SAP SmartForms Complete Reference guide

What is SAP Smart Forms?

SAP Smart Forms is introduced in SAP Basis Release 4.6C as the tool for creating and maintaining forms. SAP Smart Forms allow you to execute simple modifications to the form and in the form logic by using simple graphical tools; in 90% of all cases, this won’t include any programming effort. Thus, a power user without any programming knowledge can  configure forms with data from an SAP System for the relevant business processes. To print a form, you need a program for data retrieval and a Smart Form that contains the entire from logic. As data retrieval and  form logic are separated, you must only adapt the Smart Form if changes to the form logic are necessary. The application program passes the data via a function module interface to the Smart Form. When activating the Smart Form, the system automatically generates a function module.
At runtime, the system processes this function module. You can insert static and dynamic tables. This includes line feeds in individual table cells, triggering events  for table headings and subtotals, and sorting data before output.

You can check individual nodes as well as the entire form and find any existing errors in the tree structure. The  data flow analysis checks whether all fields (variables) have a defined value at the moment they are displayed.
SAP Smart Forms allow you to include graphics, which you can display either as part of the form or as background graphics. You use background graphics to copy the layout of an existing (scanned) form or to lend forms a company-specific look. During printout, you can suppress the background graphic, if desired. SAP Smart Forms also support postage optimizing.

What Transaction to start SAP Smart Forms?
Execute transaction SMARTFORMS to start SAP Smart Forms.
Key Benefits of SAP Smart Forms:
SAP Smart Forms allows you to reduce considerably the implementation costs of solutions since forms can be adjusted in minimum time. You design a form using the graphical Form Painter and the graphical Table Painter. The form logic is represented by a hierarchy structure (tree structure) that consists of individual nodes, such as nodes for global settings, nodes for texts, nodes for output tables, or nodes for graphics.

To make changes, use Drag & DropCopy & Paste, and select different attributes.

These actions do not include writing of coding lines or using a Script language.
Using your form description maintained in the Form Builder, Smart Forms generates a function module that encapsulates layout, content and form logic. So you do not need a group of function modules to print a form, but only one.

For Web publishing, the system provides a generated XML output of the processed form.
Smart Forms provides a data stream called XML for Smart Forms (XSF) to allow the use of 3rd party printing tools. XSF passes form content from R/3 to an external product without passing any layout information about the Smart Form.

Advantages of SAP Smart Forms

SAP Smart Forms have the following advantages:

  1. The adaption of forms is supported to a large extent by graphic tools for layout and logic, so that no programming knowledge is necessary (at least 90% of all adjustments). Therefore, power user forms can also make configurations for your business processes with data from an SAP system. Consultants are only required in special cases.
  2. Displaying table structures (dynamic framing of texts)
  3. Output of background graphics, for form design in particular the use of templates which were scanned.
  4. Colored output of texts
  5. User-friendly and integrated Form Painter for the graphical design of forms
  6. Graphical Table Painter for drawing tables
  7. Reusing Font and paragraph formats in forms (Smart Styles)
  8. Data interface in XML format (XML for Smart Forms, in short XSF)
  9. Form translation is supported by standard translation tools
  10. Flexible reuse of text modules
  11. HTML output of forms (Basis release 6.10)
  12. Interactive Web forms with input fields, pushbuttons, radio buttons, etc. (Basis-Release 6.10)

A Simple Smartform Tutorial 

SAP Smartforms can be used for creating and maintaining forms for mass printing in SAP Systems. The output medium for Smartforms support printer, fax, e-mail, or the Internet (by using the generated XML output).
According to SAP, you need neither have any programming knowledge nor use a Script language to adapt standard forms. However, basic ABAP programming skills are required only in special cases (for example, to call a function module you created or for complex and extensive conditions).

