4 Replies Latest reply on Dec 10, 2013 12:13 AM by AndrewCraven

    Form letters

    AndrewCraven

      Title

      Form letters

      Post

           Hi, I have created a form letter for merging.  This will be sent to a significant section of my database.  However,  I need to edit the odd letter - is this possible?  If so how?

           Many thanks

           Andrew

        • 1. Re: Form letters
          philmodjunk

               How are you sending the message? Email or Snail mail?

               How did you set up your form letter capability exactly? (There's simple and more complex options for how you might do this.)

          • 2. Re: Form letters
            AndrewCraven

                 HI ,

                 I am sending the message by snail mail.  If I understand your question correctly I set up the letter as a new layout?  Hope that makes sense.

                  

                 Thanks Andrew

            • 3. Re: Form letters
              philmodjunk

                   The simplest approach to producing form letters is to combine layout text with merge fields on a layout and then you can print a bunch of form letters that all have the same layout text, but have data from your database inserted into the layout text to produce a letter. To a limited degree, you could make such a letter "customizable" if you added a merge field at the beginning or end of the letter that was blank for records for which you don't want to add that "customized message". You could then edit that field in a different layout to provide "custom text" for just one recipient.

                   But that's not the only option. You can also set up your basic message as Text in the record of a "template table" where each record is a different standard message with place holder text inserted for different fields. You then use a layout with a large calculation field that uses the Substitute function to replace the placeholders with data from your database to print out your letters. Since the message body is now text in a field, you can duplicate the record and edit that text to produce a different form letter from that created originally.

                   See this demo file for a simple example of such a message template system: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6xw8buafjuohncu/MessageTemplateBuilder.fp7

                   FileMaker 12 and 13 users can use Open from the File menu to get a copy converted to the .fmp12 file format.

              • 4. Re: Form letters
                AndrewCraven

                     Thank you Phil(?) this is most helpful.  I am away from my desk today but will take on board your suggestions later when I have more time to digest them.  Kind regards,  Andrew, Hay on Wye, UK