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Six Considerations for Creating NetSuite Advanced PDF Templates

By Citrin Cooperman Digital Services Practice .

NetSuite Advanced PDF Templates are a great way to turn out-of-the-box invoices or checks into a custom designed document tailored to your business. Without any knowledge of HTML and FreeMarker the process of figuring out how to discover a field name or see if an area of the template is working properly can be quite challenging.

Six considerations to help manage NetSuite Advanced PDF Templates efficiently include:

  1. Save NetSuite Advanced PDF Templates continuously

    The greatest piece of information is to save a copy of everything offline. Any time a significant change is made, copy the HTML and paste it into a Microsoft Word document. If eventually there is a situation where the HTML has a flaw and cannot render a PDF, at least there will be a backup of the last known working version of that document.
  2. Offline HTML editor

    The error messages generated from NetSuite can be difficult to understand at times. Having an HTML editor that can locate broken code can an enormous help. There are many programs out there with free versions.
  3. User interface versus source code for NetSuite Advanced PDF Templates

    NetSuite’s user interface can be great for quick changes, such as a font size or logo size, but professionals recommend using the source code for anything else. Occasionally, the user interface will insert spaces that break the code and prevent the PDF editor from rendering. It is always best to use the source code, but that can be difficult to manage for users that are new to HTML.

    User interface

    Source code
  4. Logos

    Logo sizing might need to vary per document. On occasion, it may need to be larger on an invoice but smaller on a purchase order. Selecting the standard sizing through the company setting will not help in this situation. By double-clicking on the logo in the user interface, the pixel/size settings can be pulled up and reset. Another option is to edit the logo through the image size in the source code in the header of the document.

    User interface

    Source code
  5. Field identification and the Schema Browser

    Finding the internal name for a field can be difficult in NetSuite. Its function does not necessarily dictate how NetSuite names it internally. The customer on one form could be the entity on another, making it difficult to look for the right field name. For custom fields, they will be sourced as follows: ${record.custbody_field_internal_id}. Therefore, if you create a custom note field with the name “Notes,” the internal id might be custbody_notes.


    To bring this field into an advanced PDF template, it would look like ${record.custbody_Notes}.


    If it is an out-of-the-box field, the formatting is as follows: ${record.internal_id}. An example of this is a billing phone number. If you want to reference a billing phone number on a purchase order, it would look like ${record.billphone}.


    If this does not work, the field might have to be referenced in the Schema Browser records section. Look up the document you are working on to locate the proper name for that particular use.

  6. Testing NetSuite Advanced PDF Templates

    Testing can be difficult at times. The preview feature of the advanced PDF template will bring in text, but that might not be the type of information needed to review formatting of a particular field.


    In this case, a test document where all fields are filled out can be created.


    This way, when the advanced PDF template is saved and the test document is generated, real time result can be seen.


In conclusion, all changes can be undone. Each custom document is a copy of the original NetSuite version. With just a few clicks, the standard version can be put back in place. HTML is not something that can be learned overnight — this journey takes time.

NetSuite support provided by Citrin Cooperman

Citrin Cooperman’s Digital Services Practice can help ensure that your business is getting the most out of its NetSuite investment. To learn more about how our team can help you build NetSuite Advanced PDF Templates and maximize the benefits that this software has to offer, reach out to your Citrin Cooperman advisor or

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