Reviewed and replaced sub headings in the What To Do When Word Crashes page, to remove some ambiguity.
Added a page describing a new add-in to simplify the process of adding graphics merge fields to a document. This is a companion page to Mail Merge Graphics which described the process of merging graphics in some depth, but which many lay users felt to be over complicated.
Added a page describing an add-in to aid the storage and insertion of boilerplate texts for use in a document.
Added a page describing an add-in to simplify the process of inserting the filename and path of a document into that document, a task some users seem to find difficult ... but hopefully for no longer!
A user reported that on following advice on the 'What To Do When Word Crashes' page, essential data had been deleted. This appears to have been as a result of using the batch file described, without addressing the warning in the previous paragraph. This is the first time that such an issue has been reported in around ten years that the advice has been posted on my web site. To attempt to ensure that this doesn't occur again, I have used larger text in the warning message to make the potential dangers even more obvious.
Paul Edstein has updated his catalog mail merge tutorial. The main improvements concern the handling of merges with two keys (e.g. to handle cities with the same names in different states) and the processing of email merges.
Corrected the count in the progress indicator of Many to One mail merge which was reading one more than it should, and revised the code relating to the merging of protected forms, which caused some problems when merging to e-mail as attachments.
Whilst developing an application for a private client, I required a routine to read Excel data into a Userform list box. I have further developed the routine I came up with to produce a stand-alone function that will fill any userform list box or combo box with data from a worksheet and have added the code to an existing page.
A small number of users reported that the Many to One mail merge add-in would not work for them when used with the personalised covering message option. I have therefore re-worked that part of the code and the revised version appears to work for those users who previously had problems.
I have been experimenting with message forms, for my contacts page, and am torn between two versions, so you may see some changes to the contacts page over the next few days as I finalize my choice.
Added an accompanying page to the simple userform tutorial page to demonstrate a method of populating a combo box with data from a Word table, and using that data to insert a graphic from the table into a document.
Minor changes to the text of the instructions for enabling Word versions to run together on the same platform to reflect the use of Word 2013.
In response to a user suggestion I have added the options to set the priority of the messages and to request a delivery receipt in the Many to One mail merge add-in. I have also modified the progress indicator to give a more meaningful indication of progress.
Minor change to main dialog of the Many to One mail merge add-in to improve display compatibility between Word 2007/10 and Word 2013.
Additional error trapping in the Many to One mail merge add-in to trap the use of the # character in the data source, the presence of which will cause the process to fail.
Fixed the Print Envelope or Label add-in dialogs to work with Word 2013 and included a dramatically simplified start label function (thanks to Greg Maxey) that hopefully will work with all label formats.
Fixed an obscure bug and updated the Individual Merge Letters add-in to accommodate Word 2013.
Updated the Save Reminder add-in to accommodate Word 2013.
Updated the Associate Printer add-in to accommodate Word 2013
Word 2013 imposes some issues on the userforms employed in the add-ins on this web site and this has meant changing some of them slightly to correct display anomalies. First to be altered is the Many to One add-in. For Word 2007 and Word 2010 users the changes will be barely noticeable.
I have also significantly updated the save numbered version add-in to provide more control over file naming.
Introduced further error handling to the Many to One add-in to cover the situation where a data file has only one field. This would be inappropriate for many to one merges, but could be permissible in one to one merges.
Added the option to convert RTF format to the Document Batch Converter add-in.
Included a minor modification to enable Word 2013 compatibility in the Document Batch Converter add-in
Paul Edstein has added an update to his Catalogue Mail Merge tutorial related to the handling of merges with two keys (e.g. to handle cities with the same names in different states) and the processing of email merges.
I have added a note to the Many to One add-in page to warn against using nested tables in the merge document used with this application.
Fixed a missing line break in the macro code relating to extracting data from similar documents.
