What are Content Controls?
Content Controls are are individual controls that you can add and customize for use in templates, forms, and documents. They were introduced in Word 2007 (and chances are you have never used them before).
DokuMate uses two types of Content Controls:
- Text. This type of Content Control is limited to content that cannot contain any formatting, only plain text. However, Text Content Controls can be bound to the elements of XML documents embedded in a Word document. Those embedded XML documents are called Custom XML Parts and DokuMate can read and write them to do some “magic”.
- Rich Text. This type of Content Control can contain formatted content, including tables. DokuMate uses Rich Text Content Controls to markup content that should be treated in a specific way when transforming documents.
Content Controls have properties, including a title and a tag, which are often the same. The title is what you see when you put the cursor into the Content Control. It can be changed, e.g., for localization purposes. The tag is what DokuMate uses to identify the Content Control. Therefore, you can’t change the tag of a Content Control without (undesired) side effects.
What are the “magic” Content Controls and tags?
Important, or “magic”, Content Controls and tags used by DokuMate include:
- docId, an alphanumerical ID (e.g., “R01-01-C00”, “R01-11-100”, “R01-11-410”, “R01-30-100”) that uniquely identifies and sorts documents (e.g., Schedule C, Exhibit 1, Attachment 4.1, Appendix 1) within a larger set of documents, e.g., all documents belonging to (a) an RFP or (b) contract between a first party and a second party (see below);
- docTypeAndNumber, the type (e.g., Schedule, Exhibit, Attachment, Appendix) and, if applicable, number (e.g., C, 1, 4.1) of a document, e.g., “Schedule C”, “Exhibit 1”, “Attachment 4.1”, or “Appendix 1”;
- docTitle, the title of a document, e.g., “Performance Framework”, “Service Catalog”, “Service Levels”, or “Applications”;
- firstParty, the short name of the first party to a contract or the issuer of an RFP or other set of documents, e.g., “ABC”;
- secondParty, the short name of the second party to a contract or the respondent to an RFP or other set of documents, e.g., “DEF”;
- docDate, the document’s date in whatever parsable form, e.g., “22.05.2018”, “22/05/2018”, “05/22/2018” (US), or “2018-05-22” (ISO standard);
- docRevisionNumber, the document’s revision number, e.g., “0.2”, “1.0”, or “2.3.4”
- docAuthor, the document’s author, e.g., “ABC”, “DEF”, or any other name; and
- docStatus, the document’s status, e.g., “Draft”, “RFP”, “Response”, or “Final”.
DokuMate also predefines other Content Controls and tag names. And you can define your own custom tag names, using the Content Control dialog in DokuMate for Word. But the ones listed above help DokuMate do some “magic”.
How are those “magic” Content Controls and tags used by DokuMate?
DokuMate can use some or all of the data identified by the following tags to produce standardized file names as defined by the File Naming Convention: docId, docTypeAndNumber, docTitle, docDate, docRevisionNumber, docAuthor, and docStatus.
DokuMate uses all of the following tags to produce and structure a NegotiationTracker: docId, firstParty, secondParty, and docAuthor.
How do you insert Content Controls?
A DokuMate user should use the Content Control button in the DokuMate ribbon tab to insert content controls. This will take care of data binding, for example. Template designers might also use the Content Control-related buttons on the Developer tab, e.g., to insert Rich Text Content Controls.
Apart from the “magic”, what are other benefits of using Content Controls?
There are distinct benefits for the two types of Content Controls used by DokuMate:
- Text. Those Content Controls are bound to XML data. If multiple Content Controls with the same tag (e.g., docTypeAndNumber) are inserted in one document, they are all bound to the same XML element. Changing the content of one Content Control will update both the XML element and all other Content Controls bound to that element. This helps ensure consistency and automate certain things, i.e., there’s no need to manually edit the headers and footers of your document, if headers and footers only contain Content Controls “linked” to corresponding elements on the title page, for example.
- Rich Text. Those Content Controls are not bound to XML data. However, DokuMate treats Content Controls the tag names of which start with “#” (hash) in a special way when transforming documents. If both the template and the original document contain a Rich Text Content Control with the same tag name, e.g., #ipCoverPage or #changeHistory, DokuMate will put the original document’s content (still contained in the Content Control) at the position defined by the template’s Content Control. This way, you can determine whether or not you want to retain certain pieces of information (e.g., IP Cover Page, Provider Instructions, Change History) and where they should be located.