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  • Email Merge Fields Cheat Sheet

    This cheat sheet contains tips, important distinctions, and best practices related to merge fields.

    Merge Field Categories

    URL-

    Logon

    • Field that takes applicants to the logon page.
      • If they've applied before, it will take them to the Dashboard. If they haven't applied before, it will take them to the Apply page.

    Apply Page

    • Field that takes applicants to logon page, then to the Apply page. 
      • Use with caution.
        • If an applicant has already started a draft, and they're directed to the apply page, they could potentially start a second draft rather than editing their existing draft.

    Pro Tip

    Use the link option (to the right of each merge field in the URL section) when linking to another page for a cleaner looking email. This eliminates the long URL string that would otherwise be placed in the email.

    Funder-

    The funder is the name of whoever owns the site (i.e. your foundation). 

    • This differs from the "Organization" merge fields in that the organization is the applicant's organization.
    • Funder merge fields are often used in signatures, and "thankyou for replying" to communication.
    Recipient-
    The person who the email is going to.
    • Great to use in evaluator emails.
    • Recommended for follow up emails because occasionally follow ups are assigned to someone other than the applicant. (ex: if a follow up is assigned to someone else in the applicant's organization, you would want it to pull the recipients name, rather than the applicant).
    • Works everywhere that applicant will work, but applicant doesn't work everywhere that recipient works.
    Applicant-

    The applicant fields pull information from whoever the application is assigned to in the system.

    • Applicant fields do not work in evaluations and follow ups if the evaluations and follow ups are not assigned to the applicant.
    Request-
    Decision Comments
    • Field that can be added to approval and denial forms. When building your email, keep in mind that this is normally a bigger text question, such as "why a request was approved or denied".

    Project Name

    • Field that pulls whatever the applicant enters in the field.

    Project Name Label

    • This is the name of the Project Name field (i.e. if you leave the field as project name, it will just say project name).
      • This is included for reference, in case the project name field is changed to something else.
    Submission-
    Form Name
    • Always double check what the form name is and the sentence where it's used to make sure that the sentence structure is in logical order and reads correctly.
    Organization-
    Primary Contact
    • Person who is marked on the organization as the primary contact. The executive director is usually listed as primary contact during registration, but this can be changed at any point. 

    General Best Practices

    • Date Merge Fields and Terms
      • Use merge fields like due date, or current date, or terms like end of this quarter, end of year, etc. so you don't have to go in and update dates at the start of a new cycle. 
    • URL's
      • Include URL's (i.e. logon URL) in emails anytime you ask an applicant to come back and do something in the system..
    • Gray Fields
      • If a field is grayed out, it means that field is either being used somewhere else, or that it's only available when sending an email.
    • Merge Fields in the Subject Line
      • Leverage email merge fields in the subject line of the email. This can be used to provide a quick snapshot of what the email actually entails, rather than just saying an organization submitted a form.
        • For example you might have the following as the subject: {{Organization.Name}}, {{Submission.InitialSubmitDate}}, {{Submission.FormName}}, for {{Request.ProjectName}}.
        • Quick snapshot, rather than just saying an organization submitted a form.
  • Mail Merge Envelope

    When creating envelopes with the mail merge tool the letter and the envelope must be merged in separate documents.

    Please Click Here to view an Example Mail Merge Envelope

  • Word 2016 Mail Merge Tutorial

    Below are links to tutorials on how to mail merge using Excel data. 

    If a video would be helpful in learning how to use Word 2016 mail merge, click HERE.

  • Changing the Number Format of a Merge Field in Mail Merge

    Here are a few examples of different number formats that you can use in the Mail Merge Master Template.

    The Numeric format switch (\#) specifies the display of a number. Press Alt + F9 to display and edit the merge codes on a Windows computer. Press Option + F9 to display and edit the merge codes on a Mac OS X computer.