1. Create a new smartforms
Transaction code SMARTFORMS
Create new smartforms call ZSMART
2. Define looping process for internal table
Pages and windows

  • First Page -> Header Window (Cursor at First Page then
    click Edit -> Node -> Create)Here, you can specify your title and page numbering
    &SFSY-PAGE& (Page 1) of
    &SFSY-FORMPAGES(Z4.0)& (Total Page)
  • Main windows -> TABLE -> DATA
  • In the Loop section, tick Internal table and fill in
  • ITAB1
    (table in ABAP SMARTFORM calling function) INTO

3. Define table in smartforms
           Global settings :
Form interface
Variable name    Type assignment   Reference type

TYPE                  Table Structure

Global definitions
Variable name    Type assignment   Reference type

TYPE                  Table Structure

4. To display the data in the form
Make used of the Table Painter and declare the Line Type in Tabstrips Table

e.g.  HD_GEN for printing header details,

IT_GEN  for printing data details.

You have to specify the Line Type in your Text elements in the Tabstrips
Output options.

Tick the New Line and specify the Line Type for outputting the data.

Declare your output fields in Text elements

Tabstrips – Output Options

For different fonts use this Style :

For Quantity or Amout you can used this variable

5. Calling SMARTFORMS from your ABAP program

* Calling SMARTFORMS from your ABAP program.
* Collecting all the table data in your program, and
pass once to SMARTFORMS
* Declare your table type in :-

* Global Settings -> Form Interface
* Global Definintions -> Global Data
* Main Window -> Table -> DATA

* Written by :  SAP Hints and Tips on Configuration and
ABAP/4 Programming






* At the end of your program.
* Passing data to SMARTFORMS

formname                 = ‘ZSMARTFORM’

*   VARIANT                  = ‘ ‘

*   DIRECT_CALL              = ‘ ‘


FM_NAME                  = FM_NAME


NO_FORM                  = 1


OTHERS                   = 3.

if sy-subrc <> 0.



call function FM_NAME

*   ARCHIVE_INDEX              =

*   ARCHIVE_INDEX_TAB          =



*   MAIL_APPL_OBJ              =

*   MAIL_RECIPIENT             =

*   MAIL_SENDER                =

*   OUTPUT_OPTIONS             =

*   USER_SETTINGS              = ‘X’



*   JOB_OUTPUT_INFO            =

*   JOB_OUTPUT_OPTIONS         =


GS_MKPF                    = INT_MKPF


FORMATTING_ERROR           = 1

INTERNAL_ERROR             = 2

SEND_ERROR                 = 3

USER_CANCELED              = 4

OTHERS                     = 5.
if sy-subrc <> 0.



Additional Fonts for your SMARTFORMS 

You can create additional fonts and style with transaction SMARTSTYLES

This can then be define in the paragraph and character formats, which you can then be assign to texts and fields in the Smart Form.

The character formats includes effects such as superscript, subscript, barcode and font attributes.

Difference with SMARTFORMS vs. SapScript(SE71)

The Following are the differences :-

  • Multiple page formats are possible in smartforms which is not the case in SAPScripts
  • It is possible to have a smartform without a main window .
  • Labels cannot be created in smartforms.
  • Routines can be written in smartforms tool.
  • Smartforms generates a function module when activated.
  • Unlike sapscripts (RSTXSCRP), you cannot upload/download Smartform to your local harddisk.

It was said that it was provided in CRM 3.0 version, but not available in R/3.  You can download smartforms into Local PC in a XML format.  In the same way you can upload this XML format into Smartform.  From the smartform editor itself you can call download option, if you are working in CRM 3.0 environment.

In R3 also, you can download into XML format. However, it’s not sure about uploading. Refer to the program ‘SF_XSF_DEMO‘.

In 4.7 Enterprise, other have seen this utility which is completely missing in 4.6c. There is functionality to download a complete form or only a particular node. (Utilities -> Download form). It will create a XML file and save it in the hard disk.
For others, if you want to download/upload the Smartforms source, you will need the help from the Basis people.  What you can do is to create a Transport and then FTP down to your local harddisk.   When you need the Smartform source in another system, you have FTP up the Smartforms file back to the SAP server.  Finally, the Basis team, will tp it into your system.
g) The  protect and endprotect command in sapscript doesn’t work with smartforms. For example on a invoice: First data of position no 80. is printed on page one, other data of position no 80 is printed on page 2. And there’s nothing you can do about it.  Actually, there is something you can do about it.  By using a 
folder node and checking the ‘protect’ checkbox
, everything in that folder will be page protected.

