How do I create/name/edit address layouts?

Document type: Tech doc  
Associated product(s): Product name: Pro Version: 4.0 + Implementation: StandaloneOS: Windows
Views: 33572  |  Created: 7 years agoLast updated: 7 years ago

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This document illustrates how to create/name/edit (setting lines and address elements) /copy/delete/rename/ address layouts.


Using the Layout Manger within the Configuration Editor (Windows users and easiest method), or manually editing the server configuration file QAWSERVE.INI (UNIX and Windows users).

Using the Layout Manager within the Configuration Editor

This is used to create, edit and manage layouts for each address database. Pro uses a layout to determine the format that you want addresses to be returned in.

The Layout Manager view contains a list of all the installed country databases, similar to this:

Double-click on one of the layouts to jump directly to the Layout Properties pane, which looks similar to this:

This pane contains a summary of the currently selected address layout.

The format of addresses found by Pro is contained in an address layout. For example, a layout could specify that the address will be on five lines, each 50 characters in width, with the post town and postal/ZIP code always on the fourth and fifth lines respectively.

Each country database is structured with a specific set of address elements. These differ from country to country, reflecting varying national standards and cultural conventions. For this reason, a single address layout can be used with only one country database. This means that the current choice of country database in Pro determines which layouts are available for use.

Each country database comes pre-configured with a standard address layout that follows appropriate national standards. The standard layout is described, with some explanatory notes, in the relevant Country Information guide that ships with your data.

This standard layout is not visible in the Configuration Editor, as it is read-only and so cannot be modified. Every time you create a new layout, the Configuration Editor creates it as a copy of the standard layout for the current country database.

Creating and Naming Layouts

To create a new layout, open the Layout Manager and click on any existing layout under the country database where you want to create the new one. Click on the Layout menu and select New.

Your new layout appears with an automatically generated name in an editable text box. Edit the name as required and press Enter. You can include any alphanumeric, space and asterisk characters in the layout name.

Please Note: The asterisk has a special significance as a wildcard character used in layout names designed for dynamically configuring Pro. For more information about this, refer to the “Naming Layouts for Dynamic Configuration” topic in the Configuration Editor online help.

In the Layout Properties pane on the right, under Comment you can enter a short text description of the layout for reference purposes. The larger Summary textbox below shows a summary of all the current settings in the layout. Initially these correspond to those of the standard layout (for the current country), copied to create the new layout.

Copying, Deleting and Renaming Layouts

To copy a layout, open the Layout Manager and select the layout you want to copy. Now click Copy on the Layout menu. The Configuration Editor immediately creates a copy of the layout, with a default name highlighted ready for you to change it. (See “Creating and Naming Layouts”.)

You can only copy a layout within a particular country database, not from one database to another.

To delete a layout, select it in the Layout Manager and then select Delete on the Layout menu.

To rename a layout, click on it in the Layout Manager and select Rename on the Layout menu.

Edit the layout name directly in the textbox, and press Enter when you have finished. Press Esc to cancel the edit without saving your changes.


You can also carry out any of these operations using the context menu. To display this menu, click on the layout name with the secondary mouse button and select the menu option that you require.

Editing an Address Layout

You can specify exactly how you want your addresses to look in the Address Format section of the Configuration Editor. To do this, open the Layout Manager and select an address layout to work with.

Setting Lines and Elements

You define the number of lines in an address layout, and whether address elements are fixed to those lines, on the Address Format pane. To view this pane, expand a layout by clicking on the + next to the relevant name, and select Address format from the list that appears, as shown below:

The Address Format pane contains the current settings for this layout:

Default Element Order

When formatting an address according to the current layout, Pro tries to include all address elements (except optional elements), whether or not they are fixed to a line. To decide where to place unfixed elements, Pro looks at the position of fixed elements and "flows" the unfixed elements around them, using the Default Element Order, a standard order defined for each country database. Regardless of how much information must be fitted before / after them, the fixed elements must always appear in the position in which they have been fixed.

Elements in the Fix Elements drop-down menu (which is accessed by clicking the Fix element button at the right-hand side of the dialog) are listed in the default element order, except those in the Additional Elements sub-menu (the optional elements). The default order is also shown in the country specific information supplied with the relevant database.

If you place fixed elements in an order different from the default order, you may get unexpected results, such as the repetition or omission of address elements. The repetition of address elements can be fixed on the Auto Formatting screen.

  • To add another line, click on Insert line. A new line is added
    immediately above the position of the cursor.
  • To delete a line, click on it and then click on Delete line.
  • To change the width of a line, click on the line whose width you want to change and click the Edit width button. Alternatively you can double-click directly on the number you want to change. Edit the value in the text box that appears on the line you want to change. Note that you cannot make a line wider than 120 characters.
  • You can fix an address element so that it always appears on the same line in the formatted address. To fix an element to a line, right-click in the Elements section next to the line you want to change to display a drop down list. Click the Fix element option from the menu that appears, and choose the relevant element from the drop-down list of available elements. Alternatively, click the Fix Element button and choose the relevant element from the drop-down list that appears.
  • Once an element has been fixed, the Unfix element button will be activated. To unfix an element, select it and press Unfix element.
  • When you have one or more elements fixed on a line, you can specify that Pro should include unfixed elements from the Default Order on the same line, when the line width allows. If you want to allow elements to follow in this way, click the Allow elements to follow symbol [...] at the end of the line. (The symbol is at the bottom of Fix Element menu).

