Importing a custom format from the Practice CS Library

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The Library provides custom formats that you can import into your Practice CS database to expand the capabilities of Practice CS, and in many instances, reduce the effort you would expend in producing custom formats yourself. Most of the custom formats are a result of multiple users’ requests for changes or additional features associated with reports, invoices, statements, labels, and letters. In response to such requests, custom formats were added to the library so they could be made available to all users. The types of formats available in the Library include:

  • Reports — You can create custom versions of standard reports in the Custom Formatting screen. However, before customizing the report yourself, check the Library to see if a customized version of the report, or something close, has already been created and is available for import. The reports are organized in the library by type, using the same categories found on the Print Reports screen, and presented in alphabetical order.


    • A number of the reports in the Practice CS Library are similar, if not identical, to reports that were available in Creative Solutions Practice.
    • The custom reports include reports that are similar to those available in some competitor products such as ProSystem fx Practice Management. These reports are found in the Competitor Reports section at the bottom of the page.
    • If you do not find a report in the library that satisfies your needs, we offer a custom formatting service that may be able to generate the report you are looking for. For more information, click the Show More Two blue down arrows button next to Custom Formatting Service near the top of the page.
  • Invoices — The Invoices and Invoices (Default) sections include various invoice formats that might be closer to how you would like your invoice to look than the default invoice format provided with the application. The Invoices (Default) section includes the formats found in the Sample database plus variations. The Invoices section include formats that utilize numerous graphics, which gives the invoices a more structured appearance. You might find that none of the invoice formats available meet your exact needs, but that one is close. You can import that format and further customize it in the Custom Formatting screen to get exactly what you need.
  • Statements — As with invoices, the Statements section includes statement formats that might be closer what you want than the default statement formats. You might find that none of the statement formats meet your exact needs, but that one is close enough that you can import the format and further customize it in the Custom Formatting screen.
  • Letters — Examples of letters that can be used as is, or imported and modified further in the Custom Formatter.
  • Labels — Label formats that can be used to expand the set of available labels. The custom labels also include DYMO labels and envelope layouts.

To import a format from the Library, follow these steps.

  1. Open the Practice CS Library portlet on any dashboard.

    Note: If you do not currently have access to the library, you can add it by following the instructions in Selecting portlets for a dashboard.

  2. Click the Custom Formats link.
  3. Scroll through the list of reports to find ones that appear to match what you are looking for.
  4. Hover your mouse pointer over the format title to see a brief description of the format.
  5. To view a preview of the format, click its title. A preview of the report opens in Adobe Reader.

    Note: Format previews are static snapshots of the format using Sample data. They do not reflect how the format will look using your own data.

  6. If there is a note Note icon for the format in the Notes column, there is special information for using the format. Click the icon to read the special information.
  7. When you find a format you want to import into your database, click the Import icon Green down arrow for that row. Once imported, the format becomes part of your database. You can use the format as you would any format that already exists in your database.
    • Imported report formats will appear in the Print Reports screen.
    • Imported invoice formats can be used anywhere an invoice format can be selected, including the Billing screen and the Clients setup screen.
    • Imported statement formats can be used anywhere a statement format can be selected, including the Print Invoices and Statements screen and the Clients setup screen.
    • Imported labels and Letters can be used in the Print Labels and Letters screen.


  • After importing a report format, the format is added to the list of reports in all security groups and is unchecked by default. This means that, initially, only staff in the Administrator group will have access to it. To provide access to other staff:
    1. Choose Setup > Security Groups.
    2. Select a security group for which you want to add access to the report format.
    3. Click Edit.
    4. Expand the security tree to Practice CS > Menu > File Menu > Print Reports.
    5. Expand the group containing the new report format and mark the checkbox for that format.
    6. Click Enter to save the change.
    7. Repeat the steps above for each security group for which you want to add access to the report.
  • The content of the Library comes from several sources, including development, technical support, consulting, and other users. You can determine the source of the format by the icon that appears in the Source column.

    Person with light blue shirt Format was contributed by our development team.

    Person with dark blue shirt Format was contributed by our technical support team.

    Person with grey shirt Format was contributed by our consulting team.

    Person with red shirt Format was contributed by another user of the application.

    If you develop a custom format that you believe would be of interest to other users of Practice CS, you can submit it to the library for other users to use.

    Click the Show More Two blue down arrows button next to the Contribute to the User Community link and follow the instructions.

  • The date that the format was added or last updated is shown in the Updated column. We recommend that you periodically check for new additions that might be useful to you, or for updates to formats you already imported and are using. You can sort the list by clicking the header of a column. Click twice to sort in descending order, which will bring the newest items to the top of the list.

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