Can I combine mail and catalog merges?

Another way to frame the problem quickly:
"Can I set up a mail merge where each recipient has their own catalog in 
Publisher 2003?"

Hi there,

I have not used Publisher before (just some Pagemaker). I am very interested 
in Publisher 2003's catalog merge capability. I would like to create a survey 
booklet that will be customized for each recipient, with about 300 recipients 
in total. Of course, a mail merge is the answer. However, for each recipient, 
I would like to perform a catalog merge, so that I can ask questions about a 
variable number of identical things. Specifically, I have information in a 
database about each vehicle in a household(recipient of the survey booklet). 
I want to ask questions about each vehicle, but the number of vehicles will 
differ from recipient to recipient.

If I had just one recipient and multiple vehicles, it would be trivial 
(catalog merge). If I had multiple recipients with one vehicle, it would be 
trivial (mail merge). Is there a way to combine the two? I.e. multiple 
recipients, each with their own catalog. Is this a feature of Publisher, is 
there a hacky way to solve this problem, could I solve the problem 
programatically (I'm a programmer first and foremost) or am I asking too much 
of the software?

One option would be to have fields in the database for each potential 
vehicle, say up to a maximum of 6, then for any field(vehicle) that is not 
needed, store an empty string. Then I could get away with a conventional mail 
merge. However, I would like to have non-text items for each of the repeated 
questions, and do not want to show these if that question does not need to be 
asked.

I would greatly appreciate any assistance. I think the catalog merge feature 
is neat, and hope that I can use it in my projects.

Thanks!
0
Collins (10)
11/29/2004 4:09:01 AM
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There is all sorts of assistance for the catalog merge, starting with your help 
files. These web sites also have good advice.
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/assistance/CH062524751033.aspx
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/training/CR061832741033.aspx
http://www.publishermvps.com/

-- 
Mary Sauer MS MVP
http://office.microsoft.com/
http://www.msauer.mvps.org/
news://msnews.microsoft.com
"Andrew Collins" <Andrew Collins@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message 
news:28D15E7F-3B9F-4F7E-96BB-1E02EB520D5A@microsoft.com...
> Another way to frame the problem quickly:
> "Can I set up a mail merge where each recipient has their own catalog in
> Publisher 2003?"
>
> Hi there,
>
> I have not used Publisher before (just some Pagemaker). I am very interested
> in Publisher 2003's catalog merge capability. I would like to create a survey
> booklet that will be customized for each recipient, with about 300 recipients
> in total. Of course, a mail merge is the answer. However, for each recipient,
> I would like to perform a catalog merge, so that I can ask questions about a
> variable number of identical things. Specifically, I have information in a
> database about each vehicle in a household(recipient of the survey booklet).
> I want to ask questions about each vehicle, but the number of vehicles will
> differ from recipient to recipient.
>
> If I had just one recipient and multiple vehicles, it would be trivial
> (catalog merge). If I had multiple recipients with one vehicle, it would be
> trivial (mail merge). Is there a way to combine the two? I.e. multiple
> recipients, each with their own catalog. Is this a feature of Publisher, is
> there a hacky way to solve this problem, could I solve the problem
> programatically (I'm a programmer first and foremost) or am I asking too much
> of the software?
>
> One option would be to have fields in the database for each potential
> vehicle, say up to a maximum of 6, then for any field(vehicle) that is not
> needed, store an empty string. Then I could get away with a conventional mail
> merge. However, I would like to have non-text items for each of the repeated
> questions, and do not want to show these if that question does not need to be
> asked.
>
> I would greatly appreciate any assistance. I think the catalog merge feature
> is neat, and hope that I can use it in my projects.
>
> Thanks! 


0
gsauer (5093)
11/29/2004 8:57:23 AM
Reply:

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