8 Replies Latest reply on Dec 21, 2010 12:04 PM by philmodjunk

    Editable Form Letter

    JohnAnthony

      Title

      Editable Form Letter

      Post

      Ran into a snag with my database design.  I send standard form letters to clients, but on occasion that standard letter needs to be edited for just that one print out (one print and one record, ex. sending a monthly report btu I need to enter some specific info to that client).  I dont want to permanently edit the form letter, just edit it for the one time I print it out.  Any suggestions?

        • 1. Re: Editable Form Letter
          philmodjunk

          You can define a calculation field that combines customized info from FileMaker data fields with your form letter text to send out a personalized letter.

          There are a number of methods you can use. The simplest is to set up your layout with merge text that combines layout text with fields to generate your customized form letter.

          Dear <<EmailTable::Salutation>>,

          We are contacting you to... //and so forth

          In layout mode, you'll see the merge field names in <<  >>. In browse and when you print, you'll see the data from the current record inserted in those locations where you've inserted a merge field.

          You can also use a variety of different expressions in calculation fields to combine template text with data recorded in fields in your database.

          • 2. Re: Editable Form Letter
            JohnAnthony

            OK, I have an idea of what you mean.  I have found a way I think will work for my case.  Here is what I could use.  How do I setup a field so it has a standard entry when created.  For example, lets say I have a CUSTOMER LETTER that I send out to everyone.  It will be the same for everyone.  In the CUSTOMER LETTER TEXT field I want it to say "Hello" every single time as a standard entry.  But I can change that field by typing on it without affecting any other customer.  Is there a way to have a field start with certain text, but be editable and nto change any other record?

            So far all my form letters are setup with Mail merge items

            • 3. Re: Editable Form Letter
              JohnAnthony

              I think I solved my own problem, I saw the option to have a fields data entered "as" when you create a record

              • 4. Re: Editable Form Letter
                philmodjunk

                Yes, there are several auto-enter options you can use.

                If you have several different sets of "boiler plate" that you want to select from, you can even store these in a related table and use the looked up value auto-enter option to copy data from a selected boiler plate record into your new record. The looked up text can then be edited by you as needed.

                • 5. Re: Editable Form Letter
                  JohnAnthony

                  OK didnt work as that is limited to 255 characters

                  • 6. Re: Editable Form Letter
                    JohnAnthony

                    OK so I will have to do a looked up field.  But if I do looked up, it needs to be a related table, however if I do a related table it is looking for notes just from that record.  Im not sure how to relate these tables to get it to look for one value instead of one record

                    • 7. Re: Editable Form Letter
                      JohnAnthony

                      Would I just say copy next lower value?  It seems to have worked I think.  On the letters table, each letter has its own field, but there is only one ID that relates it to the main table

                      • 8. Re: Editable Form Letter
                        philmodjunk

                        I think we have some confusion here bewteen the value to be looked up and the key used to match values in the relationship.

                        Your boiler plate text won't be limited to 255 characters either.

                        Define a table, BoilerPlate, with Three fields: MessageID (auto-entered serial number), MessageTitle, and MessageText.

                        Define a number field, MessageID in your main table.

                        Link the two tables like this:

                        MainTable::MessageID = BoilerPlate::MessageID

                        In the auto-enter field options for your message text field in your Main Table, select the looked up value option and specify that the value be looked up from BoilerPlate::MessageText.

                        Now, when you enter or select the ID number of an existing MessageText stored in the BoilerPlate table, it's text will be automatically be copied into the text field of your main table.

                        You can format MainTable::MessageID with a value list with the ID's from BoilerPlate in column 1 and the Message Titles in column 2 so that you can easily select the starting text you want to use in your record.