Using the Mail Merge Wizard

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NeoOffice includes two different ways of printing form letters.

[edit] The Mail Merge Wizard

This wizard holds your hand to produce a form letter with an address block at the top and an optional salutation tailored to the gender of the recipient. You can use it with any database that is registered in NeoOffice and it will work with both tables and queries. However there is a bug that causes it not to recognise the database if you are trying to use the results of a query.

These instructions should help you get past the bug:

  • At stage 3 of the Mail Merge Wizard click "Select Different Address List…"
  • In the dialogue that appears the correct database should already be highlighted.
  • Click "Change Table…"
  • In the dialogue that appears the table is highlighted, not the Query.
  • Select the Query and click OK.
  • Click OK again
  • In the Mail Merge Wizard steps 4 and on should now be black and under the "Select Different Address List…" button should be the name of the database you are wanting to use.

[edit] DIY Form Letters

If you don't like Wizards (and quite frankly the Mail Merge Wizard is not a great example) then you can build your own Form Letters.

Open the Data Sources frame in the View menu. If your database or spreadsheet is not in the box on the left side of the frame, use Exchange Database in the Edit Menu to add your data source to the list. Drag the field names from your database into your document. When you are happy with the layout simply choose Print… from the File menu and a dialogue will appear asking you to confirm if you are printing a form letter or not. If you choose yes a simple dialogue opens allowing you to choose which records to print and whether to send the results to printer or file. Do NOT check the "don't show this message again" checkbox! If you do, when printing you will only be able to print the field names in a document. The only way to "uncheck" this box is to trash the NeoOffice 2.2 folder found in username/Library/Preferences. (If you need to do this, see Recovering Settings from Old or Corrupt Preferences to learn how to salvage templates, autotext, and other data stored in NeoOffices preferences folder.)

This is much simpler than using the Mail Merge Wizard, however, if your address data contains blank fields there is no way of hiding them (something that the Wizard does well).

[edit] Related External Links

Mail Merge in Openofficeorg: Everything You Need to Know

A thorough article from OOo tutorial expert Solveig Haugland, provided by mailing label specialists Worldlabel.com. May also be downloaded as a pdf.

Mail merge in OpenOffice.org

An extensive article that details a way to use dBase files to make mail merges easier. May also be downloaded as a pdf.


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