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One Document, Many Language Variants: How to Do it in Salesforce

Do you want to produce Salesforce customer documents in different language versions in Salesforce – even ones with complex designs?

As we discussed in the Documill Dynamo DNA success story, our Dynamo app for Salesforce gives you flexible options for doing this automatically, from the simplest to the most complicated document designs and structures.

Below you can see an extract from a Dynamo document layout with Salesforce data fields indicated in red.

acme-with-sf-data-2

Multiple options for a variety of use cases

Dynamo allows producing language versions based on language-specific or generic templates in a variety of ways described below. By allowing you to use of Word, Excel and PowerPoint as template design tools, it is also easy to use.

1. The straightforward solution: each version on own template

The simplest solution is just to create a separate template for each language and add the language information to the template’s details in Salesforce.

While straightforward, this method can make content updates challenging: every time a table layout or embedded graphic changes, each language version has to be updated separately. Content reuse is also virtually impossible.

Thus, the single-template solution can be the most feasible one for simple documents with just a couple of language variants or as a quick fix, when things get busy.

2. Simplicity with Excel: many language versions using one template

In this option, Word or PowerPoint is typically used as a template design tool, while it is populated with content stored in an Excel table. Here is a simplistic example of a table:

excel-21

When designing the template, the keys from the table are inserted in it. Options for different languages are defined just once in the template. When an end user starts generating a document and selects the language, the appropriate content will be fetched to the document. The keys can naturally be longer than in the above example: whole sentences or even paragraphs. The final document can look like in the example below, in which the translated sections are marked with red.

dynamo-offer-fi-and-eng-crop

With just one template and a single source file in use, content updates and template maintenance become easy. Would you need to add a new language variant? Just add a new column and its content in the Excel. Then add a new value for a new language variant in the template and in the language selection form, and you are done.

This solution can work well for offers and quotes that have fairly simple formatting requirements (support for these in Excel is limited) and/or structures.

3. One template populated with Word Snippets

If you want to have a common template for all variants, what about those long texts: terms and conditions, company introductions, cover letters and so forth?
Using Word Snippets is a feasible solution for them. And what is a Word Snippet? It is just a standard Word file, but used as a source file for a certain section in a document, referred to via a link. A snippet library works in the same way as a slide library in PowerPoint.
Each passage in a document, in each target language, can be stored and managed as a separate snippet in a database.
This method has many pros: it enables flexible text formatting, efficient re-use of content and even different making certain sections available in only certain language variants.
And the cons? Template design and maintenance is slightly more laborious, since for each snippet, a source file in each language supported must be defined in the template. Adding a new language variant later on requires an update to all those instances.

4. A combination of all above

But naturally you can use any or all of the above methods together in a template to meet your layout and quality requirements, without compromising the smoothness of template and file management. Below, you can see an example of such a case in a document that combines:

  • Word snippets (blue)
  • Short text, translation in excel sheet (red)
  • Additional documents inserted as appendices (green).

hybrid-document-data-sources

Unlimited visual design

The difference between the various variants is usually in the text sections alone. However, sometimes documents may have language-specific graphics. In such cases, Dynamo allows inserting them using dynamic links without compromising the options for flexibility or quality of the design.

Easy choice of template for your users

You can make the various language versions available for your Salesforce users simply by using the Dynamo forms, in which they can see and choose from the options you make available. In fact, your choice of template design will remain completely invisible to users; your users will only see what is shown in the example in the figure below.

language-form

See Dynamo in action

Would you like to see in practice how Dynamo works? Just book a demo or download the application directly from the Salesforce AppExchange.

By | May 26th, 2016|