Simple Templating is a tool designed to help you with your graphical creations by automating what can be automated. From a database – Google Sheet – and a template — Google Slide – Simple Templating will generate your new file.

Google Sheets & Slides

Simple Templating is a bridge between two great tools: Google Sheets and Google Slides. We selected those services for their simplicity and possibilities. If you are not familiar with Google Suite, we suggest you to take a few minutes to discover how it works. 

Google Sheet

Google Sheets is an “online Excel”. Simple Templating uses it to let you store your data.

About Google Sheets

Google Slide

Google Slides is an “online Powerpoint”. Simple Templating uses it to let you design your models.

About Google Slides

Getting started

You’ll have your first project setup in seconds! The first thing to do is to access Simple Templating Editor

On the Simple Templating Editor home page, you’ll be able to connect with your Google Account. . Sure you cannot miss it. Then follow the process, guided by Google, accept the permissions, and you’ll arrive on your editing space. 

Your dashboard looks like this. On the left, you have the sidebar where your projects will appear.

Click on “New project”

A project contains a Google Slide + a Google Sheet.

The new project window allows you to chose a name for your project. The location, where you want it to be created on your Google Drive. 

Choose a seed project. A seed project will generate a new database and a new template in your Google Drive – at the location defined above. Seed projects are meant to help you starting. If you do not wish to use a seed project, chose “Blank”. You’ll have to choose an existing database and template.

For this short tutorial, we’ll use the 3rd template: Dynamic images

You will arrive on the project page.

  • On the left, the database, click on the button to open and edit it
  • On the right, the template, click on the button to open and edit it

 

The database

Contains sample data:  3 columns x 8 lines
You can add as many columns and lines you need, and benefits from all the features from Google Sheets. Features list

 

The template

Contains an image place holder and a text place holder. 
Each lines of the database will be merged with the template in order to generate your new file. 

The {{NAME}} text will be replaced by the value of the column A, from the database. You could add as many dynamic texts as you need. Simple add {{}} around the code, the name of the column.

It’s time to generate your file! Click on the TEMPLETIFY button. It will process with the magic, merge your Database with your Template. 

You can change the output directory for your exported file with the settings wheel.

DONE.

This is your generated file.

Conclusion

Your file is now ready. You can apply some correction, if needed. And then benefit from all the export options from Google Slides: 

  • Export to PDF
  • Export to HTML
  • Print
  • Direct sharing

This website gives a global overview of how exports work : Google Slides export options

Different templating possibilities

Simple Templating offers all you need to create great projects.

Dynamic texts

This is the base of Simple Templating. It allows to create a dynamic placeholder in your template, that will be replaced by values from your database.

The syntax, is easy. Take the name of the column you wish to use, and surrount it with curved brackets : {{}}

Exemples: 

  • {{title}}
  • {{description}}
  • {{name}}
  • {{content}}
  • {{time}}

There are no limits to the amount of variables you can use per template.

In the template {{name}} matches column A from the database. When you TEMPLETIFY, you generate a new file merging your template and your database. Each line from the database will generate a new card, and replace placeholders.

Dynamic colors

Black and white can be boring. You might want to add some colors to your creation. Of course you can use all the native features from Google Sheets to add some colors to your creation. But what if you want to create dynamic colors, colors that would change from a line to an other? 

Simple Templating offers many possibilities 

  • Dynamic shape background color
  • Dynamic shape border color
  • Dynamic text foreground color
  • Dynamic text background color

Defining a dynamic color in your Template

Right click on your shape, and choose Alt text.

In the Alt Text popup, you will add properties in the description field. 

The syntax is easy: it’s very close to CSS.

Commands list

  • background-color
  • border-color
  • text-color
  • text-background-color

You can combine different commands to the same shape. Separate them with a ; 
ex: background-color: color1; text-color: color2;

Defining colors in the database

Now that your template is ready, you can define your colors in your database. 

Like for texts, any columns from your database can be used to store a color variables. In the line 1, indicate the name of the variable you wish to use. ex: color, color1, color2, decorationcolor… You can add as many color column as you wish.

You have 3 possibilities to indicate a color: HEX, RGB, RGBA. 

HEX

ex: #749B8D

This is the usual way to define a color on the web. A # followed by a code composed by numbers and letters.

RGB

ex: 232,121,32

RGB stands for Red Green Blue. Indicate the amount of each colors you want in a range from 0  to 255.

RGBA

ex: 232,121,32,0.62

A stands for Alpha, opacity. You can so add some transparency for your shape. Indicate opacity in a range from 0, for fully transparent, to 1, fully opaque.

Examples

Here is a great online tool to pick your colors: Online Color Picker

Please note that some Google Slide won’t let you use transparency with texts.

Dynamic images

The third possibility offered by Simple Templating is to let you insert dynamic images. It’s very simple. Add an image to your presentation template, it can be any images, your dog, you, a sample picture taken from the internet, from your Google drive or the internet.

If you are not inspired, you can use this official Simple Templating place holder picture

Right click on your image, and choose Alt text.

In the Alt Text popup, you will add the variable name containing the image URL you will use. It’s very similar to dynamic colors, the command here is simply: image, followed by the name of the variable.

In your database, you can add images from the web, using there URLs. You can also upload images from your Google Drive. Right click on images hosted in your drive, and “Get sharable link”. Use this URL in the proper column of your database to use this image.

Ordering generation

By default, generation will follow the current order of your database sheet. If, for some reason, you want to force a different order, you can add a column named st_order to your database. For each line, indicate the position in the list in this column.

Multiple sheets in your database

By default, the first sheet of your database will be used as the data source. If you want to use a different sheet from the same document, name it “database”. 

Different and multiple models per line

More complex project like catalog, or both sided printed cards like games, or business cards, will need several different models in the same template.

In your template, create as many models – pages – as you need. In this exemple, we created 2 models, one for the front and one for the back.

We could add more. Each model can have dynamic texts, dynamic colors and dynamic pictures. 

In the database, we add a column named st_model which will indicate to Simple Templating what model to use for each lie. Each line can have one or many models. If you want to use many models for the same card, they simply will be generated one after each other.