Archive for the ‘Formatting’ Category

BI Publisher Subtemplates

September 12, 2016 8 comments

We are using BI Publisher Subtemplates to change our printed PO terms and conditions based on a supplier.  Subtemplates allow us to split the terms content from the formatting template.

I had the toughest time getting this to work; the documentation for subtemplates proved to be a bit rough.  I found a few errors in both the formal BI Publisher documentation and Oracle provided white paper.  Here are the basics for getting BI Publisher subtemplates to work.



Create a new BI Publisher template the same way the main template is configured, but use a different template name/code, and make sure subtemplate is set to “Yes”.

Contents of subtemplate RTF:

Standard Terms Body
<?end template?>
Special Supplier Terms Body
<?end template?>


Report Calling the Subtemplate

You must first import the subtemplate file from the main template, then call the section of the file you want to display.

Import the Subtemplate file

When Using Server to Render Output


When Using Desktop Viewer to Render Output


Call the subtemplate with a condition

<?end when?>
<?end otherwise?>
<?end choose?>

Things to Note

  • Language code is always lower case
  • Territory is always upper case
  • Don’t forget the forward  slash at the end of the server based import string
  • Some formatting in your subtemplate will cause the subtemplate import to fail
    • I couldn’t get the subtemplate to be two columns using built in RTF/Word functionality
    • I did get the main document to put the subtemplate text into two columns
    • Intended bullets and numbering work fine

Oracle Documentation

Reviewing Content Before Publishing

March 4, 2010 Leave a comment

While navigating my way around the Internet, I come across glaring errors all the time; calculation errors, typos, horrible formatting, etcetera.  Errors are more common that I could imagine.  These errors dilute my trust in a company’s brand and make me think twice before doing business with them.  It is so incredibly vital to review everything before publishing content to the Internet; you never know who could be looking at it.  Below are two examples.

Example 1: The Grocery Game

The Grocery Game is a service that informs their customers on how to combine coupons and promotions, at a variety of grocery stores, in order to get the best deal possible.  They distribute updates on a weekly basis to paying customers.  Here is a screen shot from an E-mail they recently sent me encouraging me to sign up.

Since when does $2 divided by 3 equal $0.55?  I would think their E-mail marketing would go through a more vigorous editorial review then their product.  If their marketing is inaccurate, how accurate is their service I would pay for? Or if this is a screen shot of the actual service, I now know that I would be paying for something that was not correct.  After seeing this, I could never trust the company.

Read more…

Formatting: Crain’s E-mail Alerts

January 5, 2010 2 comments

I follow local business news very closely and Crain’s Chicago Business is an incredible source for Chicago business news.  They have excellent reporting, a broad range of stories,  and even a well produced daily video podcast (iTunes).   However, Crain’s E-mail alerts have some opportunity for improvement.  And as many of my friends and colleague know, I am a “Formatting Nazi”.

Here is a quick “1-minute” formatting improvement.



The improved segment is easier to read; looking cleaner, better structured, and more professional.  I made five improvements, each of which made a dramatic difference.

  • Move the date below the “Top Headlines” title -> cleaner look.
  • Used an Un-ordered list instead of inline, text bullets -> cleaner look.
  • Decreased quantity of words in each headline -> no wrapping text.
  • Standardized text sizes -> all headlines match, cleaner look.
  • Used Blagojevich’s real last name, not slang -> improved professionalism.