How to Use User-Defined Placeholders

You can use placeholders in print settings such as email body, subject, output filename, etc. You can also use placeholders in Docentric report setup, e.g. in report caption, PDF encryption password and document properties.

There are three types of placeholders. You can use Standard placeholders, which are common for all reports, e.g. @COMPANYID@, @COMPANYNAME@, @WORKERTITLE@ and @USEREMAIL@. They are always at your disposal.

However, you will probably need to use report specific placeholders such as @InvoiceId@ and @InvoiceDate@. We already prepared some typical placeholders for common reports, and delivered them via Docentric SSRS Replicas. They represent the second type of placeholders called Custom placeholders. Additional Custom placeholders can be added programmatically.
Both Standard and Custom placeholders are part of Free Edition.

From the 3.3.8 version on, we introduced as part of Full Edition the third type of placeholders called User-defined placeholders. They are also report specific but unlike Custom placeholders, they can be configured in Docentric report setup (without development) and used instantly.

User-defined placeholder setup

You can open User-defined placeholder setup if you click the User-defined placeholders menu item in Docentric report setup.


You can bind User-defined placeholders to any data in report data source (DDSP). More precisely, a placeholder is bound to a single data field or to an expression, which consists of operands - data fields, data records and constants, and operators – numeric, comparison, logical operators and functions such as sum(), count() and iif().

The limitation is that placeholders can point only to a simple value, e.g. text, number or date. Also, User-defined placeholders cannot be bound to a binary value, e.g. an image.

The placeholder expression (the Expression field) is an XPath expression that is evaluated against Sample DDSP, if it is uploaded. However, uploading of Sample DDSP is not mandatory. Instead, you can use Docentric Designer in MS Word to build the placeholder expression, and then copy it to the Expression field in the User-defined placeholders form. Learn more about XPath expressions >>

If the resulting placeholder value is a number or date, you should also select a format (the Format string field) that will be applied at the runtime.

Sample DDSP

You can upload Sample DDSP by clicking the Sample DDSP menu item in the action pane. Without Sample DDSP you will not be able to use advanced Expression designer to build placeholder expressions. Also, you will not be able to see the resulting value of placeholder expression (the Result field in the Preview fast tab), and this way validate expressions and format strings.


Sample DDSP is the same DDSP that you can generate when you print a report to the Generate DS print destination.

Expression designer

If you upload Sample DDSP, you can use an advanced editor for building placeholder expressions called Expression designer.


Placeholder expressions are XPath expressions consisting of path expressions for selecting and filtering nodes, XPath functions and operators. Learn more about XPath expressions >>

View in grid and Open in Excel

You can also view and update (add, edit and delete) User-defined placeholders in grid and Excel.


Overriding Custom placeholders

If you want to override an existing Custom placeholder, you need to create a User-defined placeholder with the same name.


To move User-defined placeholders between environments you can use the Import/Export options in Docentric report setup. Learn more >>

You can also use the Open in Excel feature on two different environments to copy-paste the user-defined placeholders between them. And finally, you have the Docentric User-defined Placeholders data entity at your disposal for various export and import scenarios.

You can use all types of placeholders (Standard, Custom and User-defined placeholders) in all print settings where it makes sense.

Also, you can make it multilingual if you use D365FO and Docentric User-defined labels. Such labels, which are used in print settings, we call Label placeholders. Learn more >>

List of available placeholders can be accessed from Docentric report setup and also from Print destination settings form.


Use User-defined placeholders in Docentric report setup

Note that all types of placeholders (Standard, Custom and User-defined) can also be used in Docentric report setup, e.g. in report caption, PDF encryption passwords, PDF document properties, email sending settings such as email sender display name, reply-to, bounce-to and read receipt email addresses.

Also note that wherever you can use placeholders, you can also use D365FO and Docentric User-defined labels. This way you can make, e.g. report caption or PDF document properties multilingual.

See also

How to Use Labels in Print Destinations >>
How to Use Standard Placeholders in Print Destinations >>
How to Use Custom Placeholders in Print Destinations >>
How to Change Print Destination Settings Dynamically >>