Creating Letterheads


Location... Setup menu > Stationery Format > ....

The stationery format screens are used to:-
  • create new letterheads for documents and other purposes
  • edit (change) the content and layout of letterheads
  • set the reserved space for the letterhead
  • set the left off-set mainly for letters.
  • set the default font for documents

    Skip to the description of the screen elements

    Letterhead Overview
    When discussing letterheads the word "document" has a slightly looser definition than used elsewhere in the other correspondence topics.  Here it is used to mean letters, emails, and SMS messages only, while faxes, elsewhere embraced by the word document, have a letterhead of their own.

    The Aspect Property Manager has the ability to personalise the letterhead appearing on documents, landlord statements, supplier statements, remittance advices and tenant debt invoices, each of which can be different.  The system is installed with a series of  text only letterheads stored in the database and also the ...\PropMan\Images directory.  These may be changed to suit your own tastes.  Alternatively you may also use pre-printed letterhead, a professionally created letterhead graphic, or create your own graphic letterhead to include your company logo or even a picture of yourself.

    Setting up a text only letterhead is simple.  Determine the layout, wording and fonts you want the use fixed text and the standard merge codes where required.  Edit the appropriate default letterhead in the database then save the result.  Alternatively you could edit the rtf files in the ...\PropMan\Images directory with Word or Wordpad then load them into the database.  Note that "text" letterheads must be saved as rft files prior to loading into the database.

    If you wish to use a letterhead containing text and graphic images or a letterhead produced by a commercial printing house that must be loaded into the database.  You may be able to use your commercially printed letterhead by scanning a piece of letterhead paper, cropping the image to keep only the letterhead itself and saving the result.  This must be saved as or converted to a bmp file.  The latter method will only give a good result if your scanner and image processing software is of sufficient quality.  You may even have the original commercial letterhead artwork in a file which can be used.

    Please note that print margin (top, bottom, left and right) variations exist between printers, even different models of the same brand, which can result in the placement of the letterhead and body on the page printing in different positions depending upon which printer is used.  As an example one model of a Lexmark printer can print right to the edges of an A4 page.  A different brand may restrict printing so there is a 10mm margin on all sides.  The result being the letterhead may be perfect on "Brand A" and be not so good on "Brand B" printer or even different "Brand A" printers.  The letterhead template being used may need modifying to suit your particular printer(s) or a compromise made so the letterhead prints satisfactorily on a variety of printers.

    Note also that when you have space "reserved" for a letterhead, whether pre-printed or having the Aspect Property Manager print the letterhead, it applies to the first page only and subsequent pages will print from the top of the printable area for the particular printer selected.

    If you want to print on paper with a pre-printed letterhead you should set up the relevant Stationery Format(s) with no content but with the Header Depth value set to where the printing is to start.  There is no facility to switch between sometimes printing on pre-printed letterhead and at other times having the system print the letterhead other than reloading the stationery format each time.

    Setting the Default Letterheads
    A default letterhead must be nominated for each of the different letterhead selections available, one each for documents, faxes, landlord statements, supplier statements, remittance advices and tenant debt invoices.  Each letterhead type is stored in the database in its finished form which may be edited and saved again.  To load a completely new letterhead create and save it on the disk as an rtf (or bmp) file then browse to it from the appropriate Setup menu > Stationery Format selection and then save it.  If the five letterheads are to use the same layout the same file must be loaded five times.  If you want a different letterhead for all five selections then five separate letterheads must exist.

    When editing an existing letterhead the database file is in effect changed inside the database.  Where the same change is to be made to multiple letterheads the change must be made multiple times.  If each letterhead is identical use copy and paste.

    The sample letterheads supplied with the demonstration version are all replaced by the Setup menu > Getting Started > CleanUp program (except for the fax default) with the Letter default letterhead.

    This topic covers the Letter Default letterhead only.  Working with the other four default letterheads is the same in all except for two functions which are only available for letters and faxes.

    Creating and Modifying Text Letterheads
    Undoubtedly the simplest way to create any new letterhead is to modify an existing one.  You can of course start from a rtf file stored in the disk "outside the database" and load that into the database and subsequent editing would, unless you browse back to the disk file, modifies the database version.

    A "graphic" .bmp letterheads must be created and changed outside the database and the finished version loaded into the database overwriting the existing letterhead.  It must also be sized to fit on an A4 page in its natural size.  The Aspect Property Manager will not scale the image on the fly.

