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MIS Systems Thread, Mail Merge in Technical; Hello, Wow so happy i found this site! Right i have a problem and was wondering if anyone could help ...
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    Mail Merge

    Hello, Wow so happy i found this site!
    Right i have a problem and was wondering if anyone could help me?
    We have built a student attainment system called rising stars. Using a large amount of marksheets feeding into aspects then feeding back into templates we can monitor how a student is doing, however to send letters back home to parents we need to create some form of Mail Merge, from the templates, to a MS Word Document. 8O

    Any light anyone could shine on this would be greatly apprecaited.

    Thanks

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    Re: Mail Merge

    Hi,

    i'm assuming from the "aspects" terminology that you are using SIMs.

    Hopefully you are now on Assessment Manager 7. The templates hold references to aspects and these will be displayed as marksheets when you link them. The data will then be stored against a students records tied to that aspect and possibly a result set if you have defined one.

    The easiest was to do a mail merge is to use the individual reporting feature. This allows you to create a template word document, using tables here works best, and then feed in the student data entered on marksheets or imported data such as results.

    We use this to send our termly gradings home.

    Go to Focus -> Assessment Manager --> Individual Report
    Create a new report.
    In the first section, click on report template and this opens up Word to allow you to create and set a template, i think the default already has a table and some dummy school data in. i added a logo, altered head and footer and then dumped results we wanted.

    YOU NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT YOU ARE RUNNING OFFICE 2003
    ALSO, MAKE SURE THAT THE SECURITY SETTINGS FOR MACROS IS LOW OR OFF.

    You should automatically get a toolbar with fields that you can add such as <<her>> , <<year>> etc. if you choose result you can then chooose from a browser any result from your list of aspects.

    make sure to verify the template before exiting. then save the template and close word.

    then when back in sims, click save. IMPORTANT

    if you are using a table the link to fields can be large and expand the table off the page but it looks okay when printed. bit of trial and error needed here. my template for KS4 uses about 16 pages, but prints on one single sheet.

    from section two choose students that you want it to apply to and then you can either preview, print, export to file, or upload to the document management server on SIMs. using the buttons at the top.

    give us a shout if you need any more help. :O)

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    Re: Mail Merge

    Hi

    Thanks for that, very much in detail and very much apprecaited

    I am trying to work though it at the moment but when the word document is being opened SIMS will simply become a white screen and stay that way, requiring a restart

    Is this something im doing wrong, or a system / sims problem?

    Cheers All

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    Re: Mail Merge

    The blank page is normal while you are editing a template in Word.
    It tends to block out all other functions until you exit Word.

    Are you actually able to open up the template? You need to be on Office 2003 with low macro security. If it doesn't pop up, check it's not auto-minimised, and / or flashing at the bottom of the screen.

    Other than that, you might need to contact Capita, or your local support.

    Actually, on occasion, i get an error about an inability to communicate / open a template file. This usually happens when i've been running SIMs for a while, so it might be worth opening it up fresh, and doing it first to rule out any time-out issues.

    Give me a shout once you get it working this week. i'm off the next.
    Last edited by vikpaw; 13th March 2008 at 04:09 PM.

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    Re: Mail Merge

    Just another thought, it probably accesses and stores it's template files locally, so make sure your account has got full rights over the local C drive.
    I've been told you need to be a Power User of the machine and have full rights on the C drive as well as the SIMs share. I don't like that for normal users but for this sort of thing, you can never tell where 'IT' will choose to store the files.

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