How to create and use datasets

In Shared Email Templates for Outlook

Datasets may be of great use to you if you have tables with data that you would like to use in your templates. Datasets let you pick the necessary piece of information from the cell you indicate. To use a dataset, you need to create it in Shared Email Templates (or import a TXT or CSV file) and use the corresponding option of the ~%WHAT_TO_ENTER macro. Let us see how.

Note. Please note, datasets are available for the Business and Enterprise plans only.

Dataset and key column: Definitions

In Shared Email Templates, a dataset is a set of values organized in a table from which you can bring data to your templates. An essential category of a dataset is a key column.

The key column is always the leftmost column of your dataset. It can also be called an 'identifier' column because there you will keep values that help you identify the rows from which data for your templates will be taken.

It is very important that all values in your key column are unique, otherwise, the app will always take the first row with the value you indicate, even if there are several duplicates of this value in other rows of the key column.

How to create dataset

In this section, you will learn how to create a dataset directly in Shared Email Templates. Also, you can import a dataset from a TXT or CSV file, please go to the next section to learn how.

  1. To create a dataset, right-click a folder and select New Dataset:
    Click New Dataset.

    In your default browser, a new tab with the Shared Email Templates web application
    will open:
    Create dataset in a browser.

  2. First of all, give your dataset a name by placing the cursor on the New Dataset field and entering the text you want:
    Name your dataset.
  3. The leftmost column of your dataset is always the key column. To start creating a table, click on the cell and type in the first value in the key column:
    Click and enter the first value.

    Tip. For your convenience, we recommend that you use some understandable identifiers in your key column, it can be SKU numbers or simply index numbers, for example.
    Tip. You can rename the key column by clicking on it and entering a new name:
    Click and enter the new key column name.
  4. To add rows, click Plus as many times as many rows you need:
    Click Plus to add rows.
  5. To add columns, click Plus as many times as many columns you need:
    Click Plus to add columns.
  6. To save your dataset, click the Save button:
    Save your dataset.
  7. In the tree, you will identify a dataset by a specific icon near its name:
    Saved dataset in the app.

Import datasets (TXT or CSV file)

You can import datasets to Shared Email Templates in TXT or CSV formats. If your table is in another format, you can easily convert it to one of these formats.

  1. If you have an Excel table with your data, open it, click Save As and pick one of the following formats: Text (Tab delimited), Unicode Text, or CSV (Comma delimited):
    Save Excel dataset.
  2. Right-click a folder and select New Dataset:
    Click New Dataset.
  3. In the web app, click on the Import icon:
    Click Import.
  4. Select your file and click Open:
    Select your file and click Open.
  5. Your table will be imported to Shared Email Templates. Don't forget to give it a name!
Note. If your original table exceeds the maximum size of a dataset in Shared Email Templates (which is 32 rows, 32 columns, and 255 symbols in each cell), the application will cut your data while importing.
Note. If you import a CSV file, the delimiters between cells must be commas, in a TXT file the delimiter is a tab character.

How to use datasets in templates

  1. In the template editor, put the cursor where you want to insert a value from a dataset and pick the WhatToEnter macro:
    The What to enter macro.
  2. Pick Dataset in the drop-down list:
    Pick Dataset.

  3. You will see several fields to fill in:
    Fill in the macro fields.

    • Window title will be displayed in the What to enter window when you insert a template. We recommend that you enter here something very clear and understandable, so you and your teammates immediately understand what this field is about.
    • Select a Dataset from which data will be taken to your message.
    • Target column is a column from which you need to bring a value.
    • Click the Insert button.

    In the template, the macro will look like this:
    New macro.

  4. Now, we will create a couple of new macros to take data from the same dataset, but we will select other target columns. The first one is for color....
    The second macro.

    ...and the second is for size:
    The third macro.

    The template, thus, will look like this:
    The template is ready.

  5. Save the template and insert it into the message. In the What to enter window (that will have a title that you indicated as Window title), select the value you need from the key column and click OK:
    Select a value from the key column.