FAQ on Migrating SAPscript to SmartForms

  • Is it possible to migrate a SAPscript form to a Smart Form?
    Smart Forms provides a migration tool for this purpose which migrates layout and texts of a SAPscript form to a Smart Form. It does not migrate SAPscript form logic of the print program. Using Smart Forms, this logic is described by the tree structure of the Form Builder. The effort involved in migrating it depends on the complexity of the print program.
  • Which Basis Release do I need to use SAP Smart Forms?
    SAP Smart Forms is available as of R/3 Basis Release 4.6C.
  • I have heard that Smart Forms replaces SAPscript. What does “replace” mean?
    It does not mean that SAPscript is removed from the Basis shipment. Even as of Basis Release 4.6C, SAPscript remains part of the SAP standard and there are no plans to remove it. Since Smart Forms is currently, and will continue to be, the tool for form maintenance for solutions, our further development efforts will focus on Smart Forms, not on SAPscript.
  • Do we have to migrate all SAPscript forms to Smart Forms?
    There is no point in migrating all SAPscript forms already in use. Since SAPscript can still be used and will be available in the future, there is no need to. If you plan to migrate a SAPscript form, it is recommended that you check whether benefit is worth the effort involved.


SAP provides a conversion for SAPscript documents to SMARTforms. This is basically a function module, called FB_MIGRATE_FORM. You can  start  this function module by hand (via SE37), or create a small ABAP which migrates all SAPscript forms automatically. You can also do this one-by-one in transaction SMARTFORMS, under Utilities -> Migrate SAPscript form. You could also write a small batch program calling transaction SMARTFORMS and  running the migration tool.

SmartForms System Fields

Within a form you can use the field string SFSY with its system fields. During form processing  the system replaces these fields with the corresponding values. The field values come from the  SAP System or are results of the processing.
System fields of Smart Forms
Displays the date. You determine the display format in the user master record.
Displays the time of day in the form HH:MM:SS.

Inserts the number of the current print page into the text. You determine the format of the page number (for example, Arabic, numeric) in the page node.
Displays the total number of pages for the currently processed form. This allows you to include texts such as’Page x of y’ into your output.

Contains the total page number of all forms in the currently processed print request.
Contains the name of the current window (string in the Window field)
Contains the name of the current page (string in the Page field)
Is set to ‘X’ after a page break (either automatic or command-controlled )
Is set as soon as processing of the main window on the current page ends

Contains the name of the raised exception. You must trigger your own exceptions, which you defined in the form interface, using the user_exception macro (syntax:  user_exception <exception name >).

Example Forms Available in Standard SAP R/3

    Simple example; invoice with table output of flight booking for one customer
    Similar to SF_EXAMPLE_01 but with subtotals
    Similar to SF_EXAMPLE_02, whereby several customers are selected in the application program; the  form is called for each customer and all form outputs are included in an output request

Smart forms Frequently Asked Questions

Forcing a page break within table loop

Create a loop around the table. Put a Command node before the table in the loop that forces a NEWPAGE on whatever condition you want. Then only loop through a subset of the internal table (based on the conditions in the Command node) of the elements in the Table node.
Font style and Font size

Goto Transaction SMARTSTYLES. There you can create Paragraph formats etc just like in sapscript. Then in your window under OUTPUT OPTIONS you include this SMARTSTYLE and use the Paragraph and character formats.
Line in Smartform

Either you can use a window that takes up the width of your page and only has a height of 1 mm.  Then you put a frame around it (in window output options). Thus you have drawn a box but it looks like a line. Or you can just draw “__” accross the page and play with the fonts so that it joins each UNDER_SCORE.
Difference between ‘forminterface’ and ‘global definitions’ in global settings of smart forms

The Difference is as follows.

