Standard invoicing brand templates in Xero
look great and are really easy to customize. But if you want to get into fully designing a unique
look for your template, then Docx templates might be the way to go. Docx templates are created
using Word, and we’re getting into some real fine-
tuning of a template so some effort and skill will be required. First, let’s download
the templates from Xero. Go to Invoice Settings, select
new Custom Docx Theme, give the theme a name, and save. Select the Download button. This
downloads to your computer a zip file containing an invoice credit note and statement template.
Next, find the folder and unzip it to access the templates. Let’s open the invoice template. But before
we make any changes to it, let’s look at the underlying structure of how the template works.
These bracketlike marking shere contain the field names, so these are data fields. This
is where Xero pulls data to put into these fields, for instance, the code and description. If there
are words with no brackets, like “description,” these will be the same on each invoice; it’s not
pulling in information anywhere. So if you type something with no brackets, like “amount,”
then it will only say the word “amount” when you display the invoice. Xero won’t know to
put the actual data (the amount in this case) for each invoice in that field. It may be tempting
to just change words within the brackets hoping that it will changes the data in those fields, but
what you see here is actually a top layer. To see the underlying layer to the code, press Alt F9
on your keyboard and now you can see the field codes. So can you now overwrite a field here to change
it? Well, you could but you would need to get it exactly right, so before we get into editing
like this, let’s keep having a look around. Press Alt F9 again to view the field names. It’s easier
to visualize the layout from this view. The information is laid out using tables in Word. Let’s find
the command Show Grid Lines. You can now see where tables have been used to format the data.
One table here for the title data, another for the description and details. And this grayed out
table is in the footer. Edit Footer will access this table. What about this Due Date text here?
It’s not in a table, but just sitting in the document and its position is determined by the Return key.
If we select this nonprinting characters command, we can see how many line returns there are.
We could reposition that by adding more lines, but by doing that, we are giving the command to
always have six lines between the table above it and the Due Date message. This table size
will change with each invoice, meaning the Due Date message with only stay in this position
with a singleline invoice. With each additional line, the message will keep moving down. The field code might look a bit technical
and it needs to be case correct in order to work. However, the Xero Help Team have put together
a fantastic list of all the default fields you’re likely to need, so I suggest having this open
while you edit your templates. It also gives handy links to the Microsoft Help page to help you
with formatting the code and more. There are some fields which you shouldn’t edit or delete.
Any table start and table end fields must stay. You can see examples here in the main body and here
outside Tax Details. This code tells the template these items (code, quantity, unit amount,
line amount, et cetera) can populate over multiple lines. If you didn’t have the table line
item codes, your data will not have the ability to create multiple lines and will have nowhere to go
and your document won’t generate. Okay, let’s get started with some basic
editing. First thing we might want to do is to add our logo. Here’s the field where you can do
so. Select the box and then choose to insert the picture. Find and add the logo. You can use the center,
left, or right align for placement. For basic formatting like font size, bold, or underline,
it’s simple. Just highlight the word or field, then change formatting. Let’s do it here with
the invoice title. We’d like it italic, 24 font and blue. However, the case used here (uppercase) needs
to be coded. We want to remove the ContactTaxDisplayName. Shift 9 will display
the field code for a single code, so let’s do that now. Highlight the field and select Delete.
Ensure the field code brackets are also deleted. Now, we want to replace ContactTaxNumber with ContactPhoneNumber.
Shift F9 to bring up the field code, replace ContactNumber with ContactContactNumber.
Just copy the code from Help. Toggle back now with Shift F9 to ensure the
field name is correct. Both the name and the code have to be the same to make sure it works. If you want to add a brand new field, you’ll
need to insert that and you’ll get a popup box which will help you. Select Merge Field, then, in
Field Name, you can copy the Field Name from the Xero Help page into here. Of course, if you
know it, you can type it in. Let’s toggle fields to see if both the field name and the field code are
correct. And they are. Now we want the Due Date field to show on the front page in the same
place every time. If we’re only generating invoices with no more than a few lines, we can add
a table to include the field and place it above the footer here. Let’s create a table and copy
the code into it. Drag the table into position. However, if you’re going to have extensive invoices,
then you’ll find the item fields will push the table down to the second page as well. Let’s put the
code into the foot. Select the footer areafor editing, then copy the code into position. This will
always appear above the Payment Advice now. While we’re doing this, take a look at the date
code here. It’s coded specifically to format the date in a specific way. To the right here, you can also
see the code for Amount Due has formatting code as well. If you’re copying and pasting,
the formatting will stay the same, but if you insert a brand new field, you’ll need to ensure you find
the correct formatting you want. Otherwise, dates will include time and numbers and will have too
many decimal places. Well, that’s enough to get started. Now
to upload the template into Xero and see what it looks like. Go back to Invoice Settings and select
Upload to your new template. When you create a new invoice, select the template and print.
And this is how it looks. If you want to create something really different and unique, docx
templates in Xero gives you almost endless possibilities.