Chapter 9 Form Letters, Linking and other stuff


Chapter 9 Form Letters, Linking and other stuff 1

Protected Word Documents (Forms) 2

Linking/Copying_ 4

Linking a Spreadsheet Range or Chart to a WORD document 4

Linking Two WORD documents 5

Form Letter 5


Protected Word Documents (Forms)

I talked about protecting a spreadsheet (in earlier chapters) so that a person can only enter in information in the unlocked cells. You can do the same thing in a word processing document. Let us use an Insurance document for Wilderness Vermont. This document was printed out all the time and filled in by our customers. We would then save the printed paper in our files. Figure 1 is a sample of the original letter showing the tabs with leaders:


The actual form is a little bigger but all the information is about the same. What I want to do is, instead of filling this form out on paper, I want to fill this form out on the computer. I can then save the file as the person’s name who signed it along with the printed copy that is actually signed.

What I am going to do is to delete the tab key pressed for ‘Your name (printed)’ and insert a form field. In order to do this I need to show the Developer Tab. Right Click the Microsoft Office Button, choose Customize Quick Access Toolbar, then click Word options and look for Popular. Check Show Developer Tab in the Ribbon. This will give you a new tab and let’s look at the Controls Group.


As you can see we can insert several types of controls into our form. I am going to delete the tab mark on my document and click on the Text button iconText.bmp icon. This will replace the tab with a Text Form Field. Now you can set the properties for your form field by clicking the properties button.


iconForms.bmpIn the case of a persons name I just set the title.  I left the signature as is since this form should be printed and physically signed. However some of it can be done on a computer first.  For the date I clicked on the Date Picker iconiconDatePicker.bmp.

Now the Medical section you will do a little different. Instead of having a text field I wanted to put in a check box field. I need to use the Legacy Tools Icon and clicked on the check box.

All these controls are groovy and feel free to play around with them. However the next step would be to protect the document so that the user can only enter text into the places that we want them to.

iconProtection.bmpWhat you need to do is to click on the protect document icon can choose Restrict Formatting and Editing. This will give you a side menu where you need to restrict users to Filling out the Form. Once you click on Yes start protecting you can see how things will work.


You can link or copy a spreadsheet range or chart very easily into a WORD document. The difference between linking and copying is that when you link the spreadsheet or chart, any changes you make to the original will also be made on the linked version. When you copy a spreadsheet or chart, any changes you make to the original will NOT be made on the copied version.

Linking a Spreadsheet Range or Chart to a WORD document

To link a spreadsheet range or chart you would follow these simple steps.

1.  Open both WORD and Excel.

2.  Place the cursor in the WORD document where you want the spreadsheet range or chart to go. I suggest giving it a new paragraph.

3.  Activate Excel. Highlight the Spreadsheet or Chart (if the chart is on a sheet by itself you only need to be looking at the chart).

4.  Choose Edit, Copy. This will place a copy in the clipboard for you.

5.  Activate WORD. You should have the cursor in the correct place.

6.  Choose Edit, Paste Special, Paste Link and choose the correct type of link if it is not already chosen. In the dialog box shown in Figure 10, I pasted a link to a Spreadsheet Range.


Pretty easy to do. If you want to just have a copy follow the same steps only in Step 6 choose Edit, Paste.

Linking Two WORD documents

iconInsertObject2.bmpTo link two word processing documents together you can follow the same simple steps as listed above for linking a spreadsheet to a word file. One reason why you may want to link a document is that you have a company header that you want everyone to use. You can have the company header on a common directory and everyone can than simply link the company header to their files. This way you can change the header in one place and it will change everyone’s document. The easiest way to link the file is to choose the Insert Object Icon iconInsertObject.bmp and choose Text From File ….

You just find your document and then choose the Insert Link option.

Form Letter

You can link a word processing file with a database file as a form letter. You have most likely received a form letter in the mail before. They are pretty easy to make. You need two things, a database file with the fields that you want in your letter and a word processing document with all the rest. For our example I am going to use the MEMO.DOC from the word processing chapter and the Database file WILDERNESS VERMONT, from the Database chapter. I have made one change to the database file and that was add a field to the data table called trip which holds the name of the trip that person has signed up for.

You can add a new field to your data table by simply choosing table design. You then simply add a new field. Keep in mind that if you have 10,000 records that means you will need to enter the new information for that field 10,000 times! Since I did think about making the form letter when I created the database I did not think to put in the trip field. However it was worth my time to add the field as it makes my form letter better. Besides I only had 10 records and not 10,000!

I basically want to send a similar letter to everyone going on a trip with me. Every person needs to be at the headquarters the day before their trip begins no matter what trip they are on. So I can reword this memo as shown in Figure 12, to be a little bit more generic. The text that is underlines is what would be different for each person:

Wilderness Vermont


9 White Water Lane

New York, New York 11345

Dear Hillary,

We are glad that you will be joining us for the Long Trail hiking trip. You should plan to be at our headquarters in Kansas, Vt. on the Kelly Stand Rd, by noon on the day before your trip starts so that we can get your gear ready and take care of last minute paper work.

We will be heading out to the trailhead at 6:00 am and should begin our hike no later than 7:30 am. The weather in Vermont is absolutely beautiful this time of year and we are expecting a typical summer here in Vermont.

I actually just got back from a great 7 day excursion in the Lye Brook Wilderness area with one of our guides, Shelby. We had a great time watching several moose in the meadows area. Shelby was chased up a tree when she accidentally got too close to one of the baby calves! Luckily no one was hurt and the mother and calf split for a less crowded spot. We can expect to run across a lot of wildlife this summer as this past winter was relatively mild.

We are all looking forward to seeing you when you arrive at our headquarters. Be sure to get those hiking shoes broken in!

Happy Trails,

Your name

Wilderness Vermont

Figure 12

We could make this into a FORM and type in the information as we need to. However it would be easier just to create FORM LETTER and use a mail merge instead. What we want to do is replace the red text with a field place holder representing the field in the database where we can get that information from. Before you begin it is best to be sure that you have all the fields in your database that you want to use in the form letter. Again I had to go back and add a field that I had forgotten (trip).

iconMailMerge1.bmpOkay let’s create a Form letter. We do this from the word processor. Choose the Mailings tab, Start Mail Merge Group, Select Recipients and Use Existing List since our information will come from a database. This will open a Select Data Source dialog box and you just need to find your database file. Once you choose it you then choose the table or query that you want your information to come from.

At this point we simply delete Hillary and leave the cursor on that paragraph. When you click the Insert Merge Field iconiconMailMerge2.bmp you will see a list of the fields that you have available. Choosing a field will put in a place holder for that field into the document. You would need to hit the space bar once to get a blank space between first and last name


You just need to keep doing this for the rest of the address. Don’t forget that if you want a comma between city and state, you will have to type in the comma between the field place holders. The last field that I want to insert is to replace trip with the field place holder that will put in the name of the trip that person has signed up for. This will create a nice personalized form letter (if such a thing exists).


Groovy go ahead and choose print preview. Hmm. It seems print preview shows the place holders. Guess what, if you print the document the placeholders will print. Remember there were 3 steps. We just finished step 2. There are a couple of ways to do step 3. The easiest way is to simply click on the View Merged Data button on the toolbar as shown in Figure 19. Or you could go back into Tools, Mail Merge.


Your document will now have the data in place of the field placeholders as in Figure 20. Pretty neat stuff.