To put it very simply:
Form Interface is where you declare what must be passed in and out of the smartform (in from the print program to the smartform and out from the smartform to the print program).
Global defs. is where you declare data to be used within the smartform on a global scope.
ie: anything you declare here can be used in any other node in the form.

Smartforms function module name 

Once you have activated the smartform, go to the environment -> function module name. There you can get the name of funtion module name.
The key thing is the program that calls it. for instance, the invoice SMARTFORM LB_BIL_INVOICE is ran by the program RLB_INVOICE.
This program uses another FM to determine the name of the FM to use itself. The key thing is that when it calls this FM (using a variable to store the actual name), that the parameters match the parameters in your smartform.
Another thing to note is that the FM name will change wherever the SF is transported to.
So you need to use the FM to determine the name of the SF.

Here is the code that can be use to determine the internal name of the function module:
if sf_label(1) <> ‘/’.    ” need to resolve by name

move sf_label to externalname.



formname           = externalname


fm_name            = internalname


no_form            = 1

no_function_module = 2

others             = 3.

if sy-subrc <> 0.

message ‘e427’.


move internalname to sf_label.

It checks to see if the sf_label starts with a ‘/’, which is how the internal
names start. if it does, the name has already been converted. If not, it calls
the FM and converts the name.
You would then CALL FUNCTION sf_label.

FAQ Part Two

Smartforms output difference
Problem with Smartforms: in a certain form for two differently configured printers, there seem to be a difference in the output of characters per inch (the distance between characters which gives a layout problem – text in two lines instead of one.
It happens when the two printers having different Printer Controls’ if you go to SPAD Menu (Spool Administrator Menu) you can see the difference in the Printer Control and if you make the Printer control setting for both the
printers as same. then it will be ok. and also u have to check what is the device type used for both the output devices.

SmartForms Output to PDF

There is a way to download smartform in PDF format.

Please do the following:

1. Print the smartform to the spool.

2. Note the spool number.

3. Download a PDF file (Acrobat Reader) version of the spool by running Program
RSTXPDFT4 and entering the

noted spool number.
SmartForm Doublesided printing question 
Your customer wants your PO SmartForm to be able to print “Terms and Conditinos” on the back side of each page. They don’t want to purchase pre-printed forms with the company’s logo on the front and terms & conditions on the back. Now this presents an interesting problem. 

Has anyone else ever had a request like this? If for example there was a 3 page PO to be printed,  they want 3 pieces of paper, the front side of each to containe the PO information (page 1, 2, and 3) and the back side of each piece of paper to containg the static “Terms & Conditions” information. 

Anyone have a clue how to force this out? 
Easy – page FRONT lists page CONTACTS as next page and CONTACTS lists FRONT as next page. Since CONTACTS does not contain a MAIN window, it will print the contacts info and then continue on to FRONT for the rest of the main items. Additionally, set print mode on FRONT to D (duplex) and set CONTACTS to ‘blank’ (for both resource name and print mode – this is the only way to get to the back of the page).
Transport Smart Forms
How does one transport SMARTFORM? SE01?  

How do you make sure that both, the SMARTFORM & it’s function module gets transported? Or does the FM with same name gets generated automatically in the transported client? 
A smartform is transported no differently than any other object. if it is assigned to a development class that is atteched to a transport layer, it will be transported.
The definition is transported, and when called, the function module is regenerated.

This leads to an interetsing situation. On the new machine, it is very likely the function module name will be different than the name on the source system. Make sure, before you call the function module, you resolve the external name to the internal name using the ‘SSF_FUNCTION_MODULE_NAME’ function module.

Typically, generate the SF, then use the pattern to being in the interface. Then change the call function to use the name you get back from the above function module.
Smartforms: protect lines in main window.
How to protect lines in the main window from splitting between pages? 
It was easy with SAPscript, but how to do it with SF’s.   For 4.7 version if you are using tables, there are two options for protection against line break:
– You can protect a line type against page break.

