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  1. #1
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    Word Form (2000/XP)

    User needs help creating database/forms for a customer. I believe it is a hair salon. She does not know how to use anything except Word as my first thought was Access to keep track of her customers in a database. What is the easiest way to create a form and merge it with a data file to keep track of all her customers and appointments and the services they received at appointments?

    Thanks.

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    Re: Word Form (2000/XP)

    Hi Melanie:
    I don't think Word is very good for this. As soon as you want more than 2 items (names, dates, & services = 3), Word won't give you much flexibility. What type of reports will she be creating? I assume one will be an appointment book & that will take 365 rows or columns (not practical at all). Excel could at least have enough rows & columns on a spreadsheet & she could hide columns so that she could see appts in the near future.

    If you don't get any better responses here (& I hope you do), you might ask over on the Access board. I know that some of the WMVPs use Word forms to supply data to Access, so perhaps your user won't need to know much about Access if you set it up, but this is way outside my knowledge.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Word Form (2000/XP)

    My first thought is that she should either purchase a custom package or pay someone to develop it. If she's serious about getting the benefits of this sort of data, there's no point in going only part way.

    I guess if she wants a relatively inexpensive general purpose tool, a contact management package such as Act might be a good choice. If the financial aspects are important (e.g., how much they're spending at these appointments or over time), she could try QuickBooks, and just not actually print/send the invoices.

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    Re: Word Form (2000/XP)

    Melanie,
    If your friend has Word, she probably has Outlook. I don't use it as such, but you might be able to set it up as an appointment center that also keeps appointment history. I'm sure that would work better than Word for a database.

    Errol

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    Re: Word Form (2000/XP)

    Thank you to all who replied. If I can set up a merge with her names and addresses and other information and just skip the calendar/appointment part - maybe this would work? Could I merge her data to a form to populate the form fields and then when the client record comes up, just choose a service from a drop down?

  6. #6
    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Word Form (2000/XP)

    Merges work best for creating "final output." I'm not sure you can merge data into a form and maintain its magic. For one thing, the drop down fields only work when the form is protected; I am skeptical that you could merge data into a protected document, but I'll admit I haven't tried it.

    The more common way to do this in Word would be to keep a set of lists, either in a database file, or in a text file, or in Excel, or even in a Word table, and then use a VBA macro in a document template to access the list and pop the relevant information into the document. You could create a separate template for each type of document that would be needed, e.g., appointment page, customer profile, etc. In some ways, Word is better for this than Access because its layout options are so flexible. On the other hand, it's more arduous to write out data; in Access, a report layout can scale to accommodate lots and lots of data records automatically without a whole lot of thought on the developer's part. Note that VBA, working together with the data access components supplied with Windows and Office, can work with database files even if you do not have Access. It's just that you have to build your own interface to enter data into them. Or perhaps the "edit data source" feature of the merge functionality allows for this???

    Babbling now, must eat dinner.

  7. #7
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    Re: Word Form (2000/XP)

    There is a way to do this but it's complicated. I had to do this when creating employee evaluation forms. It worked in 98 but seems to be having some problems now that I'm using 2003. First, I created a merge document in Word. I used "tags" to represent where the text boxes, option buttons etc were going to be, they were just text, something like this: txt_box. Then I used Access (where the data was stored) to merge the information into the word document and before it saved each document it searched for the tags, replaced them with the actual text boxes, etc, when that was done the document was protected and saved. When the user opened it up they could fill out the document with current info that I would then pull back into Access once all evals were completed. Like I said it's pretty complicated but our company insists on a Word Eval form that includes the data from the last review. Hope this helps.

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    Re: Word Form (2000/XP)

    Some time back I used the "Template Wizard with Data Tracking" feature in Excel to create something like what you're looking for. It's not the greatest, but once set up, is pretty easy to use.

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...kb;en-us;214246

    HTH!

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