Q

Reassigning the Smart Style mapped to a Smart Form

I have a problem with styles in Smart Forms and I was wondering if you could assist me. My problem is that I have used the "/SMB40/SDINV_UK" invoice for a template to one of my invoices. The "/SMB40/SDINV_UK" invoice is using the style "/SMB40/SF" and I want my new invoice to use a style that I have created. Here is the problem: When I change the style in the form attributes or an a template then I get an error on all the underlying...

paragraph formats and i can't change it to a paragraph format in my style it keeps showing one from the style "/SMB40/SF" Should I change the style in another way? It seems that even though I change the style then the list of the paragraph formats is still from the previous style. Is it not possible/easy to change the style for an existing form?

The easiest way to minimize headaches when reassigning the Smart Style mapped to a Smart Form is to provide a fluid transition from one style to the next. There are a few possible methods, any of which should be done BEFORE replacing the link to the old style:

(A) This approach can be time-consuming, so I recommend it only when you want to truly 'start over from scratch' with a form's look and feel. Go through the Smart Form node by node and strip out all the custom paragraph and character formatting. To be thorough, go into a text node's full-screen text editor and click on 'Goto->Configure editor' to turn off the Graphical PC editor (this will reveal formatting codes). If you are switching multiple forms from one style to another or just want to change certain style elements, I recommend one of the other methods below.

(B) Create your replacement style as a copy of the old style, adding and changing paragraph and character tags where necessary. Do *not* delete any undesired tags unless you are *sure* they are not being referenced anywhere; neutralize them instead by resetting their characteristics and changing their descriptions (e.g. 'DO NOT USE').

(C) This is a variation of B which applies to your current situation. Since you already have created a replacement style, quickly add a set of dummy paragraph and character tags to match the names of the ones in the old style. Don't bother attaching any formatting to these unless you plan to use them. You should be able to swap out the style easily.

Often a single Smart Style is linked into multiple forms to ensure a consistent look & feel across all partner-facing documents. Thus, as a general rule, I am very cautious when making changing to a Smart Style already in use; I also make sure that anyone making such changes at one of my client sites is aware of the dependencies.

Incidentally, if you are starting with a preconfigured Smart Form, one thing to check as you go through it is whether any nodes have direct Smart Style assignments which override the existing one at the top of the form. For example an address node may be mapped to an address-specific style.


This was first published in January 2004

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