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Installation and configuration steps...looks hard, but it's really not bad, I promise. Almost everything you need to do with this script is done through a custom GUI!
- Create a spreadsheet and organize your data in columns that include one row per individual that you want to create a personalized document for. Make sure each column has a header. Individualized data might also be fed by a Google form.
- Go to Tools->Script Gallery and search for "autoCrat" or find it in the "Featured" or "Education" sections. Install the script. The authorization window provided by Google doesn't scroll properly. Just close it and select "Launch merge setup" and authorize the script. After authorization, select "Launch merch setup again." You should now see a "Read Me" tab as the active tab.
- The first run of the script will take you through a setup wizard, but know that in order for the script to work, you will need to create a Document to use as a template for the merge. Create a new collection for your templates. I like to create a collection called "Merge Templates." Create a Google Document that includes double bracketed tags for any personalized data you want to populate from the spreadsheet. Ex) <<First Name>> and put this document in your templates collection. It doesn't matter what you call the fields, because you will map them to your spreadsheet headers in a few steps. You are free to put <<tags>> anywhere you want in the header, body, and footer of the document. Avoid using non-alpha characters in your merge tags.
- In the "Document Merge" menu, select "Settings" and complete the settings. If you don't have a collection that contains a template file with <<Merge tags>> in it, go back to step 3 and come back to this.
- You will now see a panel called "Set merge conditions." This allows you to choose a column that you want to use as a conditional for merging records. This is optional. Leave it blank to ignore this feature.
- Now you will see a new "Document Merge" dropdown item, "Set Field Mappings." Map each <<Merge tag>> to the spreadsheet column you want to use to populate it. Save the mappings.
- Another new "Document Merge" dropdown item will appear: "Test/Run Merge". Select it and decide what type of merge you want to try...there are a number of combos and cool possibilities. Look to the bottom of the panel for a clue as to the $variableNames that are available for any of the fields you want to populate dynamically per row.
- Here are some basic options to play with. Checbox allows you to test on first-row only if you like.
- ONLY saving merged Docs to a collection, either as PDF or Doc format.
- Saving to a collection AND emailing PDF as attachment.
- Saving to a collection AND emailing recipient a link to individually shared Docs as View-only
- Saving to a collection AND emailing recipient a link to individually shared Doc as Editor
- Note that as of Version 1.1.0, Date formatting can now be handled. You must use the Format->Number menu from the spreadsheet to format any dates. Currently only three formats are supported: "M/d/yyyy", "MMMM d, yyyy", and "M/d/yyyy H:mm:ss" ... i.e. 1/30/2012...January 30, 2012, and 1/30/2012 9:32:34.
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autoCrat Document Merge Script: So You Don't Have to be the Bureaucrat!
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