I have a predefined template with some columns of data, basically should be grid. For example, There are columns like X,Y,Z and and user downloads the template. how do i show the preview of template(Columns headers available) before downloading so that if user is OK with columns he can download or should be able to edit/add new columns before downloading.

Concern here is User should be adding only data under the columns after the download of template but not column headers.

Any suggestions for this?

  • Is the user allowed to edit the template before download? – Sol Mar 21 '17 at 10:35

While showing the preview, you will need to clearly indicate the following

  1. Which columns are mandatory and which are optional. You can show cross mark at the right-top corner of those columns which are optional.


download bmml source – Wireframes created with Balsamiq Mockups

  1. Even on the optional columns, you need to take care of relationship between columns since an optional column could be linked to another optional column for example country and state both can be optional, but if state is selected then country must be selected as well.

  2. Which columns are free text and which have pre-defined set of values out of which one has to be selected

  3. Show the data type of values a column will accept such as integer, string, date, decimal etc. If possible, allow user to choose to format the output

  4. Show example values to indicate the alignment of the values (both horizontal and vertical) in the final template output.


Did you already consider a split screen solution?

If you did not do this already, you might want to take a look at sites like

There are a lot of tools out there that have a preview function. Almost all email marketing tools have it.

If you can not or do not want to provide a real-life preview, you could use a schematic that shows up the setup of columns instead. It can also be smaller than the original output.

If it is for grids, I assume you already have seen this:


Or am I understanding your question wrong?

  • Thanx for the respose!! Sorry if my ask was confusing for you. Well it is not about showing the preview of layout but about the contents of the table(grid) which comes inside the template, may be a excel sheet with data. How does user know what is the table he/she will see after downloading the template. Is there any way you can show even before download, like show what it looks like about the template even at the time of click download. – Sunil kv Nov 26 '15 at 8:13

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