Merge structure and Nodes
On the left side of the screen in the application you can see a merge tree. This tree shows clear overview of your project.
The merge tree consists out of nodes. The type of the node specifies its function. Additionally, you can define the settings of the node in the node properties screen. These settings could influence the function of the node.
There are many types of nodes. These are documented in the node reference.
Samples of node types are:
This type of node uses a database to pull data from and merges it with a PDF document. A data node acts as a repeater, which means that it repeatedly uses data items from the database to fill in nodes underneath itself. For instance, if you used an Excel sheet with data filled in rows and columns, then you can merge the items from the columns with the corresponding fields in the PDF document. Afterwards, variaDoc will create a document for every row in the Excel sheet with the data of that specific row.
Besides Excel, a great number of other databases, spreadsheets or servers is supported by variaDoc. Some of them are: Microsoft SQL server, Oracle, MySQL, XML, Microsoft Access, Google and many more.
An output document is a PDF document generated during the merge process. Once an output document is added, you can define what you want to do with the resulting document. You do this in the properties screen, in the export method section. There are many export methods to choose from. The most popular methods are: save to disk, email as attachment and send to web browser. Besides defining the export method, you can also choose or create the folder where you want to save your output document and choose a name for it. If you want to merge your project multiple times, make sure to check Overwrite existing files to avoid errors in your project. Last possibility is to convert the document to other file format, such as Multipage TIFF.
Pages and Sections
Pages and sections constitute a PDF document. You add a page or a section to an output document by adding it as a child node to the Output Document node. If there is a Data Source node in between an Output Document and a template or section node, then the template or section will be repeated in the output document for each row in the data source (e.g. each record in table). This way you will create one document with multiple pages instead of a single document.
A Template Page is a template that adds a single page to an Output Document. A page may contain Form fields. The page can be a page from an existing PDF document, or a blank page with specified dimensions.
An Input Document is a template that adds an entire PDF document to an Output Document. The use of an Input Document is required if you want to preserve digital signatures in an existing PDF template document.
A Content Section is a container of paragraphs. These paragraphs are automatically laid out on as many pages as needed.