Narrative Editor (2021)


  • Narrative Tags
  • Narrative Sections
  • Editing the Narrative
  • Narrative Settings

About Narratives and their Components

When all of the steps involved in developing the AAP analyses are complete (from Settings to IWD/Veterans) , the final step is to generate the accompanying Narratives. Your organization’s Affirmative Action plan will include Narratives for:
  • Minorities/Women
  • Individuals with Disabilities
  • Veterans

What Changed?

All plans created after March 25, 2021, will use the new Narrative editor and template version. Similar to the current version, the new Narrative editor will continue to provide you with the ability to edit your Narrative's Tags, Sections, and template Document Body. Each of these sections has been enhanced to improve efficiency and simplify your process. The Narrative template language has also been modified to better match recent regulation changes. Lastly, the calculated plan reports will no longer appear in the body of your main document and within each section. All reports will now appear at the end of the Narrative document. To support this change, the Narrative editor now provides users with the ability to more easily add, remove, and reorder reports within the plan's Narrative.

The new editor contains the following components: Tags, Sections, Document Editor, and Settings. Details for each component is shown below, alongside an accompanying Video Tutorial.

Narrative Tags

When placed in a Narrative, Tags serves as a placeholder element — such as text, an image, or a statistic — that will be merged into the final document. Tags allow elements to be placed in multiple locations, edited or updated separately, and globally replaced, as necessary.

Example: [Affirmative Action Chief Policy Signer] is a tag, representing the name of the chief policy signer, perhaps "Jane Smith."

Edit Tag

Tags can be edited by selecting the Edit Tag icon. Enter the appropriate information for each tag into the Tag Value field and click [Save]. Tags without content are labeled with a next their name.

Add New Tag

New Tags can be added through the Add New option and set to Standard or Conditional.
  • Standard: Text or image that appears in the Narrative when added.
  • Conditional: Text or image that only appears in the Narrative when pre-set criteria are met.

Add/Remove Narrative Tag

After a Tag's content has been added, it can be placed into the document based on the cursor's location by clicking the
icon. Removal of an individual Tag must be done through the Document Body.

Narrative Tag Video Tutorial

Narrative Sections

The default Narrative language will be grouped and organized by individual Sections. Each section's content, name, and article number can be edited along with the section's location in the Narrative document.

Edit Section

Sections can be edited by selecting the Edit Tag icon. Enter the appropriate Section Name and Article Number for each entry and click [Save].

Add New Section

The Add New option provides the ability to create a custom section where the name, article number, and option to import a document into the section are set.
  • Manual: Section details are manually edited in Document Body.
  • Import: Section details can be replaced with a PDF file.

Add/Remove Narrative Section

Sections can be placed into the Narrative Document Body using the
Insert Section icon. Each section will be placed into the document based on the cursor's current location. After a Section has been added, the
Go-To Section icon can be used to quickly locate the added section. Removal of a Section must be done through the Document Body where the entire contents of the section must be removed.

Narrative Editor

In contrast to the previous Narrative editor, the new version provides the ability to view and edit the entire Narrative as one large document, instead of independent sections. Users can still choose which of the three Narrative types they would like to manage through the Edit Narrative drop-down. After making the selection from the drop-down, the Narrative document will appear and be separated into four sub-tabs: Title Page, Document Body, Reports, and Exhibits.

Editing Title Page and Document Body

The Title Page and Document Body are the two sub-tabs where the majority of the Narrative edits will occur. If additional Tags and Sections were added to the plan and need to be incorporated into the Narrative, they would be managed in these sub-tabs.

Quick Tip: At any time, you can change the contents of your current page (Title Page, Document Body, etc..) back to balanceAAP’s default language, by clicking [Revert to Default].


Add Reports

To add a report, select a option from the Reports drop-down and click [Save].

Reorder Reports

The order in which the reports display in the Narrative can be changed through a drag and drop feature. Select and click an individual report and drag the cursor to the desired location.

Remove Reports

Reports can be removed by selecting the Delete ( ) option which aligns with the report being removed. If all reports need to be removed from the Narrative, use the [Remove All] option.


Import/Add Exhibits

New PDF exhibits can be imported through the [Import Exhibits] option. Once the new exhibits are imported they can be selected through the Exhibits drop-down and added to the list.

Reorder Exhibits

The order in which the Exhibits display in the Narrative can be changed through a drag and drop feature. Select and click an individual exhibit and drag the cursor to the desired location.

Remove Exhibits

Exhibits can be removed by selecting the Delete ( ) option which aligns with the exhibit being removed. If all exhibits need to be removed from the Narrative, use the [Remove All] option.

Narrative Settings

Additional Narrative options and settings are available through the Narrative Settings page.

Narrative Version and Options

All plans created after March 2021 will be set to the current Narrative version. If the current plan's Narrative version needs to be changed, used the drop-down to select one of the previous versions: January 2021 (default), January 2014, and March 2015.

Select Narrative font from Default Font drop-down.

At any point during the Narrative creation process, a display of the most recent changes can be viewed and saved ( PDF) by selecting the [Publish] option located in the top right next to the Narrative settings icon.

REACH Integration

If Good Faith Efforts data are available from REACH and you would like to include the data in this Affirmative Action plan, check the box under: Reach Integration.

REACH Help Cross-reference: Each REACH data record must be associated with at least one or more Locations, a Plan Date, and an Evaluation for the integration to work. See: REACH > Activities.

Import Narratives from Exising Plan

Narrative elements can be imported from another plan through the [Import Plan] option. Import options include:
  • Tag Values
  • Templates

Export and Import the Narrative Tags and Values

Within balanceAAP, an Excel file can be downloaded, completed, and imported back into the system to support the management of the plan's Tags. Each plan in the set will be identified by Plan Code.

Quick Tip: If you want an existing Narrative tag to be retained as is, leave that column in the Excel template blank.

  • To export the plan's Tag's, click the [Export Template] button, and save the template to your computer or network.
  • Complete the template with the necessary values; then save the Excel document with a new title.
  • Return to Narrative Settings and click the [Import Template] button and then select either option to overwrite existing values with the blanks OR ignore incoming blanks (default).
  • Browse for and select the desired file, and click [Import].