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How to import custom invoices

With QuickBooks Online you can easily import custom invoices. Here are the steps to do that.

Step 1: Enable import style

First you will need to enable import style in QuickBooks Labs:

  1. Select the Gear icon on the Toolbar.

     ​
  2. Select QuickBooks Labs.
    select QuickBooks lab from My Company drop down menu
  3. Scroll down the screen and toggle the switch for Import Style to On
    Turn on Import Style in QuickBooks Labs

  4. Select Done.

Step 2: Create your template in Microsoft Word

Next you will need to create your template in Microsoft Word:

  1. Apply an angle bracket to either side of the data that you want QuickBooks to map. Make sure not to mark the data that does not change like company name, address, and contact information.
    Use Microsoft Word tables in QuickBooks templates

  2. Use the following supported font styles:
    • Arial Unicode MS.
    • Courier, Courier Bold, Courier Oblique, Courier Bold-Oblique.
    • Helvetica, Helvetica Bold, Helvetica Oblique, Helvetica Bold-Oblique
    • Times Roman, Times Bold, Times Italic, Times Bold-Italic
    • Symbol
    • Zapf Dingbats
  3. Use Microsoft Word tables to contain the contents and create the table layouts with simple rows and columns to provide the best results. (Note: Merge/split cells and tables placed inside of tables can cause unexpected problems.)
    Use Microsoft Word tables in QuickBooks templates

  4. Avoid the following elements as they can cause issues with the import.
    • Audio.
    • ClipArt, Word Art.
    • Animated GIFS.
    • Embedded files.
    • Adding or updating hidden links or merging fields.
    • Files over 2MB.
    • Non .docx file types or older MS Word documents renamed as .docx files.

Step 3: Import your custom invoice template

Then you will need to import your custom invoice template in QuickBooks Online:

  1. Select the Gear icon on the Toolbar, then Custom Form Styles under Your Company.


    Select Custom Form Styles under QuickBooks My Company menu

  2. Select the New Style drop-down and select Import Style.
     Import styles into QuickBooks custom forms

  3. Select Browse and select the template file.
  4. Select Next to upload your document.

The uploaded document is analyzed and scanned for marked fields prior to mapping. Once the upload is complete, QuickBooks will make an initial pass at mapping fields using an algorithm that tries to predict the most applicable data with marked areas on your template. Upon successful upload you should see a screen that looks like this one:
Successful upload screen for custom form styles in QuickBooks

If the upload is not successful, please see the following table:

Error code What does it mean? How can I fix it?
size_validation_error Your file is too large to upload Your document must be less than 2MB
extension_format_error The file you selected isn't of a type we support Try uploading a Microsoft Office 2010 (*.docx) file

Step 4: Map marked areas in your document to data fields

After you import your custom invoice template in QuickBooks Online you will need to map marked areas in your document to QuickBooks data fields:

Note: It's important to review each field to make sure that the mapped fields from your template correspond to the correct fields in QuickBooks Online. Each text that you marked with brackets has a number next to it which corresponds to the number on your invoice preview. As you can see in the following image, some of the fields are not mapped correctly.

Mapping marked areas in QuickBooks data fields

  1. To change the mapping, just select the drop-down for the line you want to change and scroll through until you find the mapping you want. Change mapping of marked areas in QuickBooks data fields
  2. Or, just type the word that you know corresponds to the mapping in the drop-down and select from the lists - for example, type in "Total" and it will only show fields that contain the word in them.Change names of marked ares in QuickBooks data fields

  3. Once everything is linked correctly and looks good, select the Next button to see a preview of your invoice. If you are happy with the way everything looks, select Save and type in a name for your new style. If you receive an error code, please see the following table.
    Error code What does it mean? How can I fix it?
    Fetching preview failed An attempt to create a preview of your style failed. Check for brackets applied in the wrong place or applied incorrectly. Try to reduce fields marked with brackets until Preview succeeds and then add them back in one at a time to isolate the mapping error.
    Save Mapping failed The selected mappings could not be saved. Please try again or contact support.
    No Mapping found The mapping wizard could not find any field that required mapping. Please mark at least one data element on your template with "chevrons" in order for mapping to work.
    Multiple Page Document The document uploaded has multiple pages. Please restrict the Style to a single page document.

Step 5: Use your imported template for transactions

Finally, you will use your imported template for transactions:

  1. Select the Gear icon on the Toolbar.

  2. Under Customers, select the transaction you want to create.
  3. Select Customize at the bottom, then choose the imported template.
    Imported template for transactions in QuickBooks
  4. Enter the transaction details.
  5. To print or preview, select Print or Preview at the bottom.
  6. Select Save and close  or Save and send.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to commonly asked questions pertaining to importing your custom invoice to QuickBooks Online

Now you're able to easily import custom invoices.