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  1. #1
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    Jan 2005
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    Question Unanswered: Alternative to Word2K Mail-Merge?

    I have two fields, [ClassHead] and [Classbody] - where [ClassHead] must be formatted "Bold" and [ClassBody] must be formatted "Regular". Additionally, the two fields are joined together by a space, hyphen, space combination to create something like:

    This is the ClassHead - And this is the ClassBody

    This concept is simple to understand, but here's where it gets tricky. Each record, which is of course a combination of the two fields, belongs to a category - there are 74 of them in all. I have to get all of the records out of the database and into another application with the formatting intact.

    To date, my only approach was to use a query to filter my records and then use a Word 2000 Mail-Merge to retreive the records. I would set up a catalog Mail-Merge, base it on the query within Access, and then use Word's Mail-Merge query filtering to grab the records. (Because Word is not capable of grouping (grrr...), I have to filter each category individually, starting with 1 and ending with 74) I created a very simple merge document to acheive the proper formatting and then follow this process for categories 1-74:

    1. Open Mail-Merge query dialog
    2. Filter by "Category" - "Equal to" - "1"
    3. Merge document
    4. Highlight and cut all of the records in the document
    5. Paste them into the third-party application
    6. Close the merged document (which is now empty)
    7. Repeat until category = 74

    My merge document (template) is as follows and is what allows me to get the proper formatting for the records:

    <<ClassHead>> - <<ClassBody>>

    I'd really love to be able to output ALL of the records at once and have a heading at the top of each category. (The category name, ID number, anything) That way, I could create one document and have all of my formatting and records in one place. It would also take considerably less time since I would no longer have to merge each of the 74 categories individually and then consolidate all of the output into 1 file via copy/paste. If anyone has any suggestions or tricks for accomplishing this task, please let me know.

  2. #2
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    Jul 2004
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    I don't suppose you've tried looking at the Reports tab in the database widow have you?

    If you have then fair enough, but a little research into reporting and you'll find that this will do what you want for you, and you can set a generic format for it to follow as well.

    Im also pretty sure that it's faster than doing a mail merge as well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    I tried using reports at one point, but I could never get the records to output correctly. There was always a large gap between lines and the grouping never turned out right. What do you suggest in terms of the reporting?

    Additionally, now that I think about it, the formatting caused problems as well. I beleive it was because I need to combine two individual fields, one of which is formatted bold. I tried using two text boxes and placing them next to each other, but that doesn't work. I also tried the following:

    Control Source = [ClassHead] & "-" & [ClassBody]

    Results in: ClassHead - ClassBody
    I Need: ClassHead - ClassBody

    That would actually output the record correctly, but it lacks the formatting of the bold ClassHead. Now if I could find a way to make the ClassHead bold and still output it that way to a RTF Word document, then of course everything would be ok. The formatting is what throws a wrench into the works.
    Last edited by DaVinci; 03-09-05 at 05:51.
    *DaVinci
    "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"

  4. #4
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    Just a quick question:

    Is it absolutely imperative to display ClassHead as Bold and ClassBody as normal. Also, could you give us an example of the kind of data that will populate the ClassHead and ClassBody elements.

  5. #5
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    Yes, it's imperative that the ClassHead field be formatted BOLD. In terms of the data, these are text ads for a magazine. For example:

    New Research Study - Call Dr. Smith at 555-5555 for important study details.

    Both the ClassHead and ClassBody are simply text strings, but the Head MUST be formatted bold.
    *DaVinci
    "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"

  6. #6
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    Ok,

    My next question, why combine them? I assume that the 1 - 74 is the ad number, and you'll at least have [Ad_Number], [ClassHead], [ClassBody]. And i assume that each ad is self contained in a single record, am i right?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    The numbers 1-74 are the category numbers, for instance: Medical companies, Help wanted, and Physician services. They're the groups that the records (ads) fall into and there could potentially be hundreds of ads per category. The reason that the [ClassHead] and [ClassBody] need to be combined is because thats how the publication is formatted - the first portion of the ad is bold, then a hyphen, and then a regular format ClassBody section follows. The [ClassHead] and [ClassBody] are contained within two separate fields - they are not combined in the table. The reason for this was so that I could format the first portion bold (after exporting from the table) since you can't store format information for just a part of the data found in a field. The output must look like the following:

    ClassHead - [ClassBody]

    I know it sounds confusing, but it's actually a very common practice in the publishing industry. Most large companies purchase pre-made software for $thousands that accomplishes exactly what I'm after. I figure if they can make Access, FileMaker, or any other DBMS perform this task, I can as well.
    *DaVinci
    "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"

  8. #8
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    I respect what you're saying DaVinci, however, i am certain that you can achieve the results that you want without having to resort to merging the two cells.

    However, the only problem i can think that you'll run into is spacing the textboxes once the text has been added to it, so i can see why this method would be undesireable.


    Try looking at this, it may help you out:

    http://web.ask.com/redir?u=http%3A%2...nip&Complete=1

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    144
    The textbox spacing method was my first approach to the task, but as you stated, there were some undesirable side effects. The horizontal spacing (kerning) between the characters was not as much a problem as was the vertical spacing (leading) between the lines. I would end up with large gaps between them and Word had a hard time coping with it.

    I was trying to accomplish this without resorting to a third-part RTF solution, but that might just be the last resort. I'm going to try a few more (non-conventional / crude) methods to accomplishing this and I'll post once/if I find a way to get it done. Thanks for all of the help, it's greatly appreciated.
    *DaVinci
    "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication"

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