From time to time you might create a particular form group for a specialized purpose and want it to use different formatting styles then most other forms you normally use, or perhaps to use an alternate cover and index design.

Standard or Premier editions of the 3D Inspection System have the ability to save alternate layouts. Such layout files may be loaded in at will via Actions one may set up, or may be permanently attached to a particular form group.

If you would like to work with alternate layouts, or even experiment with adjusting your main layout, as a precaution we suggest first backing up your current layout. Use the report writer File > Page Setup to access your default layout normally used for everything. The Page Setups button there may then be used to save that layout out to a separate LTP (layout template) file as a backup. Name it something recognizable or perhaps even include a date in its filename if that might be helpful. We recommend doing this with your default setup, so you can easily reload it back in later should you make changes to the layout for other purposes from Page Setup.

Note that if you want another layout to be based from your original layout as a starting point, you may wish to use Page Setups to save the on-screen settings to a second LTP file, perhaps named for the purpose you have in mind. You may even wish to make adjustments to the on-screen settings first and then save or update such a filename.

If you make adjustments on screen to create an alternate layout for another purpose, you may wish to re-load your original saved layout back in as your default afterward. Or else simply Cancel the Page Setup window when exiting to discard changes made to the default layout.

If you don't want separate header/footer or cover/index documents for your new layout, and only plan to change margins, colors, or other items that affect report body elements, then you may skip this step.

If you do wish to use an alternate header/footer or cover/index documents for your other layout, you first would want to create those documents. Perhaps you include information on your normal cover or index that does not apply to a specific kind of report. Use the regular Word Processor area of the software to create your alternate documents. If the new documents will be similar to your existing ones with minor changes, you may find it helpful to first Open the exiting documents in the Word Processor and File > Save As to new document names for your alternate purposes. Be sure to name them so you'll easily recognize their intended purpose.


  • Use the Custom Form Studio to right-click your form group and access its form Group Preferences.
  • Select the Layout tab.
  • In the Select layout template prompt, type a new layout name if you wish to create a brand new one, or select a pre-saved layout LTP file if you previously created one that you wish to use with the particular form group.
  • Click Customize Layout to set up or modify your layout file as desired. For a layout to work properly you must have a header/footer document selected. Click Save and Exit when done customizing to save your layout settings.
  • In the Form Group Preferences window, click OK to save your changes. Once the form group is re-compiled, whenever it is used to start an inspection, it would automatically load and use the special layout attached to the form preferences rather then your normal one used for other form groups.

Some may prefer to load a particular alternate layout at will before printing or creating an inspection, rather then permanently attaching it to a form group. Perhaps one might prefer one layout for spacing out a shorter report and another for compacting a longer one. If an alternate layout was previously created and saved as an LTP file, it may be loaded for an open report before printing by using the Page Setups button in the File > Page Setup window. One may also use the Customize My Actions feature to add a Report Writer- Use a layout template shortcut to the Actions pane to do likewise with a single click. Note that manually loading a layout into page setup or using an Action generally replaces the current contents of your default page setup settings with the saved layout settings for use at that point.

Note that whatever settings are loaded into Page Setup at a given time is generally applied at print or preview time.  Your default settings are usually loaded when opening the software, but alternate settings may be temporarily loaded by clicking an Action that loads a layout template, or they may load by starting or opening a particular form group that has a custom layout attached, or settings may be loaded using the Page Setups button in File > Page Setup.

The Page Setup title bar generally indicates the particular layout filename that is loaded.  Thus if a specific layout attached directly to your form group preferences for the current report, it loads THAT file and shows its filename at the top of the Page Setup window so you know what file you are editing and working with should you make and save further changes. If the title indicates PageSettings.dat is loaded, then you are actually working with your default layout settings file that applies to reports in general. Settings may be loaded into, changed, or exported out of that window to update or replace whatever filename is loaded with the new settings.

Saving on screen settings to any new name in Page Setup basically makes a "copy" of whatever current layout you have loaded to that filename.

When you finally Save and Exit the page setup window, whatever settings are currently on the screen at that time resaves or updates whatever particular filename is displayed in the title bar with those settings.

Thus if you load in a layout template or make changes, and choose Save and Exit on the main Page Setup window, be aware that you are Updating whatever filename is currently displayed there with those changes you have on screen.  To exit without updating the displayed filename further, you may Cancel out of Page Setup.

Although it usually isn't necessary for most inspectors who have perfected their basic layout, these tips may enlighten those who may wish to create alternate custom print layouts for various purposes or form groups.