Step 3 - Customising your template

Updated on:
September 6, 2023

After you have connected a source to your document, the next thing you will want to do is customise your template. This is where you can edit the format of the static text and choose where to place the tags inside your document to create customised outputs. This will enable you to have consistently formatted and designed documents and reduce the number of copy and paste errors.

In this article you’ll learn how to:

  1. Use the Source Table Header Functions
  2. Add a tag into your template
  3. Edit a tag name
  4. Add images from your source

After you have selected and connected a source, Portant Data Merge imports the column headers, questions or card fields into a table. We call this the Data Source Table. Each column/question/field in the data source appears as a separate row in the table.

Source Table Header Functions

  1. File name - you can use this to see the name of the file you have selected and also click on the name to open it in a different tab.
  2. Refresh - You can refresh the rows in the table if you have made any changes to the source file (e.g. added a question/field/column)

Adding a tag into your template

Animation showing a Portant tag being added into a document

To add a tag into your template please follow these steps:

  1. Place your cursor in the document where you’d like the tag to be inserted.
  2. Click the Insert button in the Data sources table, next to the tag you’d like to place.
  3. Portant will then place your tag inside the document between two curly brackets (e.g. {{Tag}})
Top Tip - Format the tag exactly how you would like the source data to appear (e.g. text size, colour, fort etc) Portant will place the source data in that location with the same styling as your tag has.

Edit a tag name

Animation showing how to add a custom tag

You can change tag names to make them shorter, or more understandable, by following these steps:

  1. Click the Source Row to open the options.
  2. Enter the new tag name in the text box
  3. Hit enter on your keyboard or click the row again. You know the tag has been changed when the tag icon in the button is solid blue (instead of outlined).

Note - Tag names need to be unique and can’t be the same as any other data source row or tag name.

Adding images

You can easily place an image into a document in a few easy steps:

  1. Click the Source Row to open the options.
  2. Select the 'Insert as image' checkbox, this marks the row as an image row. To indicate the row as an image, the tag icon in the button changes to an image icon
  3. Click the Insert button to add a placeholder image.
  4. This image can be moved and scaled in your document and then Portant will insert the source images with their native aspect ratio.
Note - .jpg, .jpeg, .png and .gif file formats are supported

Inserted images are always placed into the document with a locked aspect ratio (Portant doesn't distort any images to fit the placeholder). If an inserted image has a different ratio to the placeholder, Portant scales the height while maintaining the ratio ratio until placeholder width is reached.

Portant can use the following image links/urls:

  • Any public image url
  • Any Google Drive image url you have access to
  • Any image url uploaded via Google Forms
Note - When using a Form to collect images, Portant will only be able to insert one per question. If multiple images are uploaded are added, Portant will select the first one. You can limit users to only upload one in form settings.

Feedback and feature suggestions

We created Portant in 2021 and the feedback we have received since then has been very helpful and greatly appreciated. If you have any feedback please feel free to send us an email at or use our contact form here:


Blake and James

More than mail merge

You can do a lot more than just mail merge with Portant. Portant is a fully-fledged online document automation solution that can optimise many different document flows. You can use our online document automation platform to optimise your repetitive work, so you can get back to doing the work you enjoy.

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