– You can protect several table lines against page break for output in the main area.
Protection against page break for line types
– Double-click on your table node and choose the Table tab page.

– Switch to the detail view by choosing the Details pushbutton.

– Set the Protection against page break checkbox in the table for the relevant line type.  Table lines that use this line type are output on one page.
Protection against page break for several table lines
– Expand the main area of your table node in the navigation tree.

– Insert a file node for the table lines to be protected in the main area.

– If you have already created table lines in the main area, you can put the lines that you want to protect again page break under the file using Drag&Drop. Otherwise, create the table lines as subnodes of the file.

– Choose the Output Options tab page of the file node and set the Page Protection option.   All table lines that are in the file with the Page Protection option set are output on one page.
In 4.6, Alternatively in a paragraph format use the Page protection attribute to determine whether or not to display a paragraph completely on one page. Mark it if you want to avoid that a paragraph is split up by a page break. If on the
current page (only in the main window) there is not enough space left for the paragraph, the entire paragraph appears on the next page.

Detailed information about SAP Barcodes

A barcode solution consists of the following:

  •  a barcode printer
  •  a barcode reader
  •  a mobile data collection application/program

A barcode label is a special symbology to represent human readable information such as a material number or batch number in machine readable format.
There are different symbologies for different applications and different industries. Luckily, you need not worry to much about that as the logistics supply chain has mostly standardized on 3 of 9 and 128 barcode symbologies – which all barcode readers support and which SAP support natively in it’s printing protocols.
You can print barcodes from SAP by modifying an existing output form.

Behind every output form is a print program that collects all the data and then pass it to the form. The form contains the layout as well as the font, line and paragraph formats. These forms are designed using SAPScript (a very easy but
frustratingly simplistic form format language) or SmartForms that is more of a graphical form design tool.
Barcodes are nothing more than a font definition and is part of the style sheet associated with a particular SAPScript form. The most important aspect is to place a parameter in the line of the form that points to the data element that you want to represent as barcode on the form, i.e. material number. Next you need to set the font for that parameter value to one of the supported barcode symbologies.
The next part of the equation can be a bit tricky as you will need to get a printer to print that barcode font. Regular laser printers does not normally print barcode fonts, only specialized industrial printers that is specifically designed to support that protocol and that uses specialized label media and heat transfer (resin) ribbon to create the sharp image required for barcodes.
Not to fear though, there are two ways to get around this:
– You can have your IT department do some research –

most laser printers can accept a font cartridge/dimm chip (similar to computer memory), called a BarDIMM that will allow a laser printer to support the printing of barcodes.

– Secondly, you can buy software that you can upload in your SAP print Server that will convert the barcode symbology as an image that will print on a regular laser printer. I found that this option results in less sharper barcodes. This option is really if you need to convert a large quantity of printers (>10) to support barcodes.
Now you have a barcode printed – what next?

Well there are two options, depending on your business requirements:

– You can use an existing SAP transaction on a regular workstation and get a barcode wedge reader to hook up between the keyboard and the PC. These wedge readers comes in a wand or scanner format. There are even wireless wedge scanners available that allows you to roam a few yards from the workstation to scan a label. This approach is mostly used where you want to prevent human errors in typing in long material, batch or serial numbers in receiving or issuing of material. The problem is that it’s just replacing the keyboard input and you are basically locked down in one location and have to bring all the material to that location to process.

– Another solution is to use SAPConsole transactions

or write your own ABAP Dialog programs that will fit onto a barcode enabled wireless handheld terminal and that will follow the business logic as executed on the shop floor.
These programs are highly complex exercises in industrial engineering and ergonomics because of the limited screen sizes and limited ability to accept keyboard input. The user is instructed step-by-step and only scan and push F-keys to interact with the SAP system. Scan, scan, beep, beep, enter – highly automated.