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How To Mail Merge From Collect! To Word

Easily print mailing labels in MS Word using data from your Collect! database.

This document will explain how this is done:

  • Print the sample report from the Demonstration database
  • View the results in MS Word
  • Customize the report and template to suit your needs.

If you are running Collect! version 8.2.2 or 10.2.2 or newer, the Redirect To function is available when you select OTHER as the Destination for printing a report. We will use this to demonstrate how to print a mailing label for each one of the letters you are about to send to your debtors. The easiest way to try this is to print the sample report set up already in the Demonstration database. It is named Mailing Labels Redirected To Template.

tip.gif This example uses a template for MS Word 2000 created for Avery Label #5960. This template is shipped with Collect! in the STYLES folder and it is named labeltemplate.dot.

Print The Sample Report

The Mailing Labels Redirected To Template report looks for In Progress Letter contacts due today or earlier. It also checks for Address OK on each debtor. When you print the report, a mailmerge.csv file is created with headings that match a predesigned labeltemplate.dot file in Collect!'s .\styles folder. MS Word opens automatically and displays the labels ready to print.

To try this out, sign into the Demonstration database in Collect! and stop at the Main Menu.

1. Select Print from the top menu bar and then select Reports and Letters from the drop-down choices. This will display the list of reports in the Demonstration database.

2. Scroll down the list until to see the report named Mailing Labels Redirected To Template.

3. Select the report to begin the printing process. The Print Report form will display where you can set your printing options. The settings displayed there by default for this report have been set in the Report Options form for the Mailing Labels Redirected To Template report. Please leave all the settings as they are and select PRINT.

Collect! will quickly scan through your contacts and print the appropriate data to the mailmerge.csv file in the .\styles folder. Then this information will be redirected to the predesigned MS Word labeltemplate.dot that is also in the styles folder. The results will be displayed in MS Word automatically in a few minutes.

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View The Results

When MS Word displays the results, you may want someone on hand who is familiar with that program. Label Templates have two modes - one shows the layout and the other shows the actual data. If you are looking at the layout mode, you may be confused. Your office MS Word whiz can help you out! There are buttons at the top of the screen to change the view. Also, you may need to fix the layout or page margins a bit before you print the labels.

That's all there is to it. If you are satisfied using the template we have already set up, you can copy the report to your Masterdb database. All the settings in the Report Options form will carry over and can remain as they are, as long as you continue to use the .\styles folder for your mailmerge.csv file and your labeltemplate.dot template file.

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Customize The Report

If you require other fields in your labels, you may need to modify the report codes or create a new MS Word label template. Please examine the Report Body of the Mailing Labels Redirected to Template to see how this report was designed. Remember that the headings must match the template.dot that you use. Modifications require someone who is familiar with creating templates in MS Word and who understands how the headings in the Report Body will relate to creating the template.

In the report itself, we have included many extra fields so that you may be able to easily create a new template in MS Word without having to modify the report in Collect!. All the data fields that are printed to the mailmerge.csv file are available for you to use in designing your new template.dot.

You must ensure two things:

  • The mailmerge.csv and the MS Word labeltemplate.dot must be in the same folder.
  • The correct folder path for these two files must be entered into the Mailing Labels Redirected To Template report's Report Options. (This is accessed through the OPTIONS button in the report's Report Definition form.)

tip.gif A sample mail merge report for Client mailing labels is also available. Please request details if the report named Client Labels Redirected To Template is not in your Demonstration database.

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Summary

Using Collect!'s Redirect To feature, it is easy to merge address data from Collect! to a predesigned MS Word Label template. Try this out by printing the sample report shipped in the Demodb database.

When you print the report, the mailmerge.csv will be created in Collect!'s styles folder where the sample labeltemplate.dot resides by default.

If you are satisfied that the Mailing Labels Redirected To Template report works for you, copy it to your Masterdb database.

You may customize the report sample and the template.dot to suit your needs, but this requires someone who knows how to create templates in MS Word.

tip.gif The same process may be used for your favorite MS Word Letter Templates if you want to print letters out of MS Word merging data from Collect!.

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Technical Note

If your version of Collect! does not have the Redirect To feature, you can still use the Report Writer to create a CSV report. Then open your word processing program and create a template to merge the data into mailing labels. Please refer to the help topic How To Create A CSV Report for details.

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See Also

- Report Options
- How To Copy Reports To Master Database
- How To Create A CSV Report

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