View Full Version : S/Ware Gurus: Mail Merge Help Wanted

03-02-2004, 06:44 PM
I used to be quite good at this, in another Word Processor,
but Word is like a jungle!

Objective: a Form form (akin to a form letter) where all fields
are prompted for keyboard entry. I.e. no computer-based
data source is involved.

So far, Iíve gleaned from unhelpful HELP that operator input
(i.e. ASK or FILLIN) are Word Fields, not Merge Fields and
what I should be using. So, I have created my form form with
all these questions and prompts - bookmarks(?) in them, but I
canít figure out how to start off the process, using the file
that Iíve created.

This is for my wife who wants to be able to press/select
something to do with the file, then have Word open the file,
prompt her to complete each field, then offer her the chance
to check final document formatting, then provide the option
to save; or save and print; or print without saving. And - of
course - leave the base document untouched, to be used
again and again.

Then, I also want to use some conditional [IF] FILLIN fields.
Text of prompt question for input: "Is this person an existing
customer: enter YES or NO"
Then, the next Word Field would be:
IF the previous question was answered with a YES . . .
Prompt for input text: "enter customer number" (keyboard
entry), but with Word supplying the leading text: Customer
IF any answer other than YES, skip prompt and leading text
and proceed to next field.

What key is pressed at the end of keyboard input? I suspect
that [ENTER] may just put in a carriage return.

03-02-2004, 07:15 PM
Hi Perry,this article details using the AutoFill method....
How to Create an Automated Form with Fill-in Fields (http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;142213&Product=wrd)

The other option is to create a Userform that has fields where you enter the info. This would require some VBA knowledge.


03-02-2004, 07:16 PM
> What key is pressed at the end of keyboard input? I
> suspect
> that [ENTER] may just put in a carriage return.

Probably the [TAB] key.


03-02-2004, 07:51 PM
If you use the method described in the above article then the Enter key is the carriage return when you are typing data in the prompted box.

04-02-2004, 12:35 PM
Thanks, Parry - I've made some progress. The article clarified some things, but once saved as a template, creating a new document from that template didn't furnish a "form" document to fill in. Just a standard (fully editable) Word file which didn't hop from field to field when tab was pressed.

Someone else suggested using the Forms Toolbar. I've tried this with greater success. One point emphasised was the need to "lock" the page before saving it as a template.

The MS article didn't say this. Should it? Is that why I didn't get a form to fill in?

04-02-2004, 02:55 PM
Using AutoFill will not create a form but has dialog boxes pop up one after the other as you complete them. When you create the field you specify what the prompt is (the message in the dialogue box).

Templates should be saved in your templates folder. When you select the "Save As Type" drop down box when saving you should see an option to save as a Templates XLT file. This will open the folder where all other templates are saved and is where you should save the file.

To use, you dont open through Windows Explorer or through the Open button in Word, but rather by using File|New from within Word then selecting the template from within the General tab.

When you do this Excel opens this as a new document (which can be saved or not as you please) based on the template. If you open the template directly you are overwriting the template itself.

A form gives you more flexibility as you can put controls such as option buttons for certain questions (Yes/No) etc and then pass the info to the Word doc. I would normally create bookmarks then pass the values to the bookmarks. However you will need some VBA knowledge or help to do this if you want to go down this route.

05-02-2004, 11:45 AM
Parry, I thought I did all that was required. Unfortunately, I can't illustrate the codes that show up with [ALF]+f9 because the clipboard wont capture them.

So far, as I'm doing better with that suggestion, I'm using the froms toolbar and have created a document that works something like I need. (She needs!)

I first learnt mailmerge code on an 8-bit machine running at 4Hz. How things have changed!

I've decided to avoid conditional [IF] fields, in the interests of not turning what's left of my brain into scrambled eggs!

05-02-2004, 11:49 AM
A Postscript. The "other" MS article that was referred to, which I looked at too late - dammit - seems to illustrate what I ended up doing.

05-02-2004, 12:39 PM
Cool glad you have it sussed. :D

Its quite hard to explain all the things you could do via a message board. Unfortunately you cannot attach files here otherwise I could create a quick form for you as an example.

05-02-2004, 01:06 PM
I'm not at all sure that I have it fully "sussed" just yet. But enough to get started, anyway.

If you're disposed, spiller-AT-free.net.nz should reach me.

05-02-2004, 02:40 PM
If I get time over the next few days Ill send something through. I see I have Excel on the brain and was referring to XLT (Excel templates) instead of Word templates (DOT files) in an earlier post. Nevermind. :8}

06-02-2004, 11:59 AM

I could e-mail you a copy of what I've achieved, so far, if that would be easier.