You can also use [...] at the beginning of a line, with similar effects: Pro will fit unfixed elements before the fixed element (if this is possible, given the line width).

Conversely, any line containing one or more fixed elements and no Allow elements to follow symbol will contain only the fixed elements. If none of these occur in a particular address, the line will be blank in the returned address.

  • You can also move an address element around the address layout by selecting it with the mouse, and dragging it to its new position.

In this example, you can select three specific types of street elements.

1. Click on Street, and then select Whole Street from the new list that appears.

The menu disappears and ‘Street’ appears in Line 2 of the address layout.

2. Use the cursor key to move down to line 3.

3. Select the Delete line button. The current line 3, which contains no fixed elements, is deleted, and the line containing locality, state code and postal code becomes line 3.

4. Click on the arrow buttons beneath Preview to see some examples of the address format that you have specified.

Format Options

You can change the punctuation, abbreviations and padding within a returned address on the Format Options pane.


Several of these options are only relevant to the Pro Plug & Go and UI API products, and not to Pro Web: Pad Address Lines, Allow Address Editing, Allow Partial Addresses, Invalidate Ancillary If Required.

You can specify whether parts of certain address elements should be abbreviated (where applicable) using the Abbreviate address elements list box, similar to the one below:

For example (using UK data), you can choose to abbreviate the words Street and Road (to St and Rd respectively). To do this, check the Dependent Thoroughfare and Thoroughfare check boxes inside the list box.

For each country database, Pro uses a set of national standard abbreviations for parts of address elements.

The Separate address elements drop-down box on the Format Options pane allows you to indicate that address elements on the same line should be separated by specific punctuation characters.

The characters used and the rules for their application are determined by the country database.

The Punctuate end of address lines check box allows you to add punctuation to the end of each address line. The punctuation character and rules used are determined by the country database for which the current layout is defined.

The Flatten Diacritics option allows you to replace all diacritic characters, such as accents and umlauts, with their non-diacritic equivalents. For example, the Danish address

Degnsgårdvej 1
7840 Højslev

would change to

Degnsgaardvej 1
7840 Hoejslev

if the Flatten Diacritics box is checked. This box is unchecked by default.

Using the Pad address lines check box on the Format Options pane, you can specify that where a line in a formatted address has fewer characters than the line width you have chosen, it should be made up to the full width using padding spaces at the end. For example, Line 3 of your layout may be set to a maximum width of 25 characters. If you check the Pad Address Lines box, a returned Line 3 of 16 characters, such as “472 Longwood Ave” (a US address) will be padded up to 25 characters by the addition of 9 spaces at the right-hand end of the line.

Element Capitalisation

You can specify that one or more address elements should be capitalised by Pro when it returns an address, using the Element Capitalisation pane.

To do this, follow these steps:

1. Double-click on the Layout Manager.

2. Double-click on the country data set you want to work with, and then on the layout you want to use.

3. Double-click on the Address format option within the layout to open the corresponding list.

4. From this list, click on Element capitalisation to open the Element Capitalisation screen.

5. Highlight the element you want to capitalise by clicking on it.

6. Click the Change case button. Alternatively you can double-click on any element whose case you want to change.

Use the Change all button to switch the current cases of all elements in the list.


One or two address elements may be missing from the list – these are elements whose case cannot be changed. Examples include Postal code in the UK and Netherlands, and Delivery Point ID in Australia.

Auto Formatting

It is possible to prevent individual elements from automatically appearing in the default element order.

To do this, go to the Auto Formatting pane, and uncheck the element(s) you want to exclude from the default element order.

To undo this and include an element in the default element order, re-check the item in the same way.

You can use this option to exclude manually fixed elements from being repeated in any automatic lines.

For example, if you use the address format shown below:

…Pro will return Danish addresses in the following format:

1 Bredgade 12 1 1260 KØBENHAVN K

As you can see, the floor number (1) appears twice; in the first and third lines of the address. This happens because the floor number is after the building number in the Default Element Order.

Open the Auto formatting pane and uncheck the Floor item. This prevents Pro from repeating the floor element in the automatic line, and ensures that it is only visible in the manually fixed element (line 1).

DataPlus Formatting

If you have purchased one or more DataPlus data sets, you can configure them to return information with addresses on the DataPlus Format pane. To view this pane, expand your address layout in the outline view, and click on DataPlus:

The right hand pane looks similar to this:

To add a line for DataPlus information, click the Insert line button. The inserted line is 40 characters wide by default; to change this, click the Edit width button and type a new value in the Width field.

To fix a DataPlus item to a line, click in the Elements field and then click the Add item button. Select the item you require from the drop-down list that appears. Alternatively, right-click in the Elements section next to the line you want to change, to display a context menu. Click the Add item option from this menu and choose the relevant item from the drop-down list.


The majority of DataPlus sets contain more than one item. For example, if you have a data set containing latitude/longitude data, there will be at least two items in the list: one for the latitude, and one for the longitude. You have the option of selecting either or both items. You can fix more than one item to a single line, provided that the line is wide enough to contain the information.

To remove an item from a line, highlight it and click Remove item. To delete a line, click the Delete line button – you can delete lines without first removing DataPlus items.

Manual Editing of the Server Configuration File (QAWSERVE.INI)

Please consult the Configuration Settings section of the Pro Getting Started Guide for detailed instructions.

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