2 Replies Latest reply on Nov 9, 2010 11:54 AM by philmodjunk

    Word or Filemaker for generating reports as letters?



      Word or Filemaker for generating reports as letters?


      How can I generate a letter from my database? I wish the trigger to be the filling in of a specific date field, but I don't know how to go further than that...

      Do I create a letter template within Filemaker, or export to a Word doc for instance? And if there are many different alternative versions of the same letter that depend on info kept in the database, how do I get the correct data into the letter? 

      Is there a way to have a button that somehow generates a list of questions, the answers to which define the info to go in the letter? Or can a script automatically do the selecting depending on the database info?


        • 1. Re: Word or Filemaker for generating reports as letters?

          The script can automatically fill in the form using merge fields.

          I have created my merge documents as a FM layout with database info automatically entered into merge fields. works very well and I have had no need to export to word for this.

          I do not, however, have much experience using a mailing list but from what I've seen it looks pretty straitforward in FM

          Hope this Helps


          • 2. Re: Word or Filemaker for generating reports as letters?

            FileMaker is best when used as a database. MS Word is best used when used for word processing. Both have some features from the other camp and both can be used for generating form letters. So this isn't something I can make a straight forward recommendation on to you as it depends on what you need to accomplish.

            As David583 indicates, FileMaker has a pretty complete set up for merging data in fields into a larger block of text. You can define a calculation field that merges the data or you can merge the data with merge fields on a layout. There are even ways where you can type a letter in a large text field, inserting "tags" that FileMaker can replace with text from other fields to create the customized form letters.

            Here's another option:

            You can export data from FileMaker as a merge file--a format specifically designed to support use with MS Word and you can then Import the merge file into MS Word for generating a series of form letters. I think there's now a way to do this with a direct link between Word and FileMaker without exporting/importing the data. Once you generated your letters, you can even store the completed letters, their PDFs, or their file references back in FileMaker container fields for future reference.