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Import custom form styles for invoices or estimates in QuickBooks Online

by Intuit Updated 1 month ago

Learn how to import and design custom form styles for your invoices or estimates in QuickBooks Online.

Custom form styles are available for you in QuickBooks Online. With different sample designs, you can import and then add your company info (such as company logo) to highlight your brand. This feature helps reflect your brand identity into your sales forms with less effort and time.

In this article, you'll learn how to:

Design your custom form style

Learn the basics of designing your .docx template to perfect your custom form. Here's how.

Make template mapping hassle-free with EZ Map Fields

EZ Map fields are sets of known keywords or fields in QuickBooks Online. As you upload, QuickBooks looks for text enclosed in angle brackets in your .docx template. QuickBooks identify which parts of the template are dynamic then matches those in QuickBooks fields to ease the mapping of your custom form.

For example, using the keywords shipdate and shippingaddress allows QuickBooks to match your fields correctly with QuickBooks fields Ship Date and Shipping Address.

Note: Download the entire QuickBooks Online EZ Map Fields Catalogue. If you have a custom design in .docx format (MS Word 2010+) ready, you can map it with EZ Map fields. To start fresh, use our samples.

Scalar and table fields

Scalar Fields are fields independent from each other and don’t repeat.

  • You can place scalar fields separately or within tables.
  • Don't use scalar and table fields in the same table.

Table Fields are fields that repeat and go together as part of a larger group of info. For example, fields that make up an Activity Table or Account Summary on invoice.

  • Place table fields inside tables. Table fields placed outside a table will extract data from the first row of fields.
  • For the template, map the first non-header row in the table. QuickBooks ignores all other rows.
  • Don't mix table fields that belong in different tables. For example, don't mix Activity Table fields with Account Summary fields.
  • Don't use scalar and table fields in the same table.

Tip: Separate your table layouts to avoid printing issues. Tables placed inside tables, or merging and splitting cells can cause unexpected results. Try using tables with simple rows and columns.

What font styles to use

Here are the fonts you can use in your custom form.

  • 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

File types to avoid

These file types may cause issues when uploading your custom form. Be sure to avoid them.

  • 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

Import your custom form style

Step 1: Map your template fields

  1. Open your DOCX template.
  2. As you design your template, identify text or fields that don’t change with each print. Logos, company information, certifications, and such are static info. Make it part of your template.
  3. Replace all fields with scalar or table fields, as appropriate to your chosen form type.
  4. Make sure all fields match the EZ Map fields defined in the EZ Map catalogue.

Step 2: Save and upload your DOCX template

  1. Go to Settings ⚙, then Custom Form Styles.
  2. Select the New style ▼ dropdown menu, then Import style.
  3. Select a form type and select Next.
  4. Select Upload your .DOCX file field, then find and select your .docx template.
  5. Select Next.

Custom form styles support single page. Depending on the number of line items, your final invoice can have multiple pages.

Step 3: Match your fields with QuickBooks fields

You don't need to perform any further mapping if you used EZ Map fields. But you can easily change the matched QuickBooks fields if you choose to.

  1. Verify your template fields match correctly with QuickBooks fields. You can change the QuickBooks fields if they don't.
  2. Select Next if everything looks good.

Note: The style you want to import should have at least one field that has to be mapped to QuickBooks fields.

Step 4: Preview and confirm your style

Before you save, preview your style to make sure it looks exactly the way you want it.

  • If you're satisfied with how your style looks, select Save, and name your style.
  • To make changes, either select Back or edit the file in your DOCX editor and import it again.

You can save a PDF copy of your custom form style. Save a local copy of the template you uploaded, and take a quick note of the mappings you made.

Ready to use your custom form style? Start creating invoices or estimates with your style now.

Get help if you encounter errors

If you get any errors when uploading your form or matching fields, here's how you can fix it:

Fix errors when uploading

Error codeWhat does it mean?How can I fix it?
size_validation_errorYour file is too large to upload.Make sure your document is less than 2MB.
extension_format_errorThe file you selected isn't of a type we support.Try uploading a Microsoft Office 2010+ (*.docx) file

Fix errors when matching fields

Error codeWhat does it mean?How can I fix it?
Fetching preview failedAn attempt to create a preview of your style failed.Check for angle 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 failedThe selected mappings could not be saved.Try again or contact support.
No Mapping foundQuickBooks couldn't find any field that required mapping.Make sure to use angle brackets for elements on your template that should be mapped to QuickBooks fields.
Multiple Page DocumentThe document uploaded has multiple pages.Make sure your document only has one page.

Fix errors displaying multiple tax rates

If you have issues displaying the multiple tax rates, then make sure that you display the rates in the following table format:

Note: It’s important to keep the bottom row blank. QuickBooks Online will determine whether or not it’s needed and resize the table as required (For example: if only HST applies, QuickBooks Online will reduce it to a 2 x 1. And if HST, GST, QST, and PST apply, QuickBooks Online will expand it to a 2 x 4).

Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to commonly asked questions about importing custom form styles.

Certain fields are expected to be inside tables. For example, line item info like Quantity, Product, and Price are tabular (or table fields) and should be inside tables. Make sure to map these fields inside tables in your DOCX file. Learn more about table fields in the "Make mapping hassle-free" section of this article.

Your Primary form style decides how data is handled and shown in all your forms. For example, if the "Form numbers" field on your Primary form is unchecked, your invoice number won't appear on your custom form styles, regardless if you added it on the invoice.

To turn on the desired settings in your Primary form style:

  1. Settings ⚙, and select Custom Form Styles.
  2. Find the Standard template (form type is Primary), then select Edit.
  3. Customize the template as you desire, then select Done.

The option to change what your customers see is available when you create an invoice.
Note: You can see this option by selecting the Settings ⚙ icon (next to the question mark in a circle icon) from your invoice.

When you use the import custom form option, choosing between what you and your customers see is not possible because your Primary form style decides how data will show in all your forms.

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