Mail Merge With The Warp BonusPak
With all the talk about new high-powered office suites with the latest bells and whistles, the user of OS/2 Warp often overlooks the solution they already have: the BonusPak. Inside the BonusPak is a set of powerful tools including a contact manager and a full-featured word processor. What makes these programs special is their close integration with OS/2's System Object Model making them powerful extensions to your Warp system.
One of the best examples of this integration is the process of creating a Mail Merge document with the Contact List and the IBM Works Word Processor. Using the power of the System Object Model, just a few drags and drops link up contact information with your letter. Try the following steps to create an easy-to-use form letter.
Use your Contact List to add the names and addresses you would like to mail to. Make sure you include the complete mailing address and phone numbers, including fax numbers, if available. You can view the contents of your Contact List both in a Details and an Icon format by clicking with the right-mouse button on the Contact List window and selecting Icon View from the Open menu.
Create a new IBM Works letter. The best way to do this is to drag a WorksWP template out of your templates folder onto your desktop. Just use your right mouse button to drag an icon off the "sticky pad" and drop it on your desktop. By clicking with your left mouse button on the label below your new document's icon while holding down the shift key, OS/2 will allow you to easily change the name of the document.
Open and edit your new document. Double-click the icon for the new document you have created and named, and the IBM Works Word Processor will start. Type in the body of your letter, but don't be worried about putting in merge fields just yet.
Link your document to the PIM Contact List. Do this by selecting Mail Merge... from the Document menu. Then select PIM Contact List and click OK. You have now told IBM Works you would like to setup a connection between your letter and the PIM Contact List.
Insert your merge fields. Place your cursor where you would like to insert the first merge field, and select Insert Data Field from the Edit menu. A dialog box will pop up listing all of the fields in the PIM Contact List. By clicking on one of the field names, the field will be inserted at the cursor position in the IBM Works document. Note that you can continue typing at this point and the dialog box will stay floating above your document until you close it. This makes it easy for you to insert the approprate returns or spaces when inserting a whole series of fields, like an address, for instance.
Associate the merge data with the document. Here is where the power of the Workplace Shell really shines. Save your document, but don't close it - just move it out of the way or minimize it. Arrange your desktop so you can see both the open PIM Contact List and the icon for your document. Now, select the names you want to merge print the document to in the PIM Contact List, drag them as a group with your right mouse button held down, and drop them on the icon for your Works document. In one easy step you told IBM Works which names to merge to! Note that the icon for your document has changed - a small business card has appeared in the corner showing you that names from your Contact List have been attached. You can see what names are attached by opening the settings notebook for that document.
You can also make your document into a new template by selecting the Template check box on the File tab of the document's settings notebook. That way, you can drag off copies of a standard merge letter onto your desktop, drop some names from your contact manager onto the icon, and drag it to a printer or fax without ever touching the keyboard! Almost any object in OS/2 Warp can be turned into a template in this way.
Once you master the skills of using the Workplace Shell to its full potential, you are really Warping!