Custom formats overview

Alerts and notices

Practice CS comes with default formats for invoices, statements, and reports that may suit your firm’s needs. However, you can also create your own custom formats tailored specifically to your firm. You have broad control over the information included on custom formats, as well as their layout and appearance.

To create a new custom format, first open the Custom Formats setup screen by choosing Setup > Custom Formats.


  • You may want to restrict access to the Custom Formats setup screen. To do so, choose Setup > Security Groups and adjust security privileges for the Setup Menu > Custom Formats command as necessary. (The Setup > Security Groups menu command is not available unless you have enabled firm security by marking the Enable Firm Security checkbox on the Preferences tab of the Firm setup screen.) You can also control access specifically for invoices, statements, reports, or labels & letters.
  • If a security group does not have privileges to print invoices & statements, reports, and/or labels & letters, members of that group are also restricted from creating and modifying custom formats for those items. For example, you can use File menu security settings to grant access only to specific reports.
  • Additional information about customizing formats can be found in the Practice CS Custom Formatting WalkThrough.

Getting started

Use the information below to get started with building your own custom formats.

Adding a new format

For information on adding custom formats, see Creating custom formats.

Note: You can also right-click a standard format and choose Edit from the context menu. If you choose to modify a standard format, you can revert to its default settings later by right-clicking it and choosing Restore Default from the context menu.

Using the format wizards

After you create a new format, the next steps are typically performed in the Format Wizard. If the Format Wizard does not open automatically, click the Format Wizard Format Wizard button button on the toolbar.

The actions performed in the Format Wizard depend on the type of custom format you are working on.

Using the designer screen

After completing the Format Wizard, you can use the designer screen to make further changes to the layout of the custom invoice, statement, report, label, or letter you are working on. For details on using this screen, see Modifying custom formats.

Security settings

If your firm uses the security features of Practice CS to establish security groups with different levels of access to application features, you can grant or deny access to the Custom Formats setup screen by security group. You can also control access by type of report (e.g., invoices, statements, reports, labels & letters), or by individual report.

  1. To view or modify security settings, choose Setup > Security Groups.
  2. Expand the Setup Menu group and scroll down to Custom Formats.
  3. Mark checkboxes for the items you want members of this security group to have access to. Clear checkboxes for the items you want to restrict for this security group.


  • You must have security privileges for the Security Groups setup screen to be able to change security settings.
  • Though you can grant access to Reports in the Custom Formats screen, the reports that appear on that screen for members of the security group are determined by security settings for the Print Reports screen. For example, if a security group is granted access to reports in the Custom Formats screen security settings, but is only permitted access to three individual reports in the security settings for the Print Reports screen, then that group will only be able to modify those three report formats.

Related topics

Creating custom formats

Modifying custom formats

Custom letters overview