Graham Mayor

... helping to ease the lives of Microsoft Word users.

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Mail Merge Charts from Excel Data (Part 2)

While working on the add-in to merge charts into separate documents, it occurred to me that users may also wish to merge several charts into a single document, perhaps as the basis of a separate merge to a number of recipients, using either the same data source or a different one.

I looked at the possibility of incorporating the extra functionality in the same add-in, but felt that it was too much additional work to do (maybe I'll look again at that later) so I produced a separate add-in for the task.

The add-in has a similar look and feel to the earlier add-in, but as indicated, it produces a single document with the addition of merged charts for each of the selected records.

The add-in requires that the starting position is a Word mail merge document attached to a similar data source as that described in detail on the page for the earlier add in.

As with the earlier process, this process looks for a bookmark called 'Chart' to position the charts, which are displayed in a table. If the bookmark is not found, the charts are positioned at the end of the document.

Unlike the earlier version, this process creates a new document using the merge document as its template. The end result is an unnamed document.

The process does not require there to be any merge fields in the document (though it does need to be attached to the data source and configured as a 'Letters' type of merge document. You may use the example documents supplied with the earlier add-in for test purposes.

The add-in comes in the form of a ZIP file which contains both the template and an EXE format installer, which will attempt to put the template in the Word Startup folder (or you can manually install the template).

If you have not changed the preferred startup folder it can be located (in English language versions of Windows) by typing

%appdata%\Microsoft\Word\Startup

in the Windows Explorer Address bar and pressing Enter.

The add-in, when installed correctly, adds a pair of buttons to the Mailings Tab of the ribbon when Word is next started. The first button runs the process, the second resets the program information stored in the registry between uses.

The add-in has similar requirements for the document and its data source as the earlier add-in. Please refer to the companion page for more information on setting up the document and its workbook.

Running the process

Clicking the 'Select Records' button, for the first time (and on subsequent occasions if the 'Show disclaimer on startup' check box is checked) the user will see the usual disclaimer text. As always please take a moment to read this information.

The main dialog is then displayed. This is a simplified version of the other add-in. Simplified because it does not include the e-mail functions or the necessity to write to different file formats. The output will be a single document containing the selected charts. If there are no merge fields in the document, the data source will be detached. If there are merge fields, the user will be given the option to detach the data source. But we are getting ahead of ourselves ...

As with the earlier version, you must select the column of the data source to display, before the data is displayed:

Click 'Continue and the process creates a new document, based on the original merge document and inserts the charts related to the selected documents. As mentioned earlier, if there is a bookmark named 'Chart' in the document, the charts are inserted at the bookmark. If there is no such named bookmark, the charts are inserted at the end of the document, from where you can move them wherever you wish.

If there are merge fields in the document, the process finishes with the following self-explanatory message.

 

- Now download the Merge with Charts 2 add-in

Merge Charts - Part 1

 

 

Merge Charts into a single document

Inspired by my Mail Merge Charts add-in, this complementary process creates a single document that may contain multiple merged charts from the same Excel merge data source.

Merge Charts - Part 1