    For example: if using the Master Template you would change the current field { MERGEFIELD Grant_Amount } which, by default, is formatted as $,0.00 and displayed as $10000.00 to { MERGEFIELD Grant_Amount \#"$#,##0.00;($#,##0.00)" } the display would be $10,000.00.

    Another example would be { MERGEFIELD Grant_Amount \# "#,##0;($#,##0)" } which would display as $10,000.

    Below is an explanation of how you could create even more formats. This information can be accessed through the help link in Microsoft Word by entering "format fields" as the search criteria and then selecting "Insert and format field codes."

    • Note: Quotation marks are not required around simple numeric formats that do not include spaces — for example, { MarchSales \# $#,##0.00 }. For more complex numeric formats and those that include text or spaces, enclose the numeric format in quotation marks, as shown in the following examples. Word adds quotation marks to numeric format switches if you insert a field by using the Field dialog box or the Formula command in the Data group of the Layout tab (Table Toolscontextual tab).

    Combine the following format items to build a numeric format switch:

    • 0 (zero) This format item specifies the requisite numeric places to display in the result. If the result does not include a digit in that place, Word displays a 0 (zero). For example, { = 4 + 5 \# 00.00 }displays 09.00.
    • # This format item specifies the requisite numeric places to display in the result. If the result does not include a digit in that place, Word displays a space. For example, { = 9 + 6 \# $### } displays $ 15.
    • x This format item drops digits to the left of the "x" placeholder. If the placeholder is to the right of the decimal point, Word rounds the result to that place. For example:{ = 111053 + 111439 \# x## } displays 492.{ = 1/8 \# 0.00x } displays 0.125.{ = 3/4 \# .x } displays .8.
    • . (decimal point) This format item determines the decimal point position. For example, { = SUM(ABOVE) \# $###.00 } displays $495.47.
  • Changing the Date Format of a Merge Field in Merge Template

    The Date format switch (@) specifies the display of a date. Press Alt + F9 to display and edit the merge codes on a Windows computer. Press Option + F9 to display and edit the merge codes on a Mac OS X computer.

    • For example, if using the Master Template you would change the current field { MERGEFIELD Merge_Date } which, by default, is formatted as MM/dd/yyyy and displayed as 01/01/2010 to { MERGEFIELD Merge_Date \@ "dddd, MMMM d, yyyy" } the display would be Monday, January 1, 2010.
    • Another example would be { MERGEFIELD Merge_Date \@ "MMM. d, yyyy" } which would display as Jan. 1, 2010.

     

    Below is an explanation of how you could create even more formats. This information can be accessed through the help link in Microsoft Word by entering "format fields" as the search criteria and then selecting "Insert and format field codes."

    The letter M must be uppercase to distinguish months from minutes.

    • M- This format item displays the month as a number without a leading 0 (zero) for single-digit months. For example, January is 1.
    • MM - This format item displays the month as a number with a leading 0 (zero) for single-digit months. For example, January is 01.
    • MMM- This format item displays the month as a three-letter abbreviation. For example, January is Jan.
    • MMMM - This format item displays the month as its full name.

    The letter d displays the day of the month or the day of the week. The letter d can be either uppercase or lowercase.

    • d - This format item displays the day of the week or month as a number without a leading 0 (zero) for single-digit days. For example, the sixth day of the month is displayed as 6.
    • dd - This format item displays the day of the week or month as a number with a leading 0 (zero) for single-digit days. For example, the sixth day of the month is displayed as 06.
    • ddd - This format item displays the day of the week or month as a three-letter abbreviation. For example, Tuesday is displayed as Tue.
    • dddd - This format item displays the day of the week as its full name.

    The letter y displays the year as two or four digits. The letter y can be either uppercase or lowercase.

