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Desktop document generation (.odt, .pdf, .doc, ...) based on appy framework ( and OpenOffice/LibreOffice

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collective.documentgenerator is an elegant product allowing to easily produce office documents based on dynamic templates.

New content types are used to store the different templates:

  • style templates, that can be common for other templates
  • sub templates, that can be used in other templates
  • mailing loop templates, that can be used by other templates to do a loop for mailing
  • basic templates
  • advanced templates, regarding configuration

Templates are created within LibreOffice software.

Output formats are those that can be produced by LibreOffice:

  • odt and ods formats
  • doc, docx, xls, xlsx formats
  • pdf, csv, rtf

You can use a demo profile to easily test the product.


This product has been translated into

  • French.
  • Spanish.

You can contribute for any message missing or other new languages, join us at Plone Collective Team into service with all world Plone translators community.


Install collective.documentgenerator by adding it to your buildout:


eggs =

and then running “bin/buildout”


How to add a new POD template?

In your Plone site, you can add two sorts of main templates :

  • PODTemplate : composed of title, description and odt file to be uploaded
  • ConfigurablePODTemplate : adding configurable fields to basic template
    • output formats selection
    • portal types selection
    • style template selection
    • subtemplate selection
    • TAL expression as condition (behavior).
    • enabling flag
    • context variables list
    • mailing loop template

If you want, you can organize your templates in one or more folder.

How to write the template ?

The appy framework is used to interpret the template and render it using the context.

You can find a documentation explaining the syntax that can be used.

You can do the following things:

  • use basic python expression to access context fields or methods
  • do an if… then… else…
  • do a loop for a paragraph, a section, a table, a row, a cell
  • transform xhtml to text

Base helper methods can be used in templates and custom methods can be added.

How to generate a document?

A viewlet displays all the available PODTemplate and ConfigurablePODTemplate following the current context. Clicking the template link will call the ‘document-generation’ view.

  • Calling ‘document-generation’ view
    • render template and propose to download the generated document
    • parameters: template UID and document type
    • this is the default view used in the viewlet
  • Calling ‘persistent-document-generation’ view
    • render template and create a file with the generated document
    • parameters: template UID and document type
  • Calling ‘mailing-loop-persistent-document-generation’ view
    • loop on persisted rendered document and create a file containing all documents
    • parameters: document UID

Search and replace

Documentation about the search and replace feature is here : docs/search_replace.rst

Plone versions

It is working and tested on Plone 4.3, Plone 5.0, 5.1 and 5.2 (Python2.7).


The project is licensed under the GPLv2.


3.26 (2021-11-08)

  • Clean notes when creating/editing a PODTemplate this way the search&replace functionnality works as expected:

    • Added utils.clean_notes;
    • Clean notes is only done if odt_file changed and file is updated only if something was cleaned;
    • Moved function create_temporary_file from events.styles_events to utils.


3.25 (2021-09-23)

  • Use wrapped context of ProxyObject for __unicode__ method. Revert __repr__ to default implementation. [sdelcourt]

3.24 (2021-09-23)

  • Require beautifulsoup4<4.10 in as starting from 4.10.0, beautifulsoup4 is no more compatible with Python2. [gbastien]
  • Pass parameter html=True when calling Renderer so content is considered as html when using xhtml function in POD template, some pre-processing is applied to ensure that given content is valid xhtml. [gbastien]
  • Use wrapped context of ProxyObject for __repr__ and __str__ methods. [sdelcourt]

3.23 (2021-08-09)

  • Allow templates selection on the search result before applying the replace. [sdelcourt]

3.22 (2021-07-16)

