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Idiot's Guide to Doug Robbins' tool "Mail Merge to E-mail with Attachments"

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I'm writing to share my clumsy experience in using this elegant tool so you can avoid every stupid mistake I made. (I leave it to the authorities to decide if this deserves a place in the Knowledge archives.)  Now that I am on the other side of my learning curve, I understand.

What I now realise, is when I read Mr. Robbins instructions, I mostly didn't recognize the significance of many of the points he made.  Mr. Robbins was very clear, but I wasn't.  I hope this helps you avoid my blindness.

Oh, and for the record, I used this tool with Microsoft Word 2010.  So I can assure you it works with that version, too.

First, do pay attention to Mr. Robbins statement that you must "set a reference to the Microsoft Office Outlook Object Library."  You find that is by opening any macro from within Word, and then do what Mr. Robbins says regarding the "Reference" menu.  

My other point is do not confuse "Microsoft Office Outlook ##.0 Object Library" with the other items that can look like the one you want.  

Also, in Word 2010, the item you need is slightly different that what's listed in the Mr. Robbins instructions:

You want:
"Microsoft Outlook ##.0 Object Library" instead of
"Microsoft Office Outlook ##.0 Object Library."  

Notice the word "Office" isn't in the Word 2010 version.

Because I didn't notice that difference, and because I wasn't reading carefully, I spent a half-hour feeling lost because I'd thought I had checked off the right resource because I kept seeing this:

"Microsoft Office ##.0 Object Library" as

"Microsoft Outlook ##.0 Object Library."


Next, when Mr. Robbins writes in his instructions to create a mail merge main document that is of the "Directory" type, I didn't realize there really is a "Directory" type.  I just thought he meant a normal "Document" mail merge.  He doesn't.  There is a "Directory" type.  

Knowing that, I now understand why in his explanation, Mr. Robbins did not instruct me to make sure the first record included field names.  They aren't necessary because of how he's written his macro.

To help you avoid another place where I was confused, before you run Mr. Robbins magical macro, think of it this way:  you're going to first execute a normal mail merge which can merge first names and other field values into your email.  Once you've executed that part, you end up with individual documents for each contact.  Do make sure your data records are in the same order in the data file that has your extra fields and the one you'll use in the macro.  Otherwise, you'll get personal data confused.  

Anyway, once you've done your second-to-the-last step of executing your merge document to get whatever personal data you want, you have your individual merged documents.  That's when you add your attachments by running Mr. Robbins' macro.  

I hope that made sense.

Finally, a little tip about getting the path to your attachments right:  Use Windows Explorer to go to the folder with your attachment(s), point to the attachment's file name and then hold down the shift key while right clicking your mouse on that file.  In the window that pops up, you'll see an option come up to "Copy as Path."

Oh, and for the record, you can find Mr. Robbins great tool at:  http://word.mvps.org/faqs/mailmerge/mergewithattachments.htm
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Author:coachjim
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Expert Comment

by:Fernando Trigo
Hello, nice tips! :-)

do you know if it works on word 2016?

thanks
fernando
0

Expert Comment

by:Doug Robbins
Better to use my MergeTools Add-in that is contained in the MERGE TOOLS ADD-IN.zip file that you can download from the following page of my One Drive:
http://bit.ly/1hduSCB
Extract the files from the archive and read
“READ ME – Setting up and using the Merge Tools Add-in.docx
to see how to install and use the various tools.  Using those tools, it is possible to perform the following types of merge that cannot be done with Mail Merge “out-of-the-box”:
•      Merge to e-mail messages either with or without attachments, with the documents created by the merge being sent as either Word or PDF attachments or as the body of the e-mail message.
•      Merge to individual documents in either Word or PDF format with the filenames being supplied by the data in one of the fields in the data source
•      Many to One type merges, which can be used for creating documents such as invoices where there are multiple records in the data source that have common data in one of the fields
•      Merging to a document that will include a chart that is unique to each record in the data source
•      Merging a document with Content Controls
•      Merging a document that contains Legacy FormFields
•      Duplex Merges
•      Merging to a printer that will collate and staple the output created from each record in the data source.
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