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In Aspire, there are several Formatted Fields, also known as Rich Text Editor (RTE) fields, through out the system. These fields are open text fields that contain HTML coding. As you are creating proposals, contract terms, bulk emails, or issues, knowing how Formatted Fields work becomes an important step in optimizing your Aspire system.
Sometimes, to get the exact formatting and style you would like to see in Formatted Fields, editing the HTML code in Code View may also be helpful!
Below are examples of a Formatted Field, the HTML Code View icon, and the Code View itself.
Example of Formatted Field
Location of HTML Code View
HTML Code View Pop-Up
Where are Formatted Fields Located?
Activities such as Tasks, Emails, Issues, and Appointments.
Activates can be viewed or created in areas such as on your main dashboard, properties, contacts, opportunities, work tickets, and the Activities module.
Fields include the Subject, Message, and Notes.
Fields such as Proposal Description 1, Proposal Description 2, and Opportunity Invoice Notes can be found on the Opportunity Details page
On the Estimate screen, some fields include the Service Group Notes, Service Descriptions and Operation Notes, and Item Descriptions.
Some of these same fields are also available from the Administration area such as while setting up Opportunity Templates, Services, and Items.
Service Notes and Ticket Notes are available on the Work Ticket Details page.
The Subject and Message field on the Invoice Email screen. These fields are also available from the Administration area while setting up the Invoice Email Template within either the global configuration area or per branch.
The Invoice Notes and Statement Notes fields on the Invoice Details.
Invoice Description on the Invoice Details page for certain invoicing types.
Entering Collection Notes for a customer from either the Receivables or Payments pages.
Payment Notes entered on the Payments page.
The Notes field on the Purchase Receipt page.
Category Notes entered from the Administration area while setting up the Site Audit Categories.
The Email Header, Email Body, and Email Footer fields are available for setting up within the Administration area.
The Differences Between Rich Text Editors and Word Processors
Rich Text Editors (RTE's)
Aspire's Formatted Fields that you find across the system are what are known as Rich Text Editors (RTE's).
Rich text, also known as formatted text, includes information about the style of the text (color, font size, italics, bold, etc.) and other special features (i.e. hyperlinks). This formatting shows as code known as HTML.
Most online RTE's have the following supported features:
Foreground Color (text color),
It is important to understand the differences between online RTE's (such as Aspire's Formatted Fields) and word processors (such as Microsoft Word). RTE's typically have the look and feel of Word Processors, with an area to enter text, and they use tools that apply different formatting options.
As opposed to RTEs, Word Processors are more complex software applications that are intended to allow you to work with content on a higher level. One of the main differences of word processors, in general, is that they provide a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) view, which displays the text in a way that shows like the final product.
Word processors usually come with more features, such as pre- formatted templates, spelling and grammar checkers, equation editors, version control, side notes, etc.
Putting It Together
The Rich Text Editor’s intended use is to format text, and this does not guarantee matching the input text (or HTML). All script, style, object, and HTML tags can be removed by the RTE.
This means that if rich text was created outside of Aspire, it may not look the same from the product where it was created from.
For instance, when using numbered lists and bulleted lists, if the text copied from a word processor is pasted into an RTE, this can remove numbered list consistency and sub-bullets.
Below, we talk about your options when copying text from external sources and then pasting it into the Formatted Field!
Copying Text and Pasting Into Formatted Fields
Whether you are building templates for your proposals or formatting emails, you most likely will be copying from an external source (like a Word Processor) to one of the Formatted Fields (like Proposal Description 2).
Rich text comes from various sources in different formats. As a result, it is common that the text in some web pages, like PDFs, word processors, and e-mails are incorrectly formatted.
When you are copying from these external sources, it contains a lot of unnecessary line breaks, characters, or custom formatting that could be unknown to the Formatted Field.
When copying (CTRL + C) and pasting (CTRL + V), Aspire's Formatted Field will give you three formatting options that remove external formatting at different levels.
The Keep Formatting Action
Selecting this option will tell the Formatted Field to maintain all the rich text style formatting that is allowed with Aspire. Depending on the HTML code that was copied, there may not be a like-to-like match.
You would use this if you want to keep the majority of formatting. However, more formatting clean up may be needed in Code View.
The Clean Formatting Action
Selecting this option will tell the Formatted Field to maintain some of the rich text style formatting allowed.
Selecting the Clean option allows you to remove most format issues and conform all text to the default rich text display from the Aspire system.
To change the default font and font size of a Formatted Field, go to Administration ➡️ Configuration ➡️ Application ➡️ Defaults for Formatted Fields
The Plain Text Formatting Action
Selecting this option will remove most rich text formatting, images, colors, and other types of customizations. The only exception is single line breaks and spacing.
The benefit of using Plain Text is that you can easily copy and paste the contents into almost any document or application and will look the same in any system. Plain Text can also help reduce the file size.
Resetting the Formatted Field
As you're experimenting with the 3 options, you may be clearing out the text in the Formatted Field and then re-pasting. However, this does not mean it will clear out the formatting. To really start over, you will want to reset the Formatted Field.