  • Added a view to search and replace in POD templates pod expressions @@collective.documentgenerator-controlpanel. [aduchene]
  • Added an helper class SearchAndReplacePODTemplates that can search and replace in POD templates pod expressions. [aduchene]
  • Added tests on search and replace feature. [aduchene]
  • Added utility classes to search and replace pod expressions in ODT files. [sdelcourt]
  • Added a script bin/search_replace to search and replace in ODT files via CLI. [sdelcourt]
  • Added some documentation about search and replace feature. [aduchene]
  • Added portal to the default generation context. [gbastien]
  • Fix style update temporary file directory didn’t use CUSTOM_TMP. [odelaere]
  • Ensure CUSTOM_TMP directory exists before rendering a document. [odelaere]

3.21 (2021-04-20)

  • Added a view to check up every POD templates @@check-pod-templates. [odelaere]
  • Adapted the @@check-pod-templates way to find_pod_templates to take into account current context. This way, we may check pod templates on a particular folder. [gbastien]
  • Corrected domain [sgeulette]
  • Don’t check by default selection column in dg-templates-listing to avoid user error with batch buttons [sgeulette]

3.20 (2021-03-09)

  • Added CSV file support. [odelaere]
  • Reworked icons to use svg instead of png and have a more consistent set. [odelaere]
  • Add generated title parameter for PersistentDocumentGenerationView. [jjaumotte]

3.19 (2020-10-07)

  • Prevent “AttributeError” by not render actionpanel’s external edit when there is another pod template to use [fngaha]
  • Use the same default values between controlpanel schema and registry records. [odelaere]

3.18 (2020-08-18)

  • Updated file_representation to be compliant with zopeedit < 1.0 (current windows exe) and zopeedit >= 1.0. [sgeulette]
  • Fixed bug when rendering an empty RichTextATFieldRenderer. [odelaere]
  • Pass kwargs given to DocumentGenerationView.__call__, to submethods generate_and_download_doc, _generate_doc, _recursive_generate_doc then _render_document so it is possible to pass raiseOnError=False parameter to _render_document. [gbastien]

3.17 (2020-06-24)

  • In AT renderer and helper, use field accessor instead get() method to get the stored value. [gbastien]

3.16 (2020-05-25)

  • Fix RuntimeError: set changed size during iteration error in get_children_pod_template() method. [sdelcourt]

3.15 (2020-05-19)

  • Improve integration of stream parameter for Appy, this allow to explicitly set the value to False. The default value remain auto. [mpeeters]
  • Added service integration to manage the translation process. [macagua]
  • Added Spanish translation. [macagua]
  • Updated the i18n support. [macagua]

3.14 (2020-04-23)

  • Updated get_value to test if attribute exist on object. [sgeulette]
  • Added possibility to pass kwargs to DocumentGenerationView.__call__, then submethods generate_and_download_doc and _generate_doc. [gbastien]

3.13 (2020-03-04)

  • Improved dg-templates-listing. [sgeulette]

3.12 (2020-02-06)

  • Added parameter bypass_check_permission=False to method DocumentGenerationHelperView.display, when True it bypasses read permission check, this is useful when context is an object that was get unrestrictively. [gbastien]

3.11 (2019-12-03)

  • Casted dynamically variable. [sgeulette]
  • Added Plone 5.2 support [odelaere]
  • Fixed RichTextATFieldRenderer default render of empty value. [sdelcourt]

3.10 (2019-11-26)

  • Fix test test_get_file_is_unrestricted by removing permission View to every roles. [gbastien]
  • Moved the get_all_pod_templates/get_generable_templates logic outside the DocumentGeneratorLinksViewlet so it is easier to override. It is now an IGenerablePODTemplates adapter. [gbastien]

3.9 (2019-10-14)

  • context_var returns default when value is None. [sgeulette]
  • While reusing another POD template odt_file, make sure get_file will have access to the POD template holding the odt_file by getting it unrestricted. [gbastien]
  • Fixed test TestDexterityHelperViewMethods.test_display_date_method as translation format changed starting with Plone 5.1.x. [gbastien]

3.8 (2019-08-13)

