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DocsAutomator v3 Public Beta Release

April 18, 2024

Rupert Hoffschmidt-McDonnell

DocsAutomator v3 β€” Making document creation more flexible & powerful!

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I'm super excited to release DocsAutomator's newest version β€” DocsAutomator v3! It's packed with a ton of new features that make document creation more flexible & powerful and I'm sure it's going to take your document workflows to the next level!

There are two ways to learn all about it:

  1. Watch the following update video including examples for every new feature
  2. Continue reading this blog post below

At the end of this post, you find detailed videos for using the beta from Glide and Airtable (these videos only focus on setting up document creation, not highlighting new features).

The beta lives under https://app-v3.docsautomator.co and is publicly available. You sign in with your DocsAutomator credentials and will see all your automations in the dashboard.

Full DocsAutomator v3 Update Video

A few general remarks & important points

Full backwards compatibility

DocsAutomator's newest version is fully backwards compatible, meaning whatever has worked before will continue to work.

It’s a beta!

This newest version is released as a beta to not disrupt any existing workflows and give everyone enough time to test their document creation workflows with the newest version. I would love to get as much input and feedback on it as possible!

Beta will last for about 2 weeks, after which the endpoint will change

The plan is to keep the beta up and running for about 2 weeks. After those two weeks, the beta will become the main version.

ClickUp and Noloco are not part of the beta currently

Unfortunately ClickUp and Noloco are not supported to be tested in the beta phase of v3.

Webhooks are not available in the beta

Triggering document creation via webhook is also not supported during the beta phase. There will be a chance for webhooks in the near future.

New Features + Changes

Performance ⚑

DocsAutomator v3 has a much improved document creation engine, which significantly reduces the creation time for large documents. While you won't see any big changes for smaller, less complex documents, documents with lots of pages, line items or images will be processed a lot faster.

Flexibility πŸ§˜β€β™‚οΈ

DocsAutomator v3 makes document creation a lot more flexible! Please find all the new options below.

Empty values

If no value is passed for a given placeholder, the placeholder will now be exactly removed from the document instead of adding a white space for the placeholder.

Deleting entire lines / rows

You now have the option, to select "line / row deletion" for placeholders when no value is passed. There are often cases, where a removed value leads to a blank space in documents. Think of a list of bullets, where one of the bullets / values does not exist. Enabling "line / row deletion", removes the entire line instead of only the placeholder itself. This works for line items as well. If "line / row deletion" is enabled on a line item placeholder, rows where values are empty will not be printed in the document.

Show / hide conditionally

Values can now be rendered conditionally depending on the existence or absence of values. This works in liaison with deleting lines / rows from above.

Style conditionally

Text can now be conditionally styled according to any style option that Google Docs provides: background color, foreground color, row background color (line items only), font size, setting a text link, bold, italic, underline, strikethrough, small caps and baseline offset.

Image height

You are now able to define the height for images in addition to width. Please note that the image will always scale according to the image aspect ratio.

More Flexibility for Line Items πŸ§˜β€β™‚οΈ

Line items receive a BIG update with DocsAutomator v3!

Simplified line item syntax

The syntax for line items is simpler & more straightforward. Instead of having to use "line_items_" for every placeholder in a line items table, you declare a line item table once with {{line_items_1 / 2 / 3 / ...}}. For the rest of the placeholders, you don't have to use the "line_items_" suffix. As said before, the old syntax still works, but I highly recommend adopting the new syntax.

Mixing of static and dynamic content + multiple placeholders in one cell

You can now mix static and dynamic content in line items and use multiple placeholders in a single cell. Content can also spread over multiple lines and will maintain that format in printed documents. Any applied style in the template is also maintained for printed items. See a complex example below:

Line items can be added anywhere in a table (or only have one row)

Before, line item tables had to have two rows (header row + variable row). Now, you can start a line items row anywhere in an existing table. So you could have three header rows and only then start with your dynamic items, followed by a footer row. Example:

Conditional styling for even and odd rows

A typical layout for line item tables is alternating the background color for rows. This can be done conditionally by defining whether a given value is part of an even or odd row.

Line items are fully deleted if no values are passed

If no line items are passed at all, the entire line item row will now be deleted, allowing for very flexible documents. As an example: You could define all the possible mutations in the template and DocsAutomator will delete those that don't apply in your given scenario when you're printing a document. There will be more example for this in the near future.

Preview mode for all data sources πŸ”Ž

DocsAutomator now has a preview mode for all data sources. No more wasting documents for testing!

Minor frontend changes

You will notice a few changes about the frontend:

  • If a placeholder is used multiple times in the document, DocsAutomator displays the number of occurrences
  • Some options are in different, more logical positions
  • Field mapping has a search now and fields can be entirely unmapped
  • Deleting and duplicating automations is now possible from the dashboard

How to use the v3 Beta from Glide

How to use the v3 Beta from Airtable

Happy automating!
Rupert
Founder & Automator in Chief