    Note. On this step, you can select a value only from the key column, and the app will take corresponding data from the row with this value in the column that you indicated as Target column.
  6. With all the values pasted from the selected key column and indicated rows, the message will look like this:

    Values from dataset in your message.

How to bind a table to dataset

Beside the WhatToEnter macro, you can also use datasets for filling in tables in your templates. If you bind a table to a certain dataset, the add-in will pull the rows from the dataset based on the key values you choose and insert them into your table when you paste the template into a message.

Tip. To quickly add a table to a template, click the corresponding button on the Shared Email Templates toolbar in the Edit mode:
Insert a table into a template.
You can learn more about tables in our How to create and format tables blog post.
  1. Put a cursor in any cell of the row that you want to complete with values from a dataset, right-click and select the Bind to dataset option:
    Bind a table to a dataset.

    Note. Your sample table may contain just one row. After you bind a table to the dataset, you will be able to choose as many rows to insert as you need when pasting the template into a message.
  2. Enter the title for the window, which will appear at the moment of inserting the template, and choose the necessary dataset from the drop-down list. Click OK:
    Enter the title and pick a dataset.
  3. As soon as the Select dataset dialog window closes, the add-in fills in empty cells in the row with the names of columns from the dataset of your choice:
     Fill empty cells with the names of columns.
    The ~%[ ] parameters with the column names populate the cells in the same order the columns are presented in the dataset. If the number of columns is different, for example, your table has 6 columns while the selected dataset contains just 5, the sixth column of your table will not be filled.

    In case of mismatching order, you can edit the ~%[ ] parameter by typing in the correct column name in the square brackets or copy and paste it into the necessary cell.

    Note. If there is some text in cells of the selected row, the ~%[ ] parameter will not be inserted automatically into these cells. You can add the ~%[ ] parameter with a column name manually.
  4. Save the template with the bound table.
  5. When you paste this template into a message, you will see the dialog window with the title you have specified on step 2 and the list of values from the key column of the selected dataset. Check the necessary key value(s) and click OK:
    Choose the key values.

    Tip. To quickly find the value of interest, start typing its name in the Search field at the top of the dialog window.

    If you want to add all rows from the dataset to your table, check the topmost box to select all the key values:
     Check all the key values.

  6. The table filled with the data from the selected row(s) of the dataset will appear in your message:
     The table is filled with rows from the dataset.
  7. How to unbind a dataset

    To unbind a dataset, you need to delete the bound row from the table when editing your template:
    Delete the bound row.

    Edit a dataset

    In the tree, stand on the dataset you want to edit and click the Edit in Browser option in the preview pane:
    Click Edit in Browser.

    To edit a name of a dataset or a value in any cell, simply click on it and start entering the new text. To add columns or rows, click the Plus signs below and on the right:
    Edit your dataset.

    Note. The maximum size of a dataset is 32 rows, 32 columns, and 255 symbols in each cell.
    Tip. To change the order of the columns, you can drag and drop them. The only exception is the key column, it will always be the first one and cannot be moved.

    As soon as the necessary edits are made, don't forget to click Save:
    Click Save.

    Visit our blog to discover more ways to use datasets in your daily routine:


Is it possible to access a value from a dataset without asking the user for the key column value? This would be helpful in constructing templates from a common data source. For example:

~%WhatToEnter[{dataset:"Bags",column:"Bag name",value:"Frida-01"}]


Hi Mark,

Sorry, your idea is not quite clear. Is my understanding correct that you want, say, to have two templates with different data from the same dataset?


Hi Eugene,

I'm specifically referring to including data from a dataset in a template *without asking the user to choose the specific record/key column value*.

In my example above, assume that I am creating a template to specifically showcase the Frida bag. I want to pull in the bag name and colour from the dataset, but I don't need to ask the user which bag as I know, for this template.

I had added a new parameter to the WTE example above, *value*, the intent of which would be to grab the data for that Bag without asking the user to specify which bag. It would be as if the user had answered "Frida-01" to the question that would usually pop up when using a WTE with a dataset.


Got it. Thank you for details.

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