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Customizing invoicing templates means creating your own templates that can interact with Uniform Invoice Software and connect to databases to store and retrieve data. All templates here on are created based on these rules.

Please read this document carefully before customizing your template.


Create New Invoice Templates

An invoice template uses a number of hidden properties and cells to identify itself as a valid invoice template so that the Uniform Invoice Software can and will interact with it.

Because of this, generally it is not recommended to create a template or workbook from scratch using Microsoft Excel. It's better to create an invoice template based on an existing valid invoice template. To do this, copy an existing invoice template using your Windows Explorer, and customize that copy to create your own invoice workbook.

However if you still want to integrate your existing template with Uniform Invoice Software, or create a new format from scratch, the steps are detailed with the sample at c4056 Simple Sample - Building & Remodeling Invoice.

Design Mode

An invoice template has two states: design mode and run mode. In design mode, the Uniform Invoice Software will stop interacting with the invoice template, so that you can move, add, or delete controls or cells.

To switch to design mode, click the Design Mode button on the Invoice ribbon tab. Click this button again to exit design mode.


By default, the Invoice worksheet is protected. You need to unprotect it for most of the customization work. To unprotect the worksheet, in Excel 2007/2010/2013 click the Unprotect Sheet button in the Changes group of the Review tab.

It is strongly recommended that you protect the worksheet again after your customization. To protect a sheet, just click the same button again.

Locking/Unlocking Cells

If a worksheet is protected, locked cells and those cells that contain formulas are not manually editable. To lock or unlock a cell:

  1. Unprotect the worksheet if it is already protected.
  2. Right-click the cell, choose Format Cells.
  3. Click the Protection tab.
  4. Check or uncheck the Locked option.

Gridlines and Row/Column Headers

When customizing a workbook, it is very helpful to display gridlines and row/column headers. To show gridlines and row/column headers in Excel 2003:

  1. Click and activate the worksheet you want to display gridlines and row/column headers for.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then click the View tab.
  3. Under Window options, check the Gridlines and Row & Column Headers check boxes.

After your customization, go back to the Tools menu, Options, View tab. Under Window options, REMOVE the checks you previously placed by the two check boxes to hide gridlines and row/column headers. This will restore the appearance of your workbook.

To show/hide gridlines and row/column headers in Excel 2007/2010/2013:

  1. Click and activate the worksheet you want to display gridlines and row/column headers for.
  2. Go to the View tab of the Ribbon.
  3. Click Show/Hide, and then check or uncheck the Gridlines and Headings options.


All objects in an invoice workbook, including ActiveX controls, drawing objects and cells, are identified by names.

To distinguish from other names, all names used by Uniform Invoice Software are prefixed with okn ('s Name).

In Excel, names are available to any sheet. For example, if the name oknID refers to the range A20:A30 on the first worksheet in a workbook, you can use the name oknID on any other sheet in the same workbook to refer to range A20:A30 on the first worksheet.

To name a drawing object or cell:

  1. Click and select the cell or drawing object.
  2. Click the Name box at the left end of the formula bar.

    Formula bar and name box

  3. Type the name in the Name box.
  4. Press ENTER.

To name an ActiveX control object:

  1. Switch your workbook to design mode.
  2. Right click the ActiveX object.
  3. Select Properties from the menu.
  4. In the Properties window, enter the name in the Name field.

See your Excel help document for more information about using names.

ActiveX Controls

Microsoft Excel has two types of controls. ActiveX controls are appropriate for most situations. Forms Toolbar Controls are compatible with earlier versions of Excel, beginning with Excel version 5.0, and can be used on XLM macro sheets. Uniform Invoice Software uses a number of standard ActiveX controls, such as buttons, check boxes, and graphics.

To add an ActiveX control:

  1. Switch your workbook to design mode.
  2. In Excel 2007 - 2013, go to the Developer tab, click Insert in the Controls group, and then choose the ActiveX control you want to add.
  3. Click on the worksheet at the location where you want to place the control.
  4. Drag the control to the size you want.
  5. Right click the control and select Properties from the menu.
  6. Enter the name, caption, and other properties if needed.
  7. Close the Properties window.
  8. To quit design mode and enable the ActiveX control, click Exit Design Mode on the Control Toolbox toolbar if you are running Excel 2000 - 2003; or click the Design Mode button in the Controls group of the Developer tab if you are running Excel 2007/2010.



If a worksheet has defined a PRINT_AREA name and it refers to a range of cells, Excel will print the specified area instead of the whole sheet when you click the Print command on the Excel menu. (See our template gallery at printable invoice template)

In the invoice workbook, each worksheet contains a PRINT_AREA name. You can view what the name refers to by selecting PRINT_AREA from the Name box at the left end of the formula bar. If you want to redefine the PRINT_AREA name, follow the steps below:

  1. Select the area you want to print.
  2. In Excel 2007/2010/2013, switch to the Page Layout tab, click Print Area in the Page Setup group, and then choose Set Print Area.

Printing ActiveX Objects and Drawing Objects

By default, all objects added to a worksheet are printable. You may want to exclude some of them from printing, such as the Customer Selection button on the Invoice worksheet (seen in the default invoice template shipped with Uniform Invoice Software version 3 and earlier versions).

To exclude a Drawing Object from printing in Excel 2007/2010/2013:

  1. Right click the drawing object, select Size and Properties....
  2. Go to the Properties tab.
  3. Uncheck the Print Object option.

To exclude an ActiveX control from printing:

  1. Switch the workbook to design mode.
  2. Right click the ActiveX control, and select Properties from the menu.
  3. Scroll down the properties list and find the PrintObject property.
  4. Change the PrintObject property to False.

Moving Cells/Controls

Since all the cells/fields and controls are identified by names, you can easily redesign the layout by moving cells/fields/controls. For example, if you don´t want to show the PAID, TOTAL DUE cells/fields on your printed invoice, you can move them out of the Print_Area:

  1. Unprotect the Invoice worksheet.
  2. Drag your mouse to select all the cells/fields you want to move.
  3. Push your mouse key on the border of the selected area; drag it to the new location.
  4. Once finished, protect the Invoice worksheet.
  5. Save the template.

To move a control:

  1. Unprotect the Invoice worksheet.
  2. Switch to design mode.
  3. Click and drag the control to the new location you like.
  4. Once finished, exit design mode.
  5. Protect the Invoice worksheet.
  6. Save the template.

Extracting ActiveX Controls and Drawing Objects

To make the extracted worksheet as clean as possible, all ActiveX controls and drawing objects will be removed from the extracted worksheet. If you want to keep an ActiveX control or a drawing object, add a prefix oknUser_ or oknWidget_ to its name. For example, a logo image could be named oknWidget_logo, instructing Uniform Invoice Software to keep the logo image on the extracted document.

Sample Templates