Using XML and Word for Mail-Merging

Thursday Jan 29th 2004 by Franky Braem
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Use XML records and Microsoft Word to create a mail-merge application. Requires VB6, IE5, and Microsoft Word (Added: 4-Apr-2000)

Many thanks to Franky Braem for allowing us to host this article and code from his original article.

This project is a sample of how you can merge XML-files with a MS Word97 template. This makes it easy to create a mailmerge-system. I've created a ActiveX DLL to perform the mailmerge. This makes it very easy to reuse this code in other applications.

An Example

When you have a customer-database and you want to write a letter to each of your customers, the only thing you have to do is to create a Word-template and a XML-file with the data of the customers.

This is an example of a XML-file with customer-data:

<?xml version = "1.0" ?>
<!DOCTYPE DOCUMENT [
<!ELEMENT DOCUMENT (CUSTOMER)*>
<!ELEMENT CUSTOMER (NAME, ADDRESS, ORDERS)>
<!ELEMENT NAME (LASTNAME, FIRSTNAME)>
<!ELEMENT LASTNAME (#PCDATA)>
<!ELEMENT FIRSTNAME (#PCDATA)>
<!ELEMENT ADDRESS (STREET, POSTAL, LOCATION)>
<!ELEMENT STREET (#PCDATA)>
<!ELEMENT POSTAL (#PCDATA)>
<!ELEMENT LOCATION (#PCDATA)>
<!ELEMENT ORDERS (ITEM)*>
<!ELEMENT ITEM (PRODUCT, PRICE)>
<!ELEMENT PRODUCT (#PCDATA)>
<!ELEMENT PRICE (#PCDATA)>
]>
<DOCUMENT>
<CUSTOMER>
    <NAME>
        <LASTNAME>Braem</LASTNAME>
        <FIRSTNAME>Franky</FIRSTNAME>
    </NAME>
    <ADDRESS>
        <STREET>Jan Van Rijswijcklaan</STREET>
        <POSTAL>2000</POSTAL>
        <LOCATION>Antwerp</LOCATION>
    </ADDRESS>
    <ORDERS>
        <ITEM>
           <PRODUCT>Computer</PRODUCT>
           <PRICE>54.995</PRICE>
        </ITEM>
        <ITEM>
           <PRODUCT>Printer</PRODUCT>
           <PRICE>12.990</PRICE>
        </ITEM>
    </ORDERS>
</CUSTOMER>
<CUSTOMER>
    <NAME>
        <LASTNAME>De Smet</LASTNAME>
       <FIRSTNAME>Nathalie</FIRSTNAME>
    </NAME>
    <ADDRESS>
       <STREET>Kruidtuinlaan</STREET>
       <POSTAL>1000</POSTAL>
       <LOCATION>Brussel</LOCATION>
    </ADDRESS>
    <ORDERS>
        <ITEM>
           <PRODUCT>GSM</PRODUCT>
           <PRICE>9.895</PRICE>
        </ITEM>
    </ORDERS>
</CUSTOMER>
</DOCUMENT>

This is an example of a Word-template:



Click here for a larger image.

Properties

  • DocumentPrefix
    • String
    • The name of each new document is a number. With this property you can specify a prefix to use in the name of document.
  • Path
    • String
    • The path where the Word documents should be stored
  • WordTemplate
    • String
    • The name of the Word-Template
  • XMLFile
    • String
    • The name of the XMLFile
  • XMLString
    • String
    • A string with the XML-data

Methods

  • Execute
    • Returns - Boolean
    • Parameters - none
    • Performs the mailmerge. Returns False when an error occurred.

(Ed: Again, many thanks to Franky Braem for allowing us to host this code, be sure to check out his original article for any updates.)

Download Zipped Files (project/wordfiles) 21k

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