Use Word templates to create standardized documents

Applies to Dynamics 365 (online), version 9.x

After you create and import Office Word templates into Dynamics 365, with one click users can generate standardized documents automatically populated with Dynamics 365 data. This feature has some special considerations you should know about to successfully create Word templates.

Warning

There is a known issue when creating templates in Word. This topic contains information on how to prevent interactions that could potentially destabilize Word. See: Important! A known issue and how to avoid it

The following are the supported versions of Word.

Area Word Version
Creating a Word template 2013, 2016
Using a Word document generated in Dynamics 365 2010, 2013, 2016

Follow the steps in this topic to successfully create and use Word templates in Dynamics 365.

Step 1: Create a Word template

Where you can create a template

There are three places in Dynamics 365 where you can create a Word template:

  • From the Settings page. Go to Settings > Templates > Document Templates > New(New or Add button). You’ll need sufficient permissions to access to the Settings page, such as System Administrator or System Customizer.

  • From a record. Open a record such as an account in Sales. Go to Sales > Client_Accounts > My Active Accounts. Click an account to open it, and then click More () > Word Templates > Create Word Template. Templates created here are personal and available only to the user creating the template.

  • From a list of records. For example, go to Sales > Client_Accounts > My Active Accounts. Select a single account, and then click More () > Word Templates > Create Word Template.

    Create a Word template from a Dynamics 365 entity

Tip

To delete personal document templates, do the following:

  1. Click Advanced Find (Screen shot of Advanced Find button).
  2. For Look for, select Personal Document Templates.
  3. Click Results (!).
  4. Select the personal document template to delete and then click Delete (Delete button).

After clicking Create Word Template, select an entity to filter with, and then click Word Template > Select Entity.

Choose Word Template and select entity

The relationship selection page appears.

Select entities for the Word template

What are 1:N, N:1, and N:N relationships?

This screen requires an understanding of your Dynamics 365 data structure. Your Dynamics 365 administrator or customizer can provide information about entity relationships. For admin content, see: Create and edit entity relationships.

Here are some example relationships for the Account entity.

Relationship Description
A 1:N entity relationship An account can have multiple contacts.
An N:1 entity relationship A lead, account, or contact can have multiple accounts.
An N:N entity relationship An account can have multiple marketing lists.

A marketing list can have multiple accounts.

The relationships you select on this screen determine what entities and fields are available later when you define the Word template. Only select relationships you need to add Dynamics 365 data to the Word template.

Note

To ensure documents download in a timely matter, there is an upper limit of 100 for the number of related records returned for each relationship. For example, if you’re exporting a template for an account, and you want to include a list of its contacts, the document will return at most 100 of the account’s contacts.

Download the template

Click Download Template on the Select Entity page to create a Word file on your local computer with the exported entity included as XML data.

Step 2: Enable the Developer tab

Open the Word template file. At this point, the document appears to be blank.

The Word template when first opened

To see and add Dynamics 365 XML data, you need to enable the Word Developer tab.

  1. Go to File > Options > Customize Ribbon, and then enable Developer.

    Add Developer to the Word Ribbon

  2. Click OK.

    Developer now appears in the Word ribbon.

    Developer tool on Word Ribbon

Important! A known issue and how to avoid it

There’s a known issue with Dynamics 365-generated Word templates and Office Word. In the next section, you’ll be adding XML content control fields to the Word template.

Warning

A few things can cause Word to freeze, requiring you to use Task Manager to stop Word:

  • You insert a content control other than Picture or Plain Text.
  • You make a textual change, such as changing the capitalization or adding text, to a content control. These changes can occur through AutoCorrect as well as user edits. By default, Microsoft Word AutoCorrect capitalizes sentences. When you add a content control field, Word sees it as a new sentence and will capitalize it when focus shifts away from the field.

To prevent issues with control fields, do the following:

Only add fields as Plain Text or Picture

  1. You use the XML Mapping Pane to add Dynamics 365 entity fields to your Word template. Be sure to only add fields as Plain Text or Picture.

    Insert the Dynamics 365 field as Plain Text

Do not make any textual changes to the added content control

  1. You can make formatting changes to content control fields, such as bolding the text, but no other textual changes, including capitalization changes.

    Don't change any text in these fields!

    If you experience Word freezing or performance degradation, try turning off AutoCorrect.

Turn off AutoCorrect

  1. With the template file open in Word, go to File > Options > Proofing > AutoCorrect Options.

    In Word, select Proofing > AutoCorrection Options

  2. Deselect Capitalize first letter of sentences and Automatically use suggestions from the spelling checker.

    Deselect the AutoCorrect settings

  3. Deselect Hyphens (--) with dash (-) on the AutoFormat and AutoFormat as You Type tabs.

  4. Click OK.

    If you followed the above recommendations, you’re ready to define the Word template.