    This section deals with changing the text Letter Default letterhead you would have in the database after the Cleanup has been run.  You should be able to adapt the procedure for creating new or modifying the other letterheads.
  • Go to Setup menu > Stationery Format > Letters
      4 This will display the currently assigned (text) letter letterhead from the database.
      4 The letterhead shown consists of "fixed" text and merge codes which will be replaced by data from the company records.
      4 Click [Preview] to see the resulting letterhead.
  • To make changes:-
      4 click [Edit]
    Click on different words and observe the status bar at the bottom of the window
      4 make any changes required
    You may use different fonts, sizes and colours, left,centre and right justification.
      4 click [Preview] to see what the result looks like or print it to paper if required
      4 click [OK] only when you have the result you want
    This saves the new letterhead replacing the original letterhead
      4 Click the Body Font button (present on Letters and Faxes only) to select the font to be used in the body of any new standard or one-off document.

    Using preprinted letterhead
    When preprinted letterhead paper is being used create a new text letterhead as above which has no content.  The only settings you will need to adjust are Header Depth and possibly the Left Offset.

    Using a graphic letterhead
    As briefly covered in the overview, images or graphics can be used for letterhead providing they are stored as a bitmap (bmp) file.  The same procedures are used as covered in the "Modifying or Creating Text Letterheads" section above to select the file and saving it.

    It is recommended you keep your letterhead bmp file(s) in the ...\PropMan\Images directory.

    To load a bmp image initially it must replace the default rtf image by first selecting the database image then browsing for the bitmap image as follows:-
      4 Go to Setup menu > Stationery Format > Letters
      4 click [Edit] > [Browse] and locate the bmp file wanted.  You may need to change the Type of File to display the bmp files.
      4 click [Open]
      4 click [Preview] and display the bitmap letterhead to ensure it is the one you want
      4 adjust the Header Depth and left Offset as required to display the full depth of the letterhead
      4 When you are satisfied click [OK] which will save the bmp image overwriting the unwanted rtf text image.

    Editing a bmp image must be done outside the Aspect Property Manager using graphics software then loaded into the database replacing the old letterhead as covered above.  Because scaling bmp images often results in a poor end result it is best if your graphic is originally sized so it fits on an A4 page without any scaling being necessary.  

    Description of the Format screens

    Location... Setup menu > Stationery Format > ....

    There are five different letterhead selections available from the menu, one each for letters, faxes, landlord statements, supplier statements and remittance advices.  The letter and fax formats have facilities the others don't.  The letter format is the only one covered in this section.  The other screens function the same way and the missing facilities are obvious.

    Image File
  • This is the path and file name of the letterhead shown in the Letterhead Body when [Browse] is used to locate a new letterhead file.
  • It will be blank after [OK] is clicked and the file has been saved

    Browse button
    Only active in edit mode
  • Used to locate a new letterhead to be used if the version stored in the database is to be replaced.

    Header Depth
  • The number entered here reserves space at the top of the first page for the letterhead and is effectively the start of the document content.
  • The number is a "pixel" value but, as stated above, print margins vary between brands and even models within the same brand.  As a result you may need to adjust this number to suit your particular printer and letterhead depth.
  • Changes to the letterhead may require the Header Depth to be adjusted.
  • If you find the bottom part of a letterhead is not printing try doubling this value to see if the missing portion prints then reduce it until the reserved space is as you want it.
  • If you are using pre printed letterhead adjust this value so the text of the document is positioned correctly.

    Letterhead Body
  • This is letterhead which will print.
  • If you are using the demonstration style text default letterhead, it will contain merge codes and text and the Image File will be an rtf file.
  • If you are using graphics for your letterhead the Image File will be a bmp file.  Changes to the letterhead graphics must be done using image processing software such as Paint, Imagemaker and hoards of other programs.
  • The changes you can make on this screen when using bmp letterheads are:-
      4 Header Depth
      4 Body Font - letters and faxes only
      4 Left Offset - letters and faxes only

    Status bar / Font Style bar
  • On an rtf letterhead the font name, style and size assigned to the cursor location is displayed.
  • If a block of text is selected the information is for the last character highlighted by the cursor movement
  • A count is shown of the characters in the body.  The Enter key is two characters - CRLF.

    OK / Edit button
  • This button is a toggle and will display [Edit] in display mode and [OK] in edit mode.
  • In Edit mode clicking [OK] will save the displayed letterhead after which the button will show [Edit].

    Preview button
  • The button may be used in both display and edit mode
  • The normal Print display screens will show the letterhead as it will appear on the document.

    Font Selection button
  • Present on Letter and Fax formats only
  • This button allows the selection of the font that will be used when creating any new standard document or creating a one-off letter, email or fax
  • The button is only active after [Edit] is pressed

    Left Offset
  • Present on Letter and Fax formats only
  • The entry here offsets the letterhead and the body text to the right
  • The number is a "pixel" value but, as stated above, print margins vary between brands and even models within the same brand.  As a result you may need to adjust this number to suit your particular printer and sidebar width.
  • Permits the use of left sidebar letterhead.

    Close / Cancel button
    This button is a toggle and will display [Close] in display mode and [Cancel] in edit mode.
    Clicking [Cancel] discards all changes made since the letterhead was last saved.

    Related Topics
    Word Processing Features