  • Added custom temporary directory ‘CUSTOM_TMP’ environment variable for appy’s workspace. [odelaere]
  • Added ability to use an external server process for LibreOffice. [odelaere]
  • Make DocumentGeneratorLinksViewlet.get_links_info return also the pod_template object in addition to pod_template UID. [gbastien]

3.7 (2019-05-16)

  • Pass parameters helper_view and pod_template to DocumentGenerationView.get_base_generation_context so it is available if necessary. [gbastien]
  • Display every POD templates that implement IConfigurablePODTemplate in the collective.documentgenerator.ExistingPODTemplate vocabulary. [gbastien]
  • Moved files CHANGES.rst, README.rst and CONTRIBUTORS.rst from docs/ to root. [gbastien]

3.6 (2019-03-27)

  • Ordered generation links by position in parent. [sgeulette]

3.5 (2019-03-08)

  • Made style not mandatory. [sgeulette]
  • Added collective.fingerpointing support to know who generated which document in which format [odelaere]

3.4 (2018-12-18)

  • On a Pod template, when displaying Pod templates that are using my odt_file, display the absolute_url next to the title. [gbastien]

3.3 (2018-10-02)

  • Do not break if not allowed to remove tmp file, this is the case for example when LibreOffice user is not same as Zope instance user. [gbastien]
  • Allow to override portal types and the displayed title in the list of templates to merge. [odelaere]
  • Added generation context as parameter to mailing_list [sgeulette]
  • Avoid calling mailing_list 2 times in MailingLoopPersistentDocumentGenerationView [sgeulette]
  • Added update_oo_config function to update oo option following environment variable [sgeulette]

3.2 (2018-07-24)

  • Mailing: include context variables from original template in mailing generation context. [sgeulette]
  • pep8: sort import [sgeulette]

3.1 (2018-05-03)

  • On a POD template, added possibility to reuse the odt_file of another POD template. [anuyens, odelaere, gbastien]
  • Do not register the batchactions viewlet displayed in the IBelowContentBody viewlet using the IBatchActionsMarker but register it for a more specific interface IBelowContentBodyBatchActionsMarker. [gbastien]
  • Override batch actions viewlet available method. [sgeulette]
  • Added Column modifier management (new in appy > 0.9.11) [odelaere]

3.0.12 (2018-02-21)

  • Update renderer parameters: managePageStyles and resolveFields. [sgeulette]
  • Removed rename_page_styles field from pod template schema. [sgeulette]

3.0.11 (2018-01-17)

  • Add hook to provides all helper view to be updated with appy renderer [sdelcourt]

3.0.10 (2018-01-06)

  • Use edit_action_target in view action column. [sgeulette]
  • Do not use CSS to manage contenttype icon, we have an icon_epxr on the portal_types. [gbastien]
  • Use collective.eeafaceted.batchactions, if present. Add a selection column and a batch transition button [sgeulette]
  • Use portal type icon to display in table view. [sgeulette]

3.0.9 (2017-12-18)

  • Added rename_page_styles field and used it as renderer parameter. [sgeulette]
  • Added plone translations. [sgeulette]

3.0.8 (2017-12-11)

  • Added style template on basic Template type. [sgeulette]

3.0.7 (2017-12-04)

  • Include batch in templates listing. [sgeulette]
  • Corrected encoding error in date display [sgeulette]

3.0.6 (2017-11-28)

  • Corrected collection template [sgeulette]
  • Fix bug in styles update [sgeulette]

3.0.5 (2017-11-16)

  • Corrected actions_panel call. [sgeulette]
  • Added method get_file_binary to helper view, it returns the binary data of a file object, managing fact that object is a Dexterity or Archetypes file. [gbastien]
  • Require future>=0.14.0 to be able to use the html package. [gbastien]
  • Fixed tests to work in french (this validates translations, especially of date methods). Fixed tests to work in both Plone 4.3.x and Plone 5.x [gbastien]
  • Upgraded pip on travis. Don’t use bootstrap. Upgrade setuptools. [sgeulette]

3.0.4 (2017-11-10)

