"Paragraph-oriented" mail merge?

Hello - I have to produce client engagement letters from a table of client fees.

Depending on the client type, the letter would have 15 to 20 paragraphs, each describing a particular service item, and the respective fee.

If a particular fee type was not applicable to a given client, the entire paragraph would not display.

So this isn't the typical mail merge situation, where the mail merge document would have all 20 paragraphs, with mail merge fields in each one to plug the respective fee amounts.

This letter has to be tailored for each client, based on the particular fees that have been entered for them into the accounting system.  

I have a less complicated situation where I use an Access report with sub-reports to conditionally display chunks of text for several different situations, not all of which might  exist. But formatting is a pain, doing it this way.  It’s hard to get an Access report to look like a letter, and my client wants it in Word.

Does anyone know of a technique for doing something like this?
(running Office 2003)
mlagrangeAsked:
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Hypercat (Deb)Commented:
I don't know of any easy and entirely automated way in Word to do something like this.  You could possibly create a bunch of macros (i.e., like Quick Parts) that contain the text of the various paragraphs, and then the person compiling the document could choose and run the macros as required to place the text in the Word document.  Or there is a function in Word 2010 (I'm not sure if it's in 2007) on the Insert menu that allows you to insert the text from a file.  So, you could create a series of files containing the text of the various paragraphs named appropriately and then they could insert the paragraphs manually as required.

Another alternative would be to look at some of the more sophisticated document assembly add-ons to Word like HotDocs.

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Hypercat (Deb)Commented:
OH - I just looked back at your OP and saw that they're using Office 2003!!!! OMG, as they say.  Well, you're very limited with that version of Word.  It would have to be either a macro of some sort or a document assembly add-on as far as I can figure.
mlagrangeAuthor Commented:
Well, I myself have Office 2010 on my machine; is there anything in that version that would make tis more do-able?

Thanks
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Hypercat (Deb)Commented:
Other than what I mentioned above - Quick Parts, insert/file, etc. - I can't think of anything more automated.  If you used the Insert/Text from file function, then you could create macros that would automatically insert each of the required paragraphs. That way the user would only have to run a series of macros rather than do the actual steps to choose Insert/Text from File and choose the file. The potential problem I see with creating macros in Word 2010 that would be run in Word 2003 is that I'm not sure that the underlying visual basic code would be exactly the same between the two versions.
Nick67Commented:
I have a less complicated situation where I use an Access report with sub-reports to conditionally display chunks of text for several different situations, not all of which might  exist. But formatting is a pain, doing it this way.  It’s hard to get an Access report to look like a letter, and my client wants it in Word

You can automate Word from Access to programmatically create entire documents.  The fun of that is the necessity of learning the Word object model and syntax -- but it gives you complete freedom to do exactly what you want and need.
You can knock together string variables, and then write the strings to paragraphs and format everything.

Perhaps less hard on the brain would be to create a TextStream object and WriteLine everything as formatted html, and as a final step open the resulting object in Word and save it out as a Word doc.

Lots of VBA to write, but it can get done.
Jeffrey CoachmanMIS LiasonCommented:
Without seeing a few examples of your desired output, ...it is difficult to say......
...perhaps a mail merge can produce what you are after....
mlagrangeAuthor Commented:
I apologize for letting this sit; I had to go out of town, and I am just now getting back to work.
I have learned a little more about this particular letter, and I think I have a workable solution.
Thanks for your responses.
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