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Using variables in Conga Collaborate

Variables can be used within a document to display dynamic content. Conga Collaborate allows you to use out-of-the-box document variables, CRM variables, and form variables. (CRM and form variables require integrations with a CRM and Formstack, respectively.)

Using Standard Document Variables

Conga Collaborate provides standard variables that are populated by filling out fields in the Properties panel of your document, under Details. Available variables include such information as document title and document value as well as document owner information like name and phone number.

Follow these steps to insert standard variables into your content:

  1. In your document’s Build view, click the Properties panel

  2. Fill in the fields you want to include (i.e., Client, Value, Description, etc.) under the Details section.

  3. Add variables to your document.

    1. Click the Content panel, then click Variables. You will see a dropdown list called Document which contains all the standard variables available in your document, as well as the current value of those variables.
    2. Drag and drop the variables into your content.

      You can also type the “%” sign in your document to pull up a list of variables while creating content. As you type the variable name after the “%” sign the list of variables will be filtered to match your desired variable.

    3. Variables inserted into a document while in draft mode appear as the related field name surrounded by a set of {{double brackets}}. 

      This behavior is different if you have Modern Variables enabled.  See the Modern Variables section at the end of this article for more information.

    4. Preview or publish to see the actual data.

Creating Custom Variables

You might want to use custom variables in a Template, meaning any documents created from that Template will also have those custom variables. Using this feature enables your users to fill out information to customize their documents. Custom variables can also be added to generated documents.

Follow these steps to create custom variables:

  1. In your template or document’s Build view, click the Content panel.
  2. Click Add New, and then select Add New Variable. 
  3. From the pop-up window that appears, fill in these variables:
    • Name is actual name of your variable and appears in {{curly brackets}} when inserted into a document in Build view.
    • Value shows in place of the variable name when the document is previewed or published.
  4. Click Submit.  A new Custom dropdown in the Variables panel houses your custom variables, which you can drag and drop into your content as with any other variable.

To edit a custom variable, hover over its title, click the gear that appears, and click Edit. You can then change the variable’s value.

Previewing Variables in a Document or Template

Before you turn on Preview within your document, your variables appear in {{double curly brackets}} or [single square brackets] that look like this: {{variable_name}} or [variable_name]. Using Preview mode, you can preview them to see what they’ll actually look like when you Publish your document.

Toggle the Preview switch in the Table of Contents panel to On, and your variables will be replaced by the values they hold. If you want to preview CRM variables, make sure that you are connected to an Opportunity or other CRM object.

If you want to edit your document, turn Preview to Off.

Refreshing Variables

If you’re using any of Conga Collaborate’s CRM integrations, you need to refresh the variables in your document after any updates to information in your CRM.

Follow these steps to refresh your variables:

  1. After you edit data in your CRM, open the connected document in Conga Collaborate.
  2. Make sure Preview is switched to Off.  Otherwise the Refresh Variables button won’t appear.
  3. Open the Integrations panel.
  4. Click Refresh Variables.  The data from your CRM updates all of the dynamic sections and content in your document.

To refresh some content pages, such as those added from the Conga Collaborate Content related list in Salesforce or the automatically generated Quote and Product Pages, you need to click the arrow to the right of the Refresh Variables button and click “Refresh Variables and CRM Pages.” This will actually delete and re-generate those pages in order to display the new values.

When working on a template, you must disconnect it from your CRM object record by deleting the ID and refreshing the page. Then re-connect the template by adding the ID back in. This allows variables to be refreshed.

Modern Variables

This feature allows users to see the value of variables instead of seeing the variable name appear inside of {{curly brackets}}.  The value of the variable will appear with a yellow background to differentiate it from standard text in a document.

If a variable doesn't have a value, it will be populated with No Value:

With Modern Variables, you are able to change the format in which a variable will display. When you click on a variable (highlighted in yellow), a menu appears that shows the value of the variable. Clicking the carat (>) opens a second menu that lets you select the data type of the variable.

Each data type has different formatting options available, summarized below:

Data Type Formatting Options
String Text Case - Normal, Uppercase, Lowercase
Image Width, Height
Link Text to display
Iframe Width, Height
Date Display format (1/1/11; 01/01/11; Jan. 1, 2011, etc.)
Number Unit, Delimiter, # of decimal places
For example, if you have a variable that should be formatted as US currency, you can select “Number” as your data type and then enter a dollar sign ($) for the unit, a  comma (,) for the delimiter, and a two (2) for the number of decimals you would like displayed.
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