  • Manage translation of week and month in date display [sgeulette]
  • Add download column in list template [sgeulette]

3.0.3 (2017-10-30)

  • Added view to reset style_modification_md5 (so template is considered as not modified). [sgeulette]
  • Added view to list all templates [sgeulette]
  • Added field pod_template.optimize_tables that makes it possible to use global value/force enable/force disable table optimization for a single POD template [gbastien]

3.0.2 (2017-10-06)

  • Corrected soffice script for ubuntu 16.04. [sgeulette]
  • Tests now rely on imio.helpers to import testing_logger when necessary to have logging on Travis CI for example. [gbastien]
  • Corrected tests following changes in 3.0.1 [sgeulette]
  • Added display_phone method [sgeulette]

3.0.1 (2017-09-20)

  • Use pod template title as default title for persisted documents. [sdelcourt]

3.0.0 (2017-09-20)

  • Added locking behaviors on types. [sgeulette]
  • Added MailingLoopTemplate type and mailing_loop_template field on ConfigurablePODTemplate. [sgeulette]
  • Added ‘mailing-loop-persistent-document-generation’ view to manage mailing loop generation [sgeulette]
  • Added helper method to manage context [sgeulette]
  • Added helper method to check if mailed data have to be replaced during rendering [sgeulette]
  • Moved filename generation to DocumentGenerationView._get_filename method so it is easy to override and to call for specific usecases. [gbastien]
  • Moved persistent doc title generation moved to DocumentGenerationView._get_title method so it is easy to override and to call for specific usecases. [sgeulette]
  • Do not break if temporary file can not be deleted. [gbastien]

2.0.8 (2017-08-02)

  • Add default value for ‘pod_template’ and ‘output_format’ attributes of the generation view. [sdelcourt]

2.0.7 (2017-07-25)

  • Check field_name existence following parameter: do not by default and fail if not exist [sgeulette]

2.0.6 (2017-07-24)

  • Corrected migration step. [sgeulette]
  • Check z3c.form.interfaces.NO_VALUE in get_value [sgeulette]

2.0.5 (2017-07-19)

  • Added easy way to complete infos returned by DocumentGeneratorLinksViewlet.get_links_info. [gbastien]
  • Do pod_template and output_format directly available on the @@generation-view and on the @@document_generation_helper_view via self.pod_template and self.output_format. [gbastien]
  • Added migration to change portal types icons [sgeulette]

2.0.4 (2017-07-12)

  • Start and end libreoffice during test. [sgeulette]
  • Check if field_name from a behavior is present [sgeulette]

2.0.3 (2017-06-22)

  • When generating filename, remove special characters from unicoded title to avoid it being turned to ascii numbers (special character u2013 is turned to 2013 in the produced filename). [gbastien]

2.0.2 (2017-06-22)

  • Make sure we do not have - character in the filename that is cropped because it is handled weridly by cropName and cut name if - encountered. [gbastien]

2.0.1 (2017-06-21)

  • Use plone.i18n.normalizer.interfaces.IFileNameNormalizer to normalize filename because Products.CMFPlone.utils.normalizeString uses IIDNormalizer for which max_length is fixed to 50. Here max_length is fixed to 1023 so we may manage very long element title to generate filename. [gbastien]
  • Manage style_modification_md5 field to detect if the template has been modified by a user. Updated update_templates method to use it. [sgeulette]

2.0.0 (2017-06-21)

  • Make package compatible with both Plone4 and Plone5 at the same time : - Created Plone version specific profiles (plone4 and plone5); - Removed support for AT in the Plone5 version; - Adapted demo profile to work with Dexterity ( [gbastien]
  • Run every tests in ‘french’ so we are sure that translations work everywhere. [gbastien]
  • Added parameter raiseOnError_for_non_managers to be able to raise a Plone error instead generating the document where errors are included. This avoid generating a document containing errors where some data may be lost like in PDF where errors are not viewable or even in ODT when users do not understand that errors in comments are important. This will enable the raiseOnError parameter of appy.pod.renderer.Renderer. [gbastien]
  • Call styles update at pod template creation [sgeulette]
  • Raise exception when style update fails [sgeulette]
  • Corrected mimetype of demo templates. Update style only for odt. [sgeulette]

