5 Replies Latest reply on Mar 25, 2016 5:32 AM by DanielShanahan

    Approach for high volume merge documents

    DanielShanahan

      I have a potential client that works with hundreds of government documents.  The documents are in MS Word and appear to be fairly simple.  By that, I mean they are mostly canned text with locations for merged text.

       

      The forms will be printed, not used electronically as an email attachment.

       

      I'm wondering how to approach this.  Should I:

      1. Copy/paste the government documents into FileMaker layouts?

      2. Keep them as Word documents and export the necessary data from FileMaker?

       

      I think #1 would be easiest in terms of merging the data.  I'm curious what others in the community think.

        • 1. Re: Approach for high volume merge documents
          Mike_Mitchell

          The customer would have more control over the formatting if you keep it in Word and just provide the data.

           

          That said, it's possible using some plugins to export a report as a Word document. That would accomplish both purposes (allowing the user to have control over the formatting but avoiding the export headache). I believe ScriptMaster will do this (someone correct me if I'm wrong).

          • 2. Re: Approach for high volume merge documents
            beverly

            The customer would have more control over the formatting if you keep it in Word and just provide the data.

             

            ditto. I'd export as csv (or .mer which has the field name as first record, but call it .csv by name). Then let them use this as 'data source' to the Word doc.

             

            beverly

            • 3. Re: Approach for high volume merge documents
              DanielShanahan

              Thanks Mike and Beverly.  Very helpful!

              • 4. Re: Approach for high volume merge documents
                Extensitech

                We have a client with similar needs. They're in real estate abstraction and have legal forms, some of which are customized by their clients (law firms and insurance agencies) in Word and PDF. Basically their whole operation is based around entering data and filling out those forms to return.

                 

                We've had much success with 360Works' Scribe plugin. Our client can upload their own word or pdf documents and map fields from FM into fields in the document. When all the data is entered for a transaction, we use the document and mapping records to loop through and create filled out documents to deliver to the client. We've had to do a lot to wrangle the data and the rules for who gets what document, and to make the configuration screens understandable, but none of it would've been possible without Scribe and 360Works' support.

                 

                Given the quantity (and sometimes, harebrained complexity) of all the various documents, making layouts for each would essentially require a full-time person translating documents into layouts. I can't even imagine...

                 

                We've done similar things in the past for other clients, but on a much smaller scale and only for pdf. This one has been much more complex, and then they threw Word documents in, too. Scribe has kept up with the challenge, and 360Works' support is, I think, second to none.

                 

                HTH

                Chris Cain

                Extensitech

                • 5. Re: Approach for high volume merge documents
                  DanielShanahan

                  Thanks Chris, that is helpful.