Ideally you have been directed to this page via the post-install notes that pop up once you've done the two minute install of DocOrigin. So you've just completed an install – now what? To make life easier on yourself, per the post install instructions, you should copy the DO.bat (or DO shell script on Unix), which is installed in the DO/Bin folder of your chosen installation location, to somewhere in your path.
In the following,
.../ means your chosen installation folder.
Browse to the
.../DO/Samples folder and double-click
Sample_Invoice.bat . That will run the DocOrigin Merge tool on a supplied sample form with some sample data and produce a PDF. If you wish, try clicking on some of the other samples in the folder.
Your First DocOrigin Form Design
To run the DocOrigin Design tool, browse to the
.../DO/Bin folder and double-click
Design.exe or just use the DocOrigin Design icon on your desktop. Hit the New button at the far left of the toolbar. Now you will see a series of tool icons at the right of that toolbar. Text Label, Field, Box, Line, Barcode, Image, Table, Group, Pane, and Container. They have tooltips so they won't be hard to identify. Click on one of them, let go. Now, having selected the tool, drag out an area on the "canvas" – the big center portion of the Design screen. See the Design section for more information. When giving fields names, note that they must match the exact case as used in the data files. XML is case sensitive. Therefore, so is DocOrigin.
Preview Your Design
After you've put a few things down on the Design canvas, use the Tools>PDF Preview... menu item (or hit F5). Let Design supply data for you – just hit Preview. There you go, you've created your first document. If you explore the menus you will see how to add Pages, align objects, and set the grid size. There are also many settings in the Object Properties and Common Properties dialogs on the right side of the screen to explore.
If you are used to JetForm Output Designer, then here's some advice. Don't look for the preamble, there isn't any. It just works.
Terminology: Panes & Containers
DocOrigin believes in dynamic forms. Most things are not rigidly placed on the page, rather, the contents of a document flow down the page and possibly overflow onto more pages as necessary. You can put objects directly on the page but usually you put them in what we call "Panes", and what other software has called "subforms" or "fragments". Panes look like panels that run from the left side to right side of the "Container". Generally, a Container covers pretty much the whole page, but leaves some room around the edges for aesthetic purposes and/or to cover off the area that can't be printed on by some printers. You may have noticed that when you clicked "New Form" you start with a Container and a Pane. There can be only one Container per Page, but you can have multiple Panes within a Container. When data is merged with the form, Panes will be instantiated as necessary and they will "flow" down the Container until it is full. Then, a duplicate Page and Container are created and Panes continue flowing down that Container. Notice there are Overflow Footers... and Overflow Headers... buttons in the Object Properties dialog.
The order in which you layout the panes is the order they will appear in a document. The area on the left of the Design application is what we call the Form Explorer. It shows you the structure of your form. You can move things around in there if you want to change the order of your Panes, for example.
Scraping Data Off of Reports
If you have a spool/overlay file or a print image as produced by some other application and you want to "scrape" data off of that for use with DocOrigin Merge, use FilterEditor.