Allow for PDFs to show Loops nested in Loops

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11 comments

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    Sara Kaplow, Community Manager

    From Sarah Brewer: 

    "Loops with more than one screen are not yet supported in the PDF Designer" - is this being worked on? Or is there a work around? It is frustrating my PDF is multiple pages long, and is not attractive. Glad it is for internal use only, and does not go out to our customers.

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    Sara Kaplow, Community Manager

    From JB Haller: 

    I would like to be able to use the PDF designer for apps with advanced loops.

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    Emily Martinez

    I am also interested in this function - I have separate checklists for 5 different TYPES of equipment, so it is a loop contingent on the user choosing the equipment type. But I want the checklist they use to print on the work order.

    thanks, Emily

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    Tara Rodgers

    We also would like to loops within loops be supported with PDF designer. 

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    Pierre Pienaar

    We also have that same issue hopefully our cries will be heard.

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    Kevin Pullen

    Very frustrating that your example of how to create a loop within a loop fails to mention that you cannot produce a PDF output in either Standard or Designer but that in one's app it tells you to switch to Standard which, of course, still does not work! What was the point of providing that example??

    Now that I am more familiar with the app, it appears that there are many requests for "improvements" but nothing seems to happen, even after two+ years.  Can you provide an indication of just exactly what improvements you are working on and when we can expect them please?

    Also, this forum appears the only way to try and raise questions as direct emails remain unanswered. Am I missing something here?

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    Chip Phillips, Community Manager

    Howdy Kevin,

    Thank you for this feedback! We understand that not being able to use Advanced Loops within the Designer PDF is a point of frustration.

    We don't have a roadmap that we can share, as the features being actively considered fluctuate with user feedback and needs.

    However, I can assure you that items from the Community and other feedback get reviewed on a regular basis (we're actually coming up on our roadmap planning in a few weeks).

    Being able to use Advanced Loops in the Designer PDF is not directly on the roadmap at this time, but we do recognize the challenges that this feature would solve and it is being actively considered by our Development teams.

    You mentioned that your direct emails have been unanswered. For technical questions, we would recommend submitting a ticket through our Help Center. Our Support team is happy to help out with any troubleshooting needs you may have!

    The Support team can also be reached via phone, at 703-436-8069 ext. 3, from 8am to 8pm EST.

    If you have already reached out to Support using the ticketing system, but have not received a reply, could you please provide me with the ticket number from your inquiry? I would be happy to follow up with them directly on your active ticket.

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    Kevin Pullen

    Thank you for your comments Chip.

    The loop within a loop deficiencies and the limitations of seemingly not being able to enter a conditional screen based on a field within a looped screen, or use a field mirrored from a looped screen, etc, along with other noted "problems" with a grid screen, seem to be a priority for a number of your users but which, after 2 years or so, they are not on the "road map".  Granted, you cannot address every user's needs but you cannot even advise users of likely improvements in the near future?  Extremely frustrating.  A potentially great app somewhat let down by significant deficiencies which, apparently, are unlikely to be addressed any time soon.

    I am trying all sorts of tactics to try and get around these deficiencies but without much success to date - the end result is a clumsy user interface.

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    Sara Kaplow, Community Manager

    Hi Kevin,

    I understand the frustration here.

    With the mirroring and conditions out of a loop screen, those are requests that are really difficult both from a technical but also sort of a logical standpoint. Because loops aren't fixed - that is, the system doesn't know how many rows you're going to have, nor what (in most cases, unless you're using pre-populated grid) what is going to appear in that loop, it's really tricky to figure out how you'd do anything based on a field within the loop. Should the condition or mirror happen for the first row or the last? And sometimes the last row might be the 4th row, and sometimes the 44th. That's the complexity specifically with that functionality.

    On this specific issue (advanced loops in the builder), doing that requires us to do some boring (but significant) platform upgrades to the PDF Designer. I know it's something the team wants to do, but there are other things currently taking priority (some of which are features that people have been waiting on for a while). 

    Overall, we're hesitant to say definitively what is or isn't on the roadmap publicly, because it changes. We review requests (both internal and external) on a quarterly basis, which leads to re-prioritization. There's also a lot of work that has to happen just to keep things running. It's not exciting, but things like platform updates, the new billing system that's in progress, and security maintenance are crucial. We've spent a lot of this year on those things, and that has meant less feature-y stuff. 

    Hope that gives a little bit of insight into the process. Again, I know it's frustrating and I will continue to pass along your thoughts to the Product Team. 

     

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    Mike Goodman

    Once again I am limited on what I can do in Canvas because I can't use nested loops in the PDF designer.  This is a must have.  I need to collect all of the subcontractors on the job and each of their employees and nested loops would make this very easy.  Now we have to use a single loop and re-enter the company info again for each of their employees.  

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    Chip Phillips, Community Manager

    Howdy Mike,

    Thank you for taking the time to share this use case. Our Product Managers are in the early stages of planning for a complete overhaul of the PDF Designer. Detailed feedback helps us surface the hurdles that users encounter and emphasize what updates would be most helpful.

    Do you typically work with the same subcontractors across multiple jobs? If so, a potential way to streamline would be to use reference data with the company information for each subcontractor. That way, you could pick from a list of subcontractors and auto-populate the different pieces of company information from the CSV file.

     

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