Formatting Plain Text


The Format as Text tool is dragged onto the task planner. The step can be given a recognisable name. Typically the step will consume a recordset. This might be information pulled back from another system by a database query.


The output of the format as text tool is one or more documents. There are three document generation options that determine how the recordset input is processed.

One document – All the rows of data from the recordset are included in a single output document.

New document when column changes – Multiple recordset rows are included in a document.A new document is started when a change in the contents of a column are detected.For example, below, if the column selected in the recordset is Company Name, each time a change of company name is detected a new document is started.

Company NameInvoice NoTotal
Acme LtdAB000456£1047.53Document
Acme LtdAB000687£2489.87
Growers LtdAB000211£2678.99Document
Growers LtdAB000535£2318.65
Growers LtdAB000737£3288.88

In order for the document grouping to work in this way the recordset must be sorted by the column selected to create a new document. This sorting occurs before this step typically in a database query.

New document for each row – For each row in the recordset a new document is created.

The layout of the document is created by manually entering text and dragging and dropping columns, properties and variables from the browser into the header, detail and footer of the document.


To read about tasks which make use of this tool see

Building a scheduled plain text email alert

You can also read about

Creating a tab separated file in TaskCentre