Greg Maxey has continued development work on the convert numbers to cash values add-in to follow directions I did not wish to pursue at this juncture, however some of the benefits of that development work have been incorporated in the version of add-in on my site. If you want to see where Greg has taken the add-in, then see his web page on the topic.
Minor change to the convert numbers to cash values add-in to handle invalid currency number formats.
Minor change to the layout dialog of the convert numbers to cash values add-in. Functionally the add-in remains the same.
With my friend and long time collaborator Greg Maxey at a bit of a loose end this week, I gave him the code for the convert numbers to cash values to kick around. He came up with an ingenious means of providing user configuration for local currencies that I have adopted for version 2.
Added a new page featuring a Word add-in to convert numbers to cash values in figures and text.
Doug has added a minor change to his calendar template.
Sweltering in the unusually high temperatures of this year's Australian summer, Doug Robbins has been passing some time creating a neat calendar function that does not require the MSCAL.OCX object library that can be used in your projects. The calendar is available in template form and is linked from the Downloads page
New Year's Eve, and I finish what has been a disappointing year with an addition to the Replace Using Wildcards page that I updated at the weekend. The replaced illustrations prompted my old friend Greg Maxey to suggest a macro to grab the value of the character at the cursor instead of messing around with calculators. This seems fair enough and I have now included such a macro, loosely based on his suggested code.
User reported a file path error message when the Many to One merge add-in was used to create a many to one merge to e-mail as a PDF attachment with a Word document as covering message body. This has been fixed in version 6.2.
I have updated the illustrations relating to the Windows calculator in the Replace Using Wildcards page to those from Windows 7, as the calculator format has changed.
Yesterday I uploaded a modified version of my new Many to One mail merge add-in. While playing around with it today, I felt that it might benefit from a few minor aesthetic changes to the opening page, to highlight the two main merge function selectors. Given that it's the holidays and few people have downloaded the changed version, I have stuck with version 6.1 for the updated version. You will know if you have the revised version as it has a yellow border around the merge type option buttons.
The Many To One add-in I posted recently has proved problematical with respect to the temporary folder where the messages are stored prior to sending. Because of the flexibility of Outlook with respect to the different types of accounts it can support, and the number of possible files it can hold open simultaneously, finding a universal solution has proved nigh on impossible and occasionally the messages would stick in the drafts folder.
Today I have uploaded an update which attempts to address this, and also adds the facility to retain the last used merge type (Many to One or One to One) for use next time. The routines for creating and removing the temporary folder have also been completely re-written to improve reliability.
For some weeks I have been working on a major update to the Many to One mail merge add-in to incorporate many user suggestions and to improve reliability. I also took the opportunity to add the ability to include attachments when the documents were merged to e-mail, which effectively rendered the Mail Merge with Attachments Add-in redundant. I have therefore removed that from the site.
The add-in has been redesigned from the ground up, albeit it works on similar principles to the earlier version and I have taken the opportunity to include much more error checking to eliminate all the common problems users have experienced. All the functions now have help screens available at the click of a button.
Paul Edstein (Macropod) has updated his Catalogue Mail Merge tutorial.
Update to the Merge with Attachments add-in to fix an issue relating to the failure to update all the fields in some documents.
By user request I have added the options to add or remove all selected files to the dialog of the Insert a batch of files into a Word document add-in.
Fixed a bug in the Many to One mail merge add-in that caused it to omit the last record.
Added a new page and add-in to attempt to simplify the inclusion of Tables of Contents in a document.
Added a second new page featuring a template with macro code to extract Outlook Contacts to an Excel worksheet, primarily for use with the various mail merge add-ins on this web site, though of course it can be used for any purpose for which Outlook Contact data would be required in an Excel Worksheet.
Additional functionality added to the popular Individual Merge Letters add-in to improve document handling and to allow the inclusion of a second field in the filename.
At the suggestion of a site user, I have added social networking site links to all the main pages. (See top right of the page.)
