In the previous article we spoke about what Variables in Invent are and the different types of variables you can create. In this article we will walk through how to create a Text Variable and then later how you can then use it to power your product personalisation.
Creating a Text Variable
To start adding variables you simple need to navigate to the Variables tab in the Invent plugin panel and the click the 'Add Variable' button.
The first thing you will be asked is what type of variable you would like to create. You can see the list of variables types available to you here but in this example we are going to create a Text Variable because we want to create a form that will ask the user for some text.
So I select 'Text Variable' from the above screen and similar to the Resource Sets I am presented with a form to populate the name, and some additional options. The concept, again, is similar for all Variable types but the information requested varies slightly.
So like all variable types, I am asked to provide a name for the Variable, along with Label and Help text that will appear on the form when the variable is used.
For the Text Variable I also get the option to select if it should be a Single Line, Multi Line or Rich Text 'Mode'. Depending on what you select here it will change the form control that is used in the form. Single Line will show a single text box, Multi Line will show a text area input and then a Rich Text will show a text area input but with some font editing controls like colour, font and size that can be applied to the text you input in that form element.
For Single Line and Multi Line we also provide some Validation options so that you can control, to a degree, what type of text you are expecting the user to input here. A good example of this is if you are creating a variable to accept an email address you can select our preset email Regex that will ensure the user inputs a valid email address format.
Once happy with your variable, click Save.
Now, like with the Resources you will see your created Variable in a list underneath the Variables tab. From here you can edit or delete any existing variables.
Creating a Variable from a Text or Image Frame
An alternative to creating all your Variables upfront, via the method above, you can also create them from your Text and Image frames.
Select one of your Text Frames, for example, and then enable it underneath the Properties tab (as shown here). Then click on the button 'Link to a new variable'
This will take you to the same Variable Type selection popup where you can choose which Variable you want to create and then on to the editing page. If you are creating a Text Variable in this way then if your Text Frame contained some default text in it then this will be carried over as the default value in the Variable too. Also, once you save that Variable it will already be assigned to the Text Frame ready for it to be used. We go into this in a bit more detail in the next article.
>>> Now you have created some Variables, check out our next article on how to apply your Variables to your Text and Image Frames.