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Sheets:  Add or Customize a Sheet

Open Dental has several internal sheets that can be copied and customized for your practice.  You can use internal sheets for patients but review them first to verify they contain relevant information.

  1. In the main menu, click Setup, Sheets.

Internal: The original sheet templates that come with Open Dental. Cannot be edited, but can be copied.
Custom: Sheet templates that have been customized or created by your office.

  1. Select the sheet to edit:
    To create a custom sheet from an internal sheet, highlight the internal sheet, then click Copy.
    To create a blank custom sheet, click New.
    To create a copy of a custom sheet, highlight it then click Duplicate.
    To import or export a sheet .xml file from/to another Open Dental database, click Tools. See Sheet Tools: Import/Export.

  2. Double click the custom sheet to open.  The example below is an internal 'RegistrationForm'.

On the left is a preview of the fields and elements currently on the sheet and their location on the page. Sheet layout displayed onscreen will match what is printed.  If the sheet is multiple pages, a darker dotted line represents the page break. In the example above:

  • A background image is used for the static text (black).
  • Input fields and checkboxes (blue) have been superimposed on the image to indicate data entry areas.
  • The input fields correspond to fields in the database.  If completed electronically, the entered data can be Imported into the database.
  1. To make changes to general sheet properties (e.g. name, default fonts, page orientation, page size), click Edit Properties.

  2. Add or edit Sheet Elements and Options
    To edit a field or element, double click on it in the preview, or double click on it in the Fields list.
    To edit an image or line, double click on the item in the Fields list.
    To set up fields that can be Imported into the database, see Sheets: Medical Histories or Sheets: Patient Forms
    To select multiple fields, press Ctrl while clicking.
    To move fields, drag them with the mouse, or use the arrows on the keyboard.
    To move the fields in large increments, press Shift while pressing the arrows.

  3. Click OK to save the sheet.

Freehand Drawing: A user filling out a form can arbitrarily freehand draw anywhere on the sheet with a stylus or mouse. Because of limitations in Windows, the drawings (as well as any lines and rectangles) are presented to the user as a layer on top of an image.  To enable freehand drawing on the sheet, it must have a large enough image covering the entire drawing area.  If you do not insert any images, then Open Dental automatically adds an invisible white dummy image that is used for drawing.  If you insert an image, it must be large enough to cover the entire background, or you must insert a second image that does.  If you do not, you may inadvertently disable drawing on the rest of the sheet. See Static Image.

Web Forms and Fonts:  If using a sheet for Web Forms, the view of the sheet is dependent on the browser the web form is viewed in.  If a browser doesn't support a font, a different font will be substituted. This can affect layout of the sheet.  We recommend using common fonts (e.g. Times New Roman, Arial, Courier) and testing sheets on a device and browser you plan to support.  If fonts are substituted, Static Text Fields may need to be larger to fit all text.

Single Page Sheets:  If a single page sheet, make sure all fields and elements are located within the page. 

Adding Initial Boxes:  To add initial boxes so a patient can distinctly acknowledge sections of a form, you have two options:

  1. Create a pseudo margin so you have room on the right or left side of the form.  Add Checkboxes as the initial boxes and a Signature box at the bottom.  Patients can check the boxes, then sign at the bottom to establish identity and acknowledgement.
  2. If using touch screens, use Rectangles larger than checkboxes, labeled 'initials'. Customer can then use a finger or stylus to initial.
    Checkboxes are usually sufficient for an electronic form because electronic signatures will be invalidated if the state of a checkbox changes (e.g. from unchecked to checked).


Open Dental Software 1-503-363-5432