    • yy - This format item displays the year as two digits with a leading 0 (zero) for years 01 through 09. For example, 1999 is displayed as 99, and 2006 is displayed as 06.
    • yyyy - This format item displays the year as four digits.
  • Create Documents from Requests & Decisions
    1. On the Requests & Decisions page, specify your search criteria and click Search. You will be presented with a list of requests.  
    2. Select all of the desired requests you would like to include in the merge by clicking the checkbox on the left.
    3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Create Documents” link under Batch Options.
    4. Select the saved merge template you would like to use.
    5. Choose Word as your Output Type. 
    6. Click the Create Document button.  This will generate a document that includes the merged data from all of the requests that were selected.  
  • Create Documents from a Submitted Form or the Request Summary

    Administrators can create a merge document for a single request from any Submitted Form, or from the Request Summary page which can be accessed by clicking on the Project Name link anywhere it is present in the system.

    To create a merge document from the Form or Request Summary page:

    1. Go to the form or the Request Summary.
    2. Click on the “Create Documents” link at the top of the page.
    3. Select the merge template you would like to use. (if you don't see the desired template, make sure you have uploaded it into the system.)
    4. Choose the Output Type (Word or PDF)
      • A Word document can be edited after it is generated but attachments cannot be included in this document type.
      • A PDF cannot be edited but attachments can be included in this document type. 
    5. Create the merge document by clicking one of these buttons:
      • The Create Document button.  This will generate a document that includes the merged data from all of the requests that were selected.  
      • The Create Document and Attach to Request button.  This will save a copy of the merged document as a request document and also open the merged document.
        • This will also prompt you to enter a description and allow you the option to show the document to the applicant or not.
  • Generate Merge Documents

    Before following the steps below to generate merge documents, make sure that you've built and uploaded the merge template that you intend to use to generate the documents.  

    Generate a Merge Document for One Request

    When generating a merge document for one request, you have the option to efficiently upload it to the request. This also gives you the option to make the document accessible to the applicant on their dashboard, where they can then download it. Generating a merge document for one request also allows you to generate the document as a PDF or Word file. 

    1. Navigate to the page from which you'd like to generate the merge document. This could be the Request Summary page or a submitted form for a request (e.g. the submitted application form). 
    2. Click Create Documents.Generate_Merge_Documents_1.png 
    3. Select the merge template you'd like to use to generate the document.Generate_Merge_Documents_2.png

    4. Choose the output File Type: Word or PDF. 
      • If your merge template includes the merge fields for file upload questions or other request documents, select PDF to include those documents. You can also select additional request documents to include with the document you're generating if you select the PDF file type.Generate_Merge_Documents_3.png

    5. If you want to generate the document and upload it to the request in a single step, click Create Document and Attach to Request.Generate_Merge_Documents_4.png

      • Enter a Description, check the box for "Show Applicant this document" if you want it to be accessible on the applicant's dashboard, then click OK. If you make the document visible to the applicant, they will see the description you entered as well.Generate_Merge_Documents_5.png

    6. If you just want to generate the document (maybe you'd like to make additional edits, or just want to print it for the applicant), click Create Document. The document will download to your computer.Generate_Merge_Documents_6.png

    Generate Merge Documents for Multiple Requests

    When generating merge documents for multiple requests, the system produces the documents in one Word file for efficient printing.  

    1. Navigate to the Requests & Decisions search page and perform a search to locate the requests for which you'd like to generate merge documents. 
    2. Check the box next to each request for which you'd like to generate merge documents.Generate_Merge_Documents_7.png 
    3. Click Batch Options, then click Create Documents.Generate_Merge_Documents_8.png 
    4. Select the merge template you'd like to use to generate the documents.Generate_Merge_Documents_9.png

    5. Select Word as the output File Type. This is the only option when generating documents for multiple requests at one time.Generate_Merge_Documents_10.png

    6. Click Create Document.Generate_Merge_Documents_11.png

    7. A Word document will download to your computer, containing the generated merge documents for each selected request, with a page break between them. 
  • Build a Merge Template

    Overview

    A merge template can be built and then used to generate merge documents from your site. For example, if you send award letters to each grantee/scholarship recipient, you could create a merge template of that letter and then generate customized award letters using that template. 

