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AutoTag Puzzles – Importing Documents with Different Headers and Footers

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Posted on 09/07/2016

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Do you like puzzles? I love puzzles; that’s why I like helping with technical support questions! Part of the challenge is figuring out what’s wrong and what the solution is, and part of it is being able to communicate to someone across the country (or across the world) about what steps to take to overcome their trouble spots.

We were contacted by a customer who had a scary deadline where he was meeting with the directors of his organization the next day! We were pretty impressed with the wonderfully complex template that he’d created. The only thing that he couldn’t figure out was an issue with using the Import tag to import 2 separate documents.

He’d done everything else right, but when he imported DocA and DocB, the header and footer from DocB was over-writing the header and footer for the rest of the document! DocB has a very specific header and footer, and using another format (like PDF or an image) just didn’t make sense.

Our CEO was sure that this was something Windward had helped with before, but we couldn’t find any notes about it and had to recreate it from scratch.  Val (Windward’s Manager of Customer Success) and I created 3 simple documents and tried different combinations. As soon as we figured it out there here high-fives and happy-dances – you’d have thought we’d just found out we were going to the Super Bowl!

Since we know it’s been a question in the past, we thought we’d actually write it down so that more people could find it!

Using the Import Tag for Documents with Distinct Headers and Footers

As an add-in for Microsoft Office, AutoTag works with many of Office’s native functions. We have a section in our documentation wiki about how to do special things or create certain kinds of output by using some features from AutoTag and some features from Office.

The Import tag can get tricky when you’re importing another Word document with its own styles and formatting. We have an article that might be a prerequisite for some readers on how to apply the styles and formatting from either a parent document or the child document. Headers and Footers require a few more steps.

Here’s how we did it.

We had a parent document with blue headers/footers, and two sub-documents with green and yellow headers/footers. There were two basic parts to outputting the correct formatting for the final document. First, we made changes in AutoTag (via the Tag Editor), and second, we changed some MS Office settings in the parent template.

Here’s a link to the full instructional article. And here’s the short version:

  1. We inserted two Import Tags in a template with existing headers and footers.
  2. In the Tag Editor for every tag, we linked to the subdocs, and we updated these properties: type (Template), break (before-page) and use-child-styles (true).
  3. We inserted certain kinds of Section Breaks  — (Continuous) before and after each tag (only 1 section break between tags); after the last tag, we inserted a Section Break (NextPage) instead of Continuous.
  4. Then we unlinked the Header and Footer sections following our two Import Tags.

When we Output, we saw Subdoc A with green headers and footers while Subdoc B had yellow headers and footers, and the rest of the document retained its original formatting:

importing headers and footers

Want to do this yourself? Head to our wiki to get the full step-by-step tutorial article, Importing Different Headers and Footers.

The Final Step

But now there was the final challenge — Val had to explain this to our customer.  She hosted a screenshare to show him, and then held her breath as he scrolled through the 140-page output report to find out if he was able to reproduce it.

Scrolling.   Silence.

Scrolling.

Scrolling.

…aaaaand SUCCESS!

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Author: Beth Billington

Beth enjoys using her writing and graphic design background for writing easy-to-follow help content. She loves learning – whether at work or at home – and spends her free time hiking, doing landscape photography, playing music, baking and pursuing all kinds of hand crafts.

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