Results 1 to 10 of 10
  1. #1
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Yreka, California, USA
    Posts
    192
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Merge Documents as Templates-Multi-user (Office 2003)

    I hope you wonderful, inspirational gurus can give me the guidance I need on this one. I'll try to be as concise as possible without leaving out anything. I am in the process of trying to work with our District Attorney's Office. They have decided to switch to Word from WordPerfect. For any of you who have gone through this with legal people, you know that you want the conversion to be seamless and something inside of me wants to wow them with what Word can do. Any hints for the process are welcome! Anyway, I am creating a bunch of mail merges for them to do complaints, subpeonas, warrants, etc. I'm setting them up with the quick list function and then saving them in a Workgroup Template folder, creating a toolbar for ease of use as well as making them available on "new" general tab. Now my questions, 1-will multiple people be able to access a documents at the same time, 2-as a part of this should the be .dot files and if so will the database be accessible by everyone trying to use the merge? 3--are there any better ways for me to set these up so they are an easy fill in the blank process. The defendants are likely not going to be the same very often so the quick list will be cleared off frequently.

    If any of you have any super ideas to streamline this process and to make this conversion a great one, I am all ears. I've already done a lot of work on it, but can redo if necessary. Some things are working really slick. Thanks again for all your help.
    Thanks much, Judy Crawford

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    84,353
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 29 Times in 29 Posts

    Re: Merge Documents as Templates-Multi-user (Office 2003)

    I haven't worked with WordPerfect since 1989, so I can't recommend anything about switching.

    Word is not multi-user, so if one user has a document open, and a second user tries to open the same document, Word will offer to open a read-only copy of the document.
    Several users can create new documents from the same template, however, so it might be a good idea to make your merge documents available as templates on a shared network drive.
    I'm not sure what you mean by the quick list - is that a WP feature, or is it the data source for a mail merge?

  3. #3
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Yreka, California, USA
    Posts
    192
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Merge Documents as Templates-Multi-user (Office 2003)

    Thanks, Hans. Yes I'm sorry I just used that term, but it is just the quick edit of the data source, when from the merge toolbar you click the Mail Merge Recipients and then Edit. So guess my real question is can more than one person access a data source at the same time? Not likely to happen very often, but I want to be prepared! Thanks, Judy
    Thanks much, Judy Crawford

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    84,353
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 29 Times in 29 Posts

    Re: Merge Documents as Templates-Multi-user (Office 2003)

    In Word 2003, the default data source is an Access database. Access databases support multiple users, but the database is locked by Word if a merge document connected to the database is open. So effectively, no, the data source is not multi-user from within Word.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Evergreen, CO, USA
    Posts
    6,623
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 60 Times in 60 Posts

    Re: Merge Documents as Templates-Multi-user (Office 2003)

    Following up on Hans' comment about Word merges, you might want to consider an alternate strategy if you are storing information in an Access database. Using Automation you can acutally initiate the generation of a Word document from Access. We often use this strategy instead of doing a Word merge, as it eliminates some of the issues with connecting to the database in exclusive mode and the like. If you aren't familiar with the concept, we have a basic tutorial on the subject on our web site. It also contains links to a number of other useful articles and examples.
    Wendell

  6. #6
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Yreka, California, USA
    Posts
    192
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Merge Documents as Templates-Multi-user (Office 2003)

    Thanks, Hans I'd sort of figured that out. No two people accessing the same data file from Merge. I think I will individualize the templates for the specific departmental sections. Train them on how to create them, and creating macros because I can't be the person they turn to for everything. Think if I chose Wendell's solution, I'd be on the hook for all future modifications. Thanks again for your clarification help, Judy
    Thanks much, Judy Crawford

  7. #7
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Yreka, California, USA
    Posts
    192
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Merge Documents as Templates-Multi-user (Office 2003)

    Thanks Wendell, I checked automation out. I've used it a bit myself in the past, but reviewed it a bit for this project. Would be good if I were going to be the person permanently responsible for updates, but I need to give it to the users and they would not be able to understand the process involved without substantial support. They will have to be self-supporting after my initial training, etc. Will tailor templates and macros for the individuals sections in the office. Thanks so much for your help in helping me think this one through. Judy
    Thanks much, Judy Crawford

  8. #8
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Evergreen, CO, USA
    Posts
    6,623
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 60 Times in 60 Posts

    Re: Merge Documents as Templates-Multi-user (Office 2003)

    It is true that it takes a programmer to develop automation solutions, but the end user process is much simpler than the Word Merge approach, especially if you have a secured Access database, and it's also generally quite a bit quicker. We have some 200 users doing very complex documents using automation at one of our clients, and we virtually zero user support issues. That is until the government changes the rules, or they get a new manager who wants to change the look of the document. Just wanted to make sure you understood the user support situation as opposed to the development tasks you are likely to get stuck with. The same client I mentioned probably adds two or three new documents each year.
    Wendell

  9. #9
    2 Star Lounger
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Yreka, California, USA
    Posts
    192
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Re: Merge Documents as Templates-Multi-user (Office 2003)

    Thanks for the additional comments Wendell. I still don't think I want to use automated solutions. We are not using a secured Access database. Rather creating the merge fields for one or two warrants, or other documents with lots of variable information. Once the new document is created and saved the information in the database can be purged. I'd love to be able to write a macro that would do that for them, but I can't seem to get the macro to record beyond opening the data file. In other words, I can't get it to edit a list--really the database or merge entries. Once that dialog box opens, the macro stops working. Any suggestions, Thanks, Judy
    Thanks much, Judy Crawford

  10. #10
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Evergreen, CO, USA
    Posts
    6,623
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 60 Times in 60 Posts

    Re: Merge Documents as Templates-Multi-user (Office 2003)

    I guess I'm a little confused at this point. So let me try to recap what I think I know:<UL><LI>You are using an Access database as the source for the merge.<LI>You are initiating the merge from a Word template (I think).<LI>The database can be purged once the document is created.[/list]Now a presumption - you are trying to write a macro in Word to open up the data source and let them edit it somehow in a dialog box. If that's the case, you are likely to struggle. It is possible to get at Access data using OLEDB or other techniques, but to write code to populate the database, then merge it and then purge the database seems like lots of bother.

    We would normally do it the other way - enter the data in an Access form, then execute the Merge to Word from Access, and then store a location where the Word document can be recovered later. The advantage in doing it that way is that Access is indeed multi-user so multiple people can be working with it. (This isn't Automation in the sense of our tutorial, although there is Automation going on to initiate the Word Merge.) You might find our Word Merge Tutorial helpful in understanding the process.

    Now I should confess that we have an Access focus, not a Word focus, but if the county wants to keep any records on who did what when and where then Access would be a reasonable choice. (We would suggest SQL Server for better security and performance.) If they don't want to retain info on people and the process, then you might be better off with a fill-in template where you don't have to involve a database. Hope this exposition is useful.
    Wendell

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •