that when a document is created from that template or contains that page, the variable will auto-complete with data from that field.
Variables on a draft document will display the actual variable value, if available. A variable displaying “No Value” indicates that your document does not have an associated value for that variable.
After you insert a variable in a document, template, or content asset, you may change the format in which the variable will display.
For example, you may want to ensure that any variables that contain dates display in specific month/day/year format or that URLs appear as active links. Or, if you have a number variable that should be formatted as money, you can enter a unit type, the type of delimiter you would like to appear, and the number of decimals you would like to be displayed.
To format a variable
- Click on the variable. A menu appears above it displaying the variable name and type.
- Click the > icon near the variable name.
- A second menu opens that allows you to select the type.
- The type drop-down allows you to specify the variable’s data type. The supported options include string, image, link, iframe, date, and number. Each data type has its own formatting options which will appear automatically once a specific type is selected.
It is best practice to format these types of variables in templates so that users do not have to reformat variables when creating live documents.