    A merge template starts as a Word document with your templated content (e.g. the award letter content). You then copy and paste merge fields into the template. Those merge fields tell the system what data you want to pull from your site into the template when generating merge documents with the template. In other words, the system merges data from your site into those fields.

    In our award letter example, you might include merge fields for the applicant's name, the amount awarded, and the process name, so that information automatically populates in the letters. 

     

    Build a Merge Template

    1. Prepare the document that you'd like to use as the merge template. The templated content (e.g. the award letter content) should be ready to go before you begin the next steps.Build_a_Merge_Template_1.png 
    2. Click Communications, then click Merge Templates.Build_a_Merge_Template_2.png

    3. Select the process for which you'd like to generate merge fields. 
      • For example, if you're creating an award letter template for your Spring Process, you'd select the Spring Process. This ensures that the merge fields you copy and paste into your template will pull the intended information for requests in that process.Build_a_Merge_Template_3.png 
    4. Click Generate Merge Fields.Build_a_Merge_Template_4.png 
    5. A document should have downloaded in your browser (named something similar to "Fields-Spring Grant Process"), which you can then click to open. This document contains all the available merge fields related to the process you selected. Please see the Merge Fields Explained section below for more details on this document and what it contains.Build_a_Merge_Template_extra.png 
    6. Highlight and copy a desired merge field within the Fields document.Build_a_Merge_Template_5.png

    7. Paste (do not use the "Keep Text Only" option when pasting) the copied field into your template exactly where you'd like the information from that field to populate. Continue adding all desired merge fields, being mindful of spaces and punctuation surrounding the merge fields.Build_a_Merge_Template_6.png

      • When pasting the field, it's important to not use the "Keep Text Only" option, as that removes the field code in the background. See the info box after Step 11 for more information on field codes.
    8. Save the changes you made to your Word document merge template. 
    9. Back in your GLM or SLM site on the Merge Templates page, click Add New Template, then select the template file from your computer.Build_a_Merge_Template_7.png 
    10. Name the template, enter an optional Description, then click Save.
      • The Name becomes the file name when generating merge documents using this template. Be mindful of this if you intend to attach documents to an applicant's request using this template. 
      • The Description is for internal purposes, and can help you remember specifics of the intended use for this template.Build_a_Merge_Template_8.png 
    11. The document now appears in your list of available merge templates, and can be used to generate merge documents from your site.Build_a_Merge_Template_9.png

    Each merge field contains a field code, which is how the system knows what information to populate in that field. You can press Alt+F9 (for a PC) or Option+F9 (for a Mac) to reveal the field codes after pasting them into your template. This can help you verify that the code pasted into your template (vs. just the label, such as "Amount Awarded"). Press Alt+F9 or Option+F9 again to hide the field codes.

    When viewing the field codes, you can also make formatting edits, such as changing the date or number format if you'd like the merged data to display differently. 

     

    Merge Fields Explained

    When you generate the merge fields for a process, note that some sections of fields are not process-specific. For example, the Primary Contact section contains fields from the registration pages. If you only include fields in your merge template that are not process-specific, that merge template can be used to generate documents for requests in any process. 

    Other sections of fields are process-specific. Keep in mind when generating a merge document, it's generated for a request within a certain process. If the merge template you use includes process-specific merge fields, data will only populate in those fields if they exist with a matching field code in the process for that request.

    Example

    Let's say that you include an "Amount Requested" field from your Spring Process application form in a merge template. You realize that you'd like to use this merge template for your Fall Process as well. If you copied your Spring Process to create the Fall Process (and kept the Amount Requested field on the Fall Process application), you could use that same merge template to generate documents for both processes. That's because the field code for the Amount Request field (meaning the code behind the Amount Requested merge field) is the same for both processes as the Fall Process was created as a copy of the Spring Process.