Yesterday while working on the problem in the Merge to E-Mail with Attachments add-in, it occurred to me that having fixed the issue with the covering message, it should be possible to include merge fields in the covering e-mail message, as well as in the attachment, and this morning I implemented that in version 4.2 for Word 2007 and 2010. This does have the drawback of slowing the process, but that is a small price to pay for the advantages. You can always leave the merge to run while you take a lunch break - or overnight!
Users had reported a bug in version 4.0 of the Merge to E-Mail with Attachments add-in, which I had confirmed, necessitating its temporary removal from the site. Fixing it has been less than straightforward, and it required a re-write of the whole of the e-mail section. This does at least mean that Version 4.1, unlike earlier versions, should now work with both Office 2010 and 2007. Hopefully users will find the new version bug free.
The lessons learned in fixing the above, have also been applied to the Many to One add-in, enabling the same add-in to be used for Word 2007 and 2010. Version 4.9 of that add-in now available. However if you have version 4.8 working satisfactorily, there is no need to update to 4.9.
Release version 1.5 of the Extract Data from Forms add-in to fix issue with attachments not being added to the return e-mail messages.
Minor bug-fix release version 3.3 of the Variables, Bookmarks and Content controls editor.
Following a suggestion from friend Greg Maxey, I have improved the handling of content control based forms in the Extract Data from Forms add-in to allow the extraction of Picture and Building Block content control values to the Word table data format. I have also added detection and rejection of documents with content controls that have not been fully completed.
I have also fixed a bug in the report function that allowed the report to be created even if Cancel was selected.
Added an Office 2003 version of the Extract Data from Forms add-in, and made a minor programming detail change to the Office 2010 version.
A user enquiry last month caused me to re-evaluate my page related to extracting data from forms. The result was a major new project to produce an add-in that combined the macro functions I had detailed with the addition of significant error correction in the hope that users can take advantage of it, however their forms are formatted. The old web page title has been retained, but just about everything else has been replaced.
If you are thinking of processing protected forms (or forms with content controls) then you should find this new Extract Data from Forms add-in function useful
A major revision of the variables and content controls etc editor, though all the credit this time must go to Greg Maxey, who has been burning the midnight oil while I have been attending to personal matters overseas and unavailable to assist.
I am not even going to try and explain the changes, but would refer you to his site for anything you have problems with.
Another minor bug fix to the Many to One merge add-in.
I have finally completed a major revision of the Mail Merge with attachments.
The new version (Version 4.0) is initially only available for Word 2010, though I plan to try and implement the changes for Word 2007 also. However owing to a family bereavement, this will have to wait until at least the end of the month, and I will not be available to provide support for the site during this period, so hopefully the bugs don't creep out of the new version before I get back to my office.
The previous version remains buggy, so I have removed the 2007 version entirely for the present. The 2010 version will not work in Office 2007.
Further modifications to the dialogs of the Many to One merge add-in. Version 4.7 now available.
Added a function to bookmark each image as it is added by the Photo Gallery add-in template.
I have removed the content from the Merge Protected Forms page as I have incorporated the function in the Many-to-One add-in. This add-in also provides an option to split a merge letter on a One-to-One basis. I have also updated the error correction and the logic behind the userform to attempt to improve reliability further.
Thanks are due to my old friend Greg Maxey whose password gathering routine pointed a way towards the password function I have used for unlocking the protected forms in this add-in, which had been driving me crazy.
Further minor detail changes to the Photo Gallery add-in template.
Included some additional functions and minor bug fixes to the Photo Gallery add-in template.
Greg Maxey has been collaborating with improvements to the Photo Gallery template, and has been trying to persuade me to convert the document template to the add-in version along the lines of the version he had produced from my template. It did not seem to make much sense to produce separate but similar templates so we have combined our efforts to produce the current version as an add-in.
There are still some minor differences in presentation between our two versions, but they are functionally identical.
Fixed a minor error in the Envelopes and Labels add-in and removed an irrelevant file from the zip file.
