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SmartFields are commonly used words or phrases you may want to insert into your documents. For example, if you produce a lot of documents that include your name, address and contact details, SmartFields allows you to easily insert and update these values.

These are commonly used in and for print documents and templates such as letterheads, invoices, brochures, booklets, resumes and many more.

There are 2 types of Smart Fields:

  • Personal SmartFields - These are SmartFields that are stored locally on your computer and is document independent. This means they can be inserted into any document
  • Document SmartFields - These are SmartFields that are stored in the current document.

You can access the SmartFields dialog by going to Utilities > SmartFields or by clicking within your document with the text tool, and then Insert > SmartFields

Theses values you see in the screenshot above are the default values that are applied. You can fill these out after installing version 16.2 or above.

Adding and Deleting SmartFields

You can add as many personal and document SmartFields as you wish. To do so, simply click on the add button at the bottom. Enter a name, and a value. The value is what is inserted into your document, and the name describes the value. For example:

These names and values can be anything you wish.

After adding the Smart Field, Xara will arrange it in alphabetical order by name.

Inserting and Editing

To insert a Smart Field into your document, your text cursor must be placed on the page in either text area, column or line. Afterwards, click on the SmartField you wish to insert and click Insert at the bottom.

Updating SmartFields

There is 2 ways to update a Smart Field. The first is simply to open the SmartFields dialog, and go to Document SmartFields section, then update the value there. This will update all instances of that value throughout your document.

The update button at the bottom of the dialog is for updating the Document SmartFields to match any Personal Smart Fields you have inserted. For example, lets say you move address and have several documents with your address inserted. To update them, all you need to do is update your Personal SmartFields, then open the documents with your address and press update. Now everywhere you have inserted your address will be updated.

Templates and Template Creation

Documents can have SmartFields marked up to be automatically replaced with your own personal SmartFields on open. This allows you to open a template, such as a letterhead and have it filled out with all your name, address and details. 

Setting user fields

To set up a Smart Field to be replaced, add USER: in front of it.

The values will then be replaced with the matching personal values on open. For example - "USER:city | [city]" will be replaced with "robert:city | London" after opening.

This will only work if the document is marked up as a template, which is done by going to File > Save Template. After opening the template, it will now replace your fields.

Please see attached file. This is a template that is marked up.

SmartFields vs Live Copies

Live Copies are fairly similar to SmartFields in that both allow you to insert repeated content throughout your document, and update them easily, but there are a few key differences:

  • SmartFields can be updated with your information on document load, such as when loading a template. 
  • You can update your personal SmartFields outside of the document, and if you re-open the document its a one click update.
  • SmartFields can be inserted anywhere, even in the middle of a text area.
  • Live Copies can be unlinked (or separated from the other copies), SmartFields cannot.

New in 16.3

Linking to SmartFields

You can now create links to SmartField URL's, allowing you to enter custom text for either email addresses or hyperlinks. For example, you could have the text "Contact Me" and link it to your email address. Changing your email address would then update all the links. There are 2 ways to do this:

1 - Select the text you wish to link to a SmartField, and go to Web Properties > Link and there you will find the Link to SmartField option.

2 - Go to Utilities > SmartFields. Enter :text and :link after the value you wish to link. For example:

Whenever you insert the website:text SmartField, it will link to the website:link SmartField, and works for URLs and email addresses.

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  1. Robert Turner

  2. Posted
  3. Updated