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Sam Clarke
 
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Default Using Mail Merge for Creating a Document of Biographies...

Hi,

I am currently creating a word document containing short biographies.
My aim in creating this is to be able to have a page or two for each person,
and on that page are his dates, information about him, pictures, etc.

The way to do this which seems the most obvious is by using mail merge, as
it would mean that each page is exactly the same, and I would just have to
input the data onto the data source. However, I do not have any idea of how
to start creating this document, so any help would be great!

Would it just be easier creating it using simple word (by just imputing the
information?); the only problem is would be that all the pages would have a
different format.

Thanks in advance,
Sam Clarke

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Peter Jamieson
 
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Unless you have a good reason to store the information in another format -
e.g. you might want to produce several types of output - then I would avoid
merge and simply maintain the data as a Word document. To achieve a
consistent appearance for each page or set of pages, what I would probably
do is
a. spend some time designing a draft layout. Try to put pictures in text
boxes or frames that are associated with a specific paragraph (this may be
non-trivial so if it isn't reasonably obvious how to do it, either seek help
elsewhere or don't bother). It may be useful to insert a default picture as
a placeholder to help with the layout. Create paragraph styles for each type
of material you have (perhaps one for "tags" such as date of birth, etc. one
for the body text of the bio, and so on. This will allow you to change the
overall effect quickly by changing the style rather than the formatting of
the individual paragraphs.
b. select the layout and either save it as an Autotext or as a separate
document.
c. test that the layout will work for multiple bios, by using Autotexts or
Insert|File to insert multiple copies of your layout and typing in the
information as you go along. If it works for (say) 3 or 4 bios, it should
work for lots of bios.

If you ever do need to "re-purpose" the data, the fact that you have used
paragraph styles will make it easier to write a macro to extract the dferent
types of information. However, if you have the full version of Word 2003 you
could consider using the XML features to "tag" your data for later re-use.

Peter Jamieson

"Sam Clarke" Sam wrote in message
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Hi,

I am currently creating a word document containing short biographies.
My aim in creating this is to be able to have a page or two for each
person,
and on that page are his dates, information about him, pictures, etc.

The way to do this which seems the most obvious is by using mail merge, as
it would mean that each page is exactly the same, and I would just have to
input the data onto the data source. However, I do not have any idea of
how
to start creating this document, so any help would be great!

Would it just be easier creating it using simple word (by just imputing
the
information?); the only problem is would be that all the pages would have
a
different format.

Thanks in advance,
Sam Clarke



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