1.0.6 (2017-05-31)

  • Added do_rendering field in IMergeTemplatesRowSchema schema. If selected, the subtemplate is rendered first and the path is the value in context dict. Else the subtemplate object is the value in context dict. [sgeulette]
  • Return generation context from rendering methods to use it in tests [sgeulette]
  • Added unit testing for do_rendering feature [odelaere, sgeulette]
  • Improved validation for ConfigurablePodTemplate [odelaere]
  • Added validation to avoid generation context corruption at generation time [odelaere]
  • Manage boolean values in context variables [sgeulette]
  • Removed meta_type attribute causing error when pasting [sgeulette]
  • Do not lose filename when updating a Pod template with it’s styles template [gbastien]
  • Ease override of term title of the collective.documentgenerator.StyleTemplates vocabulary [gbastien]
  • Define a correct portal_type description for StyleTmplate so it is displayed in the folder_factories [gbastien]
  • Modified generated filename, before it was POD template title and format, now it it build using POD template title, context title and format [gbastien]

1.0.5 (2017-03-10)

  • Added parameter ‘html’ in display_html_as_text witch is mutually exclusive with ‘field_name’ to add ability to use a date field or an html formatted string with display_html_as_text. [odelaere]
  • Added parameter ‘text’ in display_text_as_html witch is mutually exclusive with ‘field_name’ to add ability to use a date field or a string with display_text_as_html. [odelaere]
  • Added parameter ‘date’ in display_date witch is mutually exclusive with ‘field_name’ to add ability to use a date field or a date object with display_date. [odelaere]
  • Added parameter optimize_tables to be able to use the optimalColumnWidths functionnality of appy.pod. [gbastien]

1.0.4 (2017-02-14)

  • Update styles templates only with force param. [sgeulette]
  • Make sure current_md5 is stored as unicode or it fails to validate when manually validating stored data. [gbastien]

1.0.3 (2017-02-10)

  • Added utils method to update templates. [sgeulette]

1.0.2 (2017-02-07)

  • Fix widget for fields IConfigurablePODTemplate.pod_formats and IConfigurablePODTemplate.pod_portal_types to avoid override by another package like it is the case when using collective.z3cform.select2. Use CheckBoxWidget for IConfigurablePODTemplate.pod_portal_types to ease selection when displaying several elements. [gbastien]
  • Set appy renderer on view element stored in generation context. Useful when view has been overrided in generation context getter. [sgeulette]

1.0.1 (2017-01-13)

  • Removed useless parameter in getDGHV method. [sgeulette]

1.0.0 (2017-01-12)

  • Raise NotImplementedError in not implemented methods. [sgeulette]
  • Rename display_html by render_xhtml and display_text by display_text_as_html. [sgeulette]
  • Add display_html_as_text [sgeulette]
  • Add get_state [sgeulette]
  • Add context_var method to safely get an optional context variable [sgeulette]

0.14 (2016-12-19)

  • Use correct name for entry to documentgenerator configuration in the control panel. [gbastien]
  • Added formats .doc and .docx to the demo template test_template_multiple. [gbastien]
  • Set default value for oo_port and uno_path from environment variable [sgeulette]

0.13 (2016-12-09)

  • Validate path to python by importing unohelper instead importing uno because uno could have been installed using pip install uno but is not sufficient to generate the document. [gbastien]
  • Added .docx format in which it is possible to generate template. [gbastien]
  • Set oo_port from environment variable at install [sgeulette]

0.12 (2016-12-07)

  • Pass every parameters to DocumentGenerationHelperView.translate that zope.i18n.translate manages. [gbastien]
  • Made context variable value not required [sgeulette]

