Template Roles and Why You Need Them
By: Valeria Vasilevskaya
Many clients start creating their templates by jumping in and adding in their content first. While this isn’t the worst idea by any means, we’re here to make your PandaDoc journey easier - and we recommend setting up your Template Roles first, here’s why:
Template Roles are important because they populate your variables with correct information and it’s how to tell the system who is responsible for signing.
So what are template roles exactly?
Template Roles are placeholders for your future document recipients and they are only visible to your PandaDoc team. You’ll be able to find them in the upper righthand corner of the editor, right next to where you create your document.
The number of Template Roles should correspond to the number of future document recipients, meaning you can have more than one or two (e.g. Sender, Client, Third Party, etc.).
Once your content looks great and template settings are adjusted, you can hit “Create Document” and simply assign an email address or contact to a corresponding Template Role.
Regardless of whether you’re creating PandaDoc documents from the application itself or your CRM system, you’ll be definitely using PandaDoc Role Variables to populate contact-related information. Once you’ve added Template Roles, Role Variables will be automatically generated by the system for you to use.
You can insert Role Variables into the body of your Templates by typing a left square bracket ( [ ) and the variable list will appear for you to select your desired variable.
By adding your Template Roles prior to adding content you’ll ensure that Role Variables will be absolutely identical throughout a template. If they’re identical, you’ll populate the value only once (if done manually) or make it happen automatically (through a CRM). If they’re different (e.g. [Clientfirstname] and [Client.FirstName]), you’d need to populate a value into every single variable on your template. This would kind of defy the purpose of variables as a whole, so we recommend being vigilant with them.
The speed of your document generation will skyrocket if you have your template fields assigned to Template Roles before document creation, especially if you have dozens of fields to be filled out by different people. By doing so you’ll tell the system who is responsible for signing in advance, and it’s only a one-time setup. Simply click on a field to assign and let PandaDoc do the tedious work.
Once you’ve hit “Create Document”, assigned an email or contact to a corresponding Template Role and hit “Start editing”, a draft document will be generated with all of your fields automatically assigned to necessary contacts. Voila!
It’s hard to underestimate the benefits of our templates, which, if used wisely, can save you so much time and effort!
How do you use template roles to save time?
You can delete roles from within a Template, click on 'Manage' near the top right of the screen, click on the role, and then select 'Delete'
Roles variables are already pre-set and tied to the Contact card found in contacts, so there is no way to add additional variables that will actually automatically populate (unless you are using a CRM). But you can just create roles any time by typing a left bracket and then the word/phrase followed by a right bracket. For example: [Client.ShoeSize] - more on custom variables can be found here.
Hi my template has roles for client 1 and client 2 and then another role for me as provider. I push data to panda doc from our crm but not all my agreements has 2 clients. Sometimes I only have 1 client. What happens to Client 2 if it’s left unfilled from the Crm? Will I get an error, or panda doc just disregard it?
Thanks for reaching out via the Forums!
If you have fields assigned to the Client 2 role, then you would have to assign a recipient to those fields before sending the document. If you don't have a recipient for the Client 2 role, then you can remove them from the document and send it.
If you have variables that are assigned to that Client 2 role that are not being used, then you can choose 'Replace unfilled variables with blanks' upon sending or delete them before sending.
Thank you for choosing PandaDoc!
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