New in RPE 2.1 – RPE Template by importing a Word Template

RPE 2.1 introduces a new feature of importing a MS Word template to build a RPE template. Prototype the document in a Microsoft Word template, which a new user is mostly familiar with, and then import it in RPE Studio to create a RPE template out of it.

Watch the video on how to import word template RPE 2.1.0 – Import Word Template

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Checkbox “like” in Word and PDF

Form fields are not supported in RPE. What I mean here is, clickable check box isn’t supported. However, pictogram of a check box  can be achieved via symbols in Word.

Thanks to Dragos for the solution.

The template looks like the below screenshot. Get the template here.


Checked and unchecked in Word document as below.



3 minute videos

We’ve recorded a number of short videos showing how to deploy RPE. They are just long enough to keep you entertained while boiling eggs for breakfast.


Macros and DOCX in RPE 2.0.1

With RPE 2.0.1 you can specify .docx as the extension for the output documents regardless of the stylesheet you are using. With 2.0 and older the generation process would fail if the stylesheet contained macros since .docx is a macro free Word document format.

To avoid this RPE 2.0.1 will remove all macros before saving the .docx file. This also means that any macro specified to be executed for the output will be ignored if the output extension is .docx. If you need macros in your output document you need to use one of the macro enabled document formats .doc or .docm.

Create Word documents with track changes enabled

RPE can produce Word documents that have the track changes feature enabled. What you need to do is use a doc/docx file with track changes enabled as the stylesheet for the Word output.


The content introduced by RPE in the document is not marked as a change but all further changes made by users are.

An example stylesheet is attached.  trackedChanges.docx

Controlling the default Word file format in RPE

RPE generates by default Word documents using the Word (.doc) Binary File Format. The decision is made base on the output path and default values from rpeconfig.xml.  If no output path is specified, RPE will default to “doc” while if you specify a file path with the “docx” extension it’s DOCX you will get.

To control the behaviour of RPE when an output path was not specified you need to use “extension” property of the Word output defined in the rpeconfig.xml. By default the value of this property is “doc” and and it’s hidden. If you want to generate docx by default then you need to change the value attribute to docx.


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Allow tables to extend into margins

“Allow tables to extend into margins” is a Microsoft Word property that I have recently discovered and has the potential of addressing a lot of formatting issues with large (wide) tables.

You can access this property from File->Options->Advanced under the compatibility options. The location is slightly misleading as you’d expect the properties here apply to the Word installation but that’s not the case,  many are actually document properties.

Stylesheet_Table_PropertyUntick this option for better fitted tables

This property is disabled for newly created documents but old ones have it enabled which I assume it’s done for compatibility reasons. With this property disabled Microsoft Word will use a different algorithm when resizing tables, one in which the page widths acts as a soft cap for the table width. From what I observed Word uses more aggressive column resize algorithm which includes breaking cell content in the middle of words.

NOTE: the page width is finite so you can craft very large tables for which the columns will be resized beyond the point they are usable ( i.e. 1 character per column).

The RPE test is really simple: generate a document ( in .doc format) that contains a large table that overflow the page borders.  Then generate it again but this time use the attached stylesheet and this time you will notice that the table fits the page margins. The example stylesheet is attached: emptyStylesheet

“Allow tables to extend into margins” is in a way a smart document level version of the table’s “autofit to content” property. The advantage is that it is global and that it kicks in only as needed.