PowerPoint: Populate a template

Use this action to dynamically update a Powerpoint template to create customized Powerpoint presentations. This action can take a predefined template and create a presentation with new information each instance.

Use case

If the original Powerpoint file has {{company-name}} in it and a previous step (for example, a webform) gathers the company name as Catalytic, this step will replace {{company-name}} reference with Catalytic.

  • Save time by creating custom powerpoint presentations based on dynamic values
  • Reduce errors from doing a find-replace on an existing deck
  • Increase brand consistency by ensuring a standard template is used

How to configure this action

This action works by replacing {{field-name}} references in a template .pptx PowerPoint file with field values to create a new file. Both text and images can be replaced.

screen readers look here

Images are added in field reference format, {{my-image}}, but must have a “%” prefix: e.g., {{%my-images}}. The tag must be placed in a text box in the .pptx template that is not part of the default layout on the slide.

How to conditionally display text or images in a PowerPoint presentation

Similar to conditional field references, you can conditionally populate parts of a PowerPoint presentation based on if a field exists or not. This is like writing an IF/THEN statement.

For example, add the following text to a presentation to define a condition for text to appear only if a field value DOES exist:

    {{#field-name}} This text will only display if field-name DOES exist. {{/field-name}}

If there is any data in the {{field-name}} field, the text This text will only display if field-name DOES exist will appear in the presentation. If the field is empty, the text won’t appear.

✅   Heads-up: This action supports .JPEG, .GIF, .BMP, and .PNG files. If an unsupported image file type is used, the action will complete without adding the image.

Fields for this action

  • Template file

    • Reference the field where the file template is stored.
    • The file template can be uploaded two ways: in an Instance Field or through a previous action. Use a reference to locate the file in either case.

      • If using an Instance Field, upload the file as a default and reference the field here.
      • If another person should upload the template, add a required file field in preceding task and reference the field here.
  • New file name

    • Enter a name for the new updated file, this is what the updated file will be named and saved as.

    • If left blank, the new file will have the same name as the template file.

      💡   Tip: The .pptx extension will be added to this name automatically and does not need to be included.

  • Keep unmatched fields

    • If a reference field in a template file does not match with a field in the Workflow, Select True or False from the drop down to change how this unmatched field is handled.
    • For example, if the field {{company-name}} is empty and has no value, the matching reference in the .pptx template {{company-name}} field would be considered unmatched.
      • Select True for any unmatched fields in the initial file template to be retained, showing {{field-name}} in the document
      • Select False or leave blank for any unmatched fields to be removed
  • Output field name

    • The name of the field in which the result should be saved. The step name is used by default.

What will this output?

This action will produce a new file field with all updated data. The Output field name can be referenced as: {{output-field-name}} as chosen above.

Get help with a problem or question

If something’s not working as expected, or you’re looking for suggestions, check through the options below.

Why do the text or images I add not show up?

There are three things to check:

  1. Check to make sure all of the references inside the .pptx file are in text boxes.
  2. Check to make sure references for images are added in with the prefix “%”, e.g., {{%my-images}}.
  3. Check that the references are in a text box in the .pptx template that is not part of the default layout on the slide.

Here’s a small example of the way the references are added:

screen readers look here
Text shows up, but why do the images I add not show up?

If just the images are not working, you may be using an unsupported image type. This action supports .JPEG, .GIF, .BMP, and .PNG files.

If an unsupported image file type is used, the action will complete without adding the image.

As well, check to make sure references for images are added in with the prefix “%”, e.g., {{%my-images}}.

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