Step 3: Define the Word template

Use the XML Mapping Pane to define the Word template with Dynamics 365 entity fields.

  1. In your Word template, click Developer > XML Mapping Pane.

    Select XML Mapping Pane in the Word ribbon

    The default XML schema is selected.

    The default XML Mapping schema

  2. Select the Dynamics 365 XML schema. It will begin with “urn:microsoft-crm/document-template/”.

    Select the Dynamics 365 XML schema

    Important

    If you have frequent accidental edits that cause Word to freeze or have performance degradation, be sure to turn off the AutoCorrect options according to the section: “A known issue and how to avoid it”.

  3. Expand the Dynamics 365 entity, right-click the entity field, and then click Insert Content Control > Plain Text.

    Insert the Dynamics 365 field as Plain Text

    The Dynamics 365 entity field is added to the Word template.

    The Dynamics 365 field is inserted into the Word template

    Add additional entity fields, add descriptive labels and text, and format the document.

    A completed template might look like this:

    Sample Word template

    Some content control fields you entered likely have multiple lines of data. For example, accounts have more than one contact. To include all the data in your Word template, set the content control field to repeat.

Set content control fields to repeat

  1. Put fields with repeating data in a table row.

  2. Select the entire table row in the template.

    Create a table and add content control fields

  3. In the XML Mapping Pane, right-click the relationship containing the content control fields, and then click Repeating.

    Set the table row to repeating

    When you use the Word template in Dynamics 365 to create a document, the table will populate with multiple rows of data.

    When the template has the fields and formatting you want, save it and upload it into Dynamics 365.

Step 4: Upload the Word template back into Dynamics 365

When you have your Word template built the way you want, save it so you can upload it into Dynamics 365.

Access to the newly created Word template depends on how you uploaded it and to the access granted to the security role. Be sure to check out Use Security Roles to control access to templates.

Dynamics 365 administrators can use the Settings page to upload the Word template into Dynamics 365. A template uploaded in Settings is available to all users in your Dynamics 365 organization.

For admins: Upload the Word template into Dynamics 365

  1. In Dynamics 365, go to Settings > Templates > Document Templates.

  2. Click Upload Template.

  3. Drag the Word file in the dialog box or browse to the file.

    Upload Template dialog box

  4. Click Upload.

    Non-admin users can upload a template for their own use from a list of records.

For non-admins or admins wanting to create a personal template: Upload the Word template into Dynamics 365

  1. In Dynamics 365, open a page with a list of records, for example, the list of customer accounts in Sales.

  2. Select a single item such as an account, click More () > Word Templates > Create Word Template.

  3. Click Word Template > Upload.

    Click Upload to bring the template into Dynamics 365

  4. Drag the Word file in the dialog box or browse to the file.

  5. Click Upload.

Step 5: Generate a document from the Word template

To use the Word template you’ve created, do the following:

  1. Open a record with information you want to create a document. For example, open a customer account record in Sales.

  2. Click More () > Word Templates, and then under Word Templates select the template you created.

    If the template you created is not visible, there are two possibilities:

    1. Only templates built for the selected record type (entity) will be displayed. For example, if you open an opportunity record, you will not see a template you created with the Account entity.

    2. You need to refresh Dynamics 365 to see the template. Either refresh your browser or close and reopen Dynamics 365.

    After you select your Word template, Dynamics 365 creates a Word document from the record you selected.

Try out the sample Word templates

There are five Word templates included with Microsoft Dynamics 365.

These templates are included with Dynamics 365

The sample Word templates were created with a particular record type (entity). You’ll only be able to apply the template to records of the same record type.

Name Entity
Opportunity Summary Opportunity (Sales area)
Campaign Summary Campaign (Marketing area)
Case Summary Case (Service area)
Invoice Invoice (Sales area)
Account Summary Client_Account (Sales, Service, and Marketing areas)

To apply a sample Word template

  1. Open a record with information with the entity type that matches the sample template. For example, open a customer account record in Sales to apply the Account Summary template.

  2. Click More () > Word Templates, and then under Word Templates select the sample template.

    Open the newly-created Word template and give it a look.

Note

You can review but not edit templates that are included in Microsoft Dynamics 365.

Additional considerations

Use Security Roles to control access to templates

Dynamics 365 administrators can control access to Word templates with some granularity. For example, you can give salespeople Read but not Write access to a Word template.

  1. In Dynamics 365, click Settings > Security > Security Roles.

  2. Select a role, and then click the Business Management tab.

  3. Select Document Template to set access for templates available to the entire organization. Select Personal Document Template for templates shared to individual users.

  4. Click the circles to adjust the level of access.

    Adjust access using the security role

Lists in created documents are not in the same order as records

Lists of records created from a custom template may not appear in the same order in Word documents as the order in Dynamics 365. Records are listed in the order of the time and date they were created.

See also

Analyze your data with Excel templates