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Viewing data in merge files

 
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Bug
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:30 pm    Post subject: Viewing data in merge files Reply with quote

When fields are inserted from a data source to make a merge file, does OOo Writer 2.4 allow toggling back and forth between viewing the field names and viewing the data itself, as can be done in MS Word? Is this possible to do in Writer?
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JohnV
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 2:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, View > Field Names or Ctrl+F9 toggles.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

What you advise (View -> Field Names) shows the titles of the fields, not the specific data in the fields. For example, if I have a field called "Address", I can use View -> Field names to toggle between <Address> and a more precise path of the data like Donors.active.address, representing the Database, the Table, and the field name. What I can't see is, for example, 300 Park Avenue, and so on, instead of the field names, as can be done in MS Word. Is this possible in OOo Writer?
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JohnV
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 29, 2008 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't have MS Word so answering this is somewhat difficult and I don't know how you are completing the merge. Once the merge is actually done then what I have indicated will show you both the field as merged and the field name, e.g., 200 Park Ave. & the precise path to the data for the field.

If you want to see the results of a merge before it is actually done then I think you are out of luck.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think the problem is that what you say will work only if the merge is a certain kind of merge.

For example, if you press F4 and drag a column name in a table (for instance "Address") into the document below, then going to "View -> Field names" will show the behavior I described above: It will toggle between <Address> and Db.Table.fieldname. However, if you press F4 and drag "300 Park Ave" into the document from its cell, then going to "View -> Field names" will show the behavior you describe: It will toggle between "300 Park Ave" and <Address>. This is what is happening in my case anyway.

It is a deficiency that there is no "preview" function in Writer to show specific instances of merged data. My biggest problem in OOo 2.4 right now is merges: how to merge into repeating forms, how to apply text attributes in merges (esp. so-called catalog merges), how to know when to use "Table", "Field", or "Text" merges depending on what you want to accomplish. These functions in Writer are by no means intuitive and seem hard even after working on them.
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JohnV
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
However, if you press F4 and drag "300 Park Ave" into the document from its cell, then going to "View -> Field names" will show the behavior you describe:
Strange, when I drag and drop an address directly from a cell I get plain text. OOo 2.4.1 Win 98.

I don't know how Word previews so I find it hard to comment. With OOo in the F4 window you select a record and click the Data to Fields icon, select another record and do the same. If you have a catalog type document with Next Record fields then you can select several records at once and do the same. Of course, this isn't a true preview because the merge has actually been done but your not stuck with it and can merge again over the top of it.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry, you're right. When I drag "300 Park Ave" just the text shows up. If I drag the square in the upper left corner of into the document and select "Fields", choose the data, and insert, I can use crtl-f9 to toggle between the inserted information and DB.sheet.field. If I drag the title of the column (say, Address) into the document, I toggle between <Address> and DB.sheet.field.

What I really wish for is a way to quickly apply character and font attributes to a merge, either by using this toggle or by some other quick way. I understand this is not possible. I'm still working on the the method you described earlier, which is not easy to me at all.

You've been very helpful while I'm learning this software. Thanks a lot.
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