Minor bug fix to the Photo Gallery template, to recall the last used font for the Caption text.
Minor modifications to the Many to One add-ins for Word 2007 and 2010 to ensure that the temporary Outlook folder is only created for merges to e-mail.
A user reported that the Individual Merge Letters add-in was having difficulties with his very complex, multi-page with tables, merge document. On his system it crashed with an out of memory error before the merge could be completed. On my system it didn't even get that far, and took an age to merge to a new single document. As the merge used an Excel worksheet it occurred to me that the Many To One add-in might do the job, as this works in an entirely different way from mail merge. A test with the user's date showed it to work quite well.
In order to use the Many to One add-in for this task, it is necessary to omit the selection of child fields (see the web page) and to use the same field as key field and naming field. The add-in then should then split the document. I have added a note to this effect to the Many to One page.
Today was one of those rare fabulous days when the sky is clear and the views from the mountains irresistible, so I took the opportunity to add some more pictures from the near the summit of Mt. Olympos to my Cyprus 2012 gallery. No doubt there are other similar images (though perhaps less clear) in some of my other galleries, but I never get tired of the mountains (the colours of which are used in this web site theme). I have also increased the size of the thumbnails in this gallery to make them more visible to iPad users.
We are having something of a heatwave here so while it is preferable to stay indoors, I have been using the time to develop a new Photo Gallery template to enable batches of photographs or other images to be displayed in a standard format in a Word document. The initial public release number of this template is 1.2.
Prompted by a private request from a user, for a function which I suspect will have wider appeal, I have added the options to the popular Individual Merge Letters add-in to enable the documents to be saved to a Sharepoint location, and to remind users to select which records they wish to merge.
The most recent versions of the Merge with Attachments and Many to One add-ins did not work with Outlook 2007, because of a change to early binding to Outlook. I have therefore produced a version that works with Outlook 2007.
Fixed a minor bug in the extract data from forms 'Content Controls to Excel' code.
Further modifications to the Many to One add-in to improve message handling in Outlook 2010.
The Merge with Attachments add-in has been updated to provide better file temporary handling in Outlook 2010 where there are accounts each with their own Drafts folder, which the earlier versions could not handle. This has meant a complete re-write of the message handling parts of the add-in and removal of some of the warning messages.
I have also updated the Many to One add-in to provide similar message handling.
In response to user feedback I have changed the source code of the Many to One and Merge with Attachments add-ins to use early binding to Outlook. This resolves a problem relating to the selection of sending accounts which were ignored with late binding.
A couple of users pointed out that the link to the merge splitter add-in was missing from the revised page. Now fixed.
My old friend Greg Maxey pointed out that the site would look better with the images centred on the pages. Reluctantly I conceded that he was right and so have spent all afternoon fixing that.
15:00 hrs local time (check the clock on the home page) and despite a few teething troubles, the new site modifications are now live.
This has been a huge exercise with around 100 pages requiring modification to the new layout. If you come across any broken links or other problems that I have missed, please e-mail me via the Contact page.
The new site is still under development, but the bulk of it should be available with the next few days. In the meantime Paul Edstein has provided an update to his mailmerge tutorial.
Having developed a layout for the new site format, work began on compiling the pages. The previous site format had been around since 2003 and was beginning to look a little tired. That site had been developed and maintained in Microsoft FrontPage 2003. Earlier this year, my site host 1 & 1 Internet Ltd had updated its software platform from Windows 2003 to Windows Server 2008R2 and the new software does not support FrontPage Extensions.
What this meant in practice was that it was difficult to maintain the updates to the site using FrontPage, so I took the plunge and moved over to Expression Web 4 and had a steep learning curve to adapt to the different way of working.
I did not feel inclined to import the best part of 10 years of history, which frankly no-one will ever look at again, but I may make the old History page available later - perhaps as a PDF file
Here you will find a blow by blow account of the changes made to the web site and the applications that you can download.