To reset the Formatted Field, follow these steps:
1. Click the HTML Code View icon on the Formatted Field.
2. Highlight the entire HTML script (or use CTRL + A)
3. Hit Backspace or Delete to remove the HTML Script.
4. Select the Minimize icon in the expanded window.
Best Practices for Formatting Fields (RTE's)
📌 Note: If you don't wish to edit the HTML code, the Technical Services division of AspireCare can use report scripts to minimize formatting issues, like whitespace issues (<p>), without the need for you to manually go into the Source Code (HTML).
This means that layout adjustment requests can be given to the Technical Services team. Change requests will still be subject to the Technical Services queue and priority.
To review the process of submitting a layout request, click here.
If you would like to make changes to the HTML code in a Formatted Field, here are some things to consider!
For emails sent out of Aspire, such as when emailing an invoice to the customer, some email providers do support HTML in the headers whereas others do not. If they do not, it is possible that the info will not show as expected for certain users or customers.
Be careful when using HTML within RTE fields that may be further displayed elsewhere on lists in Aspire. Certain objects such as tables may get converted to plain text and not get displayed as expected within the list or report column. One example is creating an HTML table in the Opportunity Invoice Notes field and then displayed the Invoice data field on the Invoicing Assistant page. Another example would be creating a bulleted list of information in either the work ticket Service Note or Ticket Note fields and then displayed those data fields on the work ticket list page.
The paragraph tag (<p>) used within HTML commonly causes whitespace to show on layouts such as proposals. The tag is a container element that marks a block of text as a paragraph in a webpage, and the web browser leaves a line between two paragraphs.
🧠 One way to resolve this is to use the format tag (<format>) or break tag (<br>) instead after a line so that the line will break and display the proceeding text onto the next line, without giving any space between the two lines.
🧠 Pay close attention to removing unwanted whitespace on the last character of the final paragraph (or in between paragraphs). For example, let’s say you have 3 paragraphs, and on the last one, you press the Enter key multiple times. With each press, a <p> tag has been created in the HTML.
To quickly update all similar tags while viewing the HTML within a field, select CTRL+H on your keyboard, then enter in the tag you want to locate and the tag you want to replace it with.
🧠 One example when this would be helpful to use would be when you need to replace all <p> tags with either the <br> or <format> tags.
Common HTML Tags
The following are some common HTML code tags that can be found and used in Aspire. To view additional ones, you can easily search online to locate more.
Defines a paragraph
Defines a section in a document
Inserts a single line break
Defines bold text
Defines text to be underlined.
Defines text to be italicised.
Defines a hyperlink
Defines an unordered list
Defines an ordered list
Defines a list item
Defines a table
Defines a header cell in a table
Defines a row in a table
Defines a cell in a table
Example of HTML Tags:
Removing Whitespace on Layouts
The following is an example of whitespace showing in the Service Description field on a proposal layout.
1. To take care of this, review the service description setup in Aspire admin. Check if you can see the whitespace above the description, below it, or between certain lines. In this example, there is a gap above.
2. Select the Code View button to view the HTML code.
3. Review the HTML and remove any tags necessary that are causing issues with how the text is displaying. In this example, we'll be removing the <p> tags that are causing the whitespace.
4. Select the minimize button to return to previous view.
5. Save the service and retest.
📌 Note: To see the changes take affect on an existing proposal, you will need to remove the service from the estimate and add it back.
Alt Codes for Formatted Fields (RTEs)
Using ALT Codes within the Formatted Field is a common practice. Aspire users can implement these special Alt Codes within their paragraphs for things such as fractions, degrees of temperature, or special bullets.
Using Alt Code Bullets
There are more Alt codes you can search online. These special kinds of bullets do not actually create HTML tags, such as <UL> (meaning unordered list).
Alt + 7
This means you can create a bullet using a keyboard shortcut but it won't automate by adding another bullet by pressing Enter. The workaround for this is that you can highlight the sentence that contains the Alt Bullet and paste it into the RTE.
Aspire will generate the Paste Format window. Select the Keep option and you will have the same format of a bullet and text. You can use ALT + 255 on the keyboard to insert invisible characters or just use the space key on the keyboard.
Why Use Alt Code Bullets?
As you can see in the image below there is a difference when using the ENTER key and SHIFT + ENTER when using bullets.
The ENTER key will continue the bulleting or number within the RTE. However, hitting ENTER tells the RTE to add a paragraph (<p>) which then creates extra spacing.
Using SHIFT + ENTER
The other option, SHIFT + ENTER, will not create additional paragraphs like the first option. Nevertheless, it will not follow the bullet or numbering format you have used.
The examples below that use SHIFT + ENTER using the native bullet tools will not allow bullet insertion by design.
🧠 By using an Alt Code Bullet, you get the best of both options. You can continue your bullets without accidentally adding paragraph spacing!
The example below shows you how you can format your text using Alt codes: