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Staff Portal - Biographical Mail Merge v4.3

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Date7/14/2015
TitleStaff Portal - Biographical Mail Merge v4.3
SummaryThe following article is designed to walk the user through the steps involved in setting up a Biographical Mail Merge letter in the MMS Staff Portal. There are three areas involved in the creation and running of the mail merge. This document covers all three.
Summary2

The following article is designed to walk the user through the steps involved in setting up a Biographical Mail Merge letter in the MMS Staff Portal.  There are three areas involved in the creation and running of the mail merge.  This document covers all three.

Prior To Implementation

The Staff Portal Biographical Mail Merge is available in Version 4.3 or later of the MMS Portals.  Log into the Staff Portal.

Resolution

Step 1:  Build Data Source Files. 

  1. In the Staff Portal go to Manage > Mail Merge > Build Data Source Files.  This is the first step in creating a mail merge letter.  This operation will create a file that will be used to add the MMS merge fields to the template.  All areas in the setup with a red asterisk are required.

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  1. The Template Type is the type of data MMS will gather for the mail merge letter.  New types can only be added by Computer Resources.  The only option for biographical letters is Biographical Mail Merge.

  2. Enter Title.  Enter the title for the data source file.  Please note that this title will become the file name for the data source.  Because of this, basic file naming conventions will have to be followed.  They prohibit the use of special characters: \ / : # ? “ < > and | as part of the file name. It is a good practice to enter a title similar to the type of letter the data fields will be used in. Multiple data source files can be created for each template type.

  3. Select the Data Fields.  Depending on the template type selected, there are default fields that will be automatically selected.  Using the arrow buttons, you can remove or add fields to suit the needs of the letter.

  4. Save Data Source will create a comma separated value file (.CSV) that will be the merged fields used to create the template in the Microsoft Word.  The file will be saved to the local drive (C) in folder Downloads.  Depending on the browser you use and your settings, the destination folder may be different.

  5. Settings.  Use this to either save or recall previously saved settings.  This is the new version of the Save/Recall Settings operation found in Version 4.3 or later of the portals.

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  1. Create the template letter in Microsoft Word using the Data Source File created.  Pictured below is sample template in Word.

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Step 2: Manage Letter Templates.

  1. The second step in this process can be accessed through the Quick Links box in the upper right corner (found in all three operations of the Mail Merge) or through the menu path Manage > Mail Merge > Manage Letter Templates.This operation imports a Word document template into MMS or downloads a Word document template to your local computer for edits.All areas in the setup with a red asterisk are required.

  2. To upload a template, select the same Template Type that was used to create the Data Source File.  In this example we are using Biographical Mail Merge.

  3. Use the Browse button to locate the Word document.  Once the file has been selected, click OK.

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  1. Click Upload File.

  2. To download a template to your computer for editing, select the Template Type.  The list in the Letter Template File will contain all templates that have been created and uploaded with the Template Type selected.

  3. Click Download File. The Word document will be downloaded to the Downloads folder on your computer.  Depending on the browser you use and your settings, the destination folder may be different.

 Step 3:  Print/Send Letters & Labels. 

  1. This is the third and final step in the process. This operation will take a letter template and either print and/or email the letters to the students’ contact.  Go to Manage > Mail Merge > Print/Send Letters & Labels or use the Quick Links in the upper right corner of the Build Data Source File or Print/Send Letters & Labels operations.  All areas in the setup with a red asterisk are required.

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  1. Set the Student Range if needed.

  2. Select the Template Type and the Letter from the appropriate pull down lists.

  3. The Set Criteria button will allow a Biographical filter to be created to further limit the students selected to print this letter for.

  4. The Select Date Range area does not apply to template types of Biographical Mail Merge.

  5. Select Label Template.  A label template in Word can be created from the CSV file created in Step 1.  When uploading the label template in Step 2, select the Template Type of Label.

  6. Select Recipient and Sending Options
  1. Use the pull down list to select the student contact type to use in the letter.  The last option is Mailing Flag.  If a contact has been flagged to receive mailings, a letter will be printed for them.  Because of this, multiple letters could be generated for each student.

  2. Limit To One Letter Per Family.  This only applies to students with the same Family ID Code.  For letters with specific student information, only one student’s information will print on the letter.

  3. Email Settings will open the following window. Only those contacts that have both the Mail and Email flags set to Yes will receive emails through the mail merge operation.

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  1. The Email Logs button will open a list containing the logs of when the selected letter was emailed if that option was enabled in the Email Settings.
  1. The Add Tracking Information area will allow you to limit letters to be generated for those who have not yet received that particular letter.
  1. Enter letter tracking number.  For each letter, a tracking number can be assigned.  This option will enable you to generate letters for only those students who have not received that letter yet.  The pull down list will contain tracking numbers used for this letter.  To add a new tracking number, type it into the field.
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  1. Add Title.  This is the description for the tracking number set in previous step.
  2. Track letters being printed or emailed.  Check this box if you want to enable tracking for the letter being generated for the tracking number entered in step a.
  3. Limit mailing to letters not yet printed or emailed.  If a student has already been mailed or emailed a copy of the current letter with the tracking number selected in step a, they will not receive this letter again.
  4. Clear previously tracked letters?  If Yes is selected, tracking for the selected tracking number will be cleared. This will allow students who had previously received the selected letter, to receive it again.
  5. View Previously Used Titles.  Select the tracking number for the letter selected in Step 3.  Click on Download.  A PDF copy of the letters generated for that title is included.  The file will be downloaded to your local drive (c) in the folder Downloads.
  1. Click Generate to produce the letters, emails and/or labels.

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  1. Mail Merge Output.  Depending on the settings used, there are three tabs available in the output view: Letter, Email, and Label. There are two possible options for closing this view:  Close and Track and Close.  If a tracking number is being used, the Close and Track button will be enabled.  If there is a problem with the letter that needs to be fixed before sending them out, use the Close option.  This will allow you to generate the letters again.  Once a letter has been produced and tracked, it cannot be generated again.

  2. Settings will allow you save or recall settings. 

Additional Information

None.

Applies to VersionsMMS Web Portals 4.3.0 and later.
Key WordsMail Merge, Bio, biographical, template, Manage > Mail Merge > Build Data Source Files, Manage > Mail Merge > Manage Letter Templates; Manage > Mail Merge > Print/Send Letters & Labels, Quick Links, Microsoft Word, CSV

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