How to do Math on Sourced Values in Advanced Pdf

Recently I had a requirement to print a remaining to be shipped qty on a pick ticket. I know, you’re thinking that sounds a lot like qty backordered. I would agree with you but this user tends to ship uncommitted items so printing the qty backordered value is not a viable solution for this user.  I needed to show what was left to ship regardless of commit status. Basically, I had to print the difference of quantity and quantity fulfilled.

When I plugged this formula in on the pick ticket advanced pdf, I was puzzled when I got an error. The variable values were numerical and I was doing simple subtraction. Also, Freemarker, (the language used in advanced pdf) doesn’t have an issue performing math on numerical values hard coded within Freemarker. For instance, ${4-2} = 2, but an ${item.quantity} variable with a value of 4 minus ${item.quantityfulfilled} with a value of 2 would return an error.

I then remembered that variables sourced out of NetSuite are always returned as a string data type. I then reached into my bag of tricks and pulled out the Int built-in function for Freemarker. To my surprise, when I plugged in ${item.quantity?int-item.quantityfulfilled?int} I still got an error. So I went digging through the Freemarker website ( and found that I needed to combine functions. I needed to remove any possible commas from the string pulled from NetSuite and then turn that string into a number. I ended up with this formula:

 ${item.quantity?replace(“,”,””)?number – item.quantityfulfilled?replace(“,”,””)?number}

If you notice there are two built-ins working in tandem on each variable. The Replace built-in looks through a string for a particular character and replaces it with what you want. In the formula above, the Replace built-in is removing the comma in any string representing a number greater than 1,000. The Number built-in in the formula above is converting the string into a numerical value. This built-in only works when the string contains only digits. That is why the Replace built-in must be done first. I was able to perform the calculation that I needed without any errors with this formula. It can be used with other mathematical operations also. Feel free to try it in your advanced pdf customizations.

Wait! Before You GoWould you like to talk to a business software expert to answer your questions?

When you schedule a free consultation with MIBAR, you will experience a one-on-one conversation with a business technology expert who is passionate about understanding your unique needs or issues. Schedule a free consultation today at the link below or give us a call at (212) 869-9300.

Learn More