0.11 (2016-11-22)

  • Replaced unrestrictedTraverse by getMultiAdapter. [sgeulette]
  • Added context variables field on configurablepodtemplate, and validator. Added those variables in generation context. [sgeulette]
  • Moved fr setting from default profile to testing [sgeulette]

0.10 (2016-10-05)

  • Use forceOoCall in renderer to call libreoffice to render b.e. table of contents in odt [sgeulette]
  • Changed viewlet podtemplate search. Defined template in zcml. [sgeulette]
  • Add content icons [sgeulette]
  • Manage correctly and datetime.datetime [sgeulette]
  • Add display_widget method [sgeulette]
  • Rename display_text to display_html (for rich text fields) [sgeulette]
  • Add display_text for text fields to render intelligent html [sgeulette]
  • Add method to get attribute value [sgeulette]
  • Add method to get helper view on another object [sgeulette]
  • Remove context parameter from helper methods to avoid changing context [sgeulette]
  • Get generation view name from a method. [sgeulette]
  • Use RadioFieldWidget for Bool field ‘enabled’ so it is displayed on the pod_template view when it is False. [gbastien]

0.9 (2016-06-22)

  • Handle case of rendering value of single selection widget. [sdelcourt]

0.8 (2016-06-03)

  • In DocumentGenerationView._render_document, pass portal as imageResolver to appy.pod.renderer.Renderer so private images can be accessed by LibreOffice in XHTML fields. [gbastien]

0.7 (2016-03-22)

  • Pass **kwargs to DocumentGenerationView._render_document so it is possible to pass arbitrary parameters to appy.pod.renderer.Renderer that is called in _render_document and to which we also pass the **kwargs. This way, it is possible for example to turn Renderer.raiseOnError to True. [gbastien]
  • Added meta_type for content_types PODTemplate, ConfigurablePODTemplate, SubTemplate and StyleTemplate, this way it can be used to filter out objectValues/objectIds. [gbastien]
  • Added a validator on the configurablePODTemplates which check if the chosen generations formats are corrects with the kind of file provided. [boulch, DieKatze]

0.6 (2016-01-21)

  • CSS fix, display POD templates in the viewlet using display: inline-block; instead of display: inline; so attached tags may be aligned on it. [gbastien]
  • Added ‘description’ to the list of available data to display in the generationlinks viewlet. The POD template description is now displayed when hovering the POD template title. [gbastien]

0.5 (2015-12-02)

  • Added ConfigurablePODTemplateCondition._extra_expr_ctx method so it is easy to extend the context of the ITALCondition expression without overriding the evaluate method. [gbastien]

0.4 (2015-12-02)

  • Make sure to not query a None to ensure compatibility with ZCatalog 3. [gbastien]
  • Take into account the oo_port paramater defined in the registry. [gbastien]

0.3 (2015-09-30)

  • Extend the base helper view to do @@plone, @@plone_portal_state view available and added a method ‘translate’ to be able to translate a msgid in a given domain. [gbastien]
  • Refactored the DocumentGenerationHelperView.display_date method to use toLocalizedDate and adapted AT and DX implementations. [gbastien]
  • Refactor the generation view to pass the arguments pod_template and output_format directly to the view call or its methods. [gbastien, sdelcourt]

0.2 (2015-09-22)

  • Renamed field pod_portal_type to pod_portal_types as this field is a multiselection field. [gbastien]
  • Renamed doc_uid parameter used by the document-generation view to template_uid, more obvious, and makes it available in the viewlet link infos dict. [gbastien]
  • Added field IConfigurablePODTemplate.pod_formats to be able to select the format we want to generate the POD template in. [gbastien]
  • When evaluating the tal_condition on the template, pass extra_expr_ctx to the TAL expression so context and here become the element on which the TAL expression is actually evaluated instead of the pod_template and template is the pod_template [gbastien]

0.1 (2015-07-17)

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