eCards and Merging Documents

 

Steps for creating a ‘new style’ eCard

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Creating a 'new style' eCard...

Step 1- Create the picture/background

Designs can be created in any way you see fit, but will need to be created outside the Messenger application. The image can be to your own specification, but must be saved as either a .jpg or a .png file that can then be imported into Microsoft Word as a picture. We recommend bearing in mind the size of the certificate you intend for it to be printed– i.e. A4 size.

When designing your background image, try to include as much of the final design, including labels, words, descriptions or school logos as possible, as it will make the next section easier. Any changing details (student name etc.) should be saved for the next section as well.

Remember to include space for the ‘merge fields’ such as as Student Name, Teacher Name, Achievement, Date, etc.

Note- Images can be resized in Word, but this should be used sparingly, as the quality of the image will be reduced.

Step 2- Create the eCard Template

During this step, the image will be added to a new Word document, and the ‘merge fields’ to the eCard before saving.

  1. Open Microsoft Word
  2. Adjust the orientation to your needs (usually, Portrait)
  3. Adjust the margins to your needs (usually, the minimum possible before risking printers cutting off the edges – Word will warn you of this)
  4. Insert the eCard image as prepared in step 1, using Insert Picture
  5. Adjust the location of the picture as needed. Be careful not to adjust the size too much, or you risk losing image quality
  6. Wrap the image to appear behind text – Right click the image – Wrap Text -> Behind Text.

Add ‘merge fields’ to the eCard. Like a mail merge, these get replaced for each student that is sent the eCard – in this case Messenger will do this using the data in your MIS.

Tip: If you add a text box first, and add the merge field to this, it makes it much easier to move and place the merge field where you need.

 

  1. Click Insert -> Text Box -> Select a Text Box
  2. Remove the auto filled contents
  3. Place the Text Box where you need
  4. Adjust the font, font size, colour as needed. Also consider adjusting/removing the border and background colour of text box (Right click the text box for options)
  5. Ensure the text box is suitably wide enough to cater for long names or descriptions, considering too the size of the font you use
  6. To add the merge field, ensure the cursor is in the text box, then click Insert, Quick Parts -> FieldField
  7. Under Field Names, select Merge Field
  8. Under Field Name (in the middle), enter the merge field name, including the $ symbol before and after. You can find the name of the merge fields to use in Messenger. For example, $StudentName$ will show the full student name when produced
  9. Repeat this process for each field that needs to be added.

Tip: If you copy and paste a text box you have already modified, this will save you time – simply replace the merge field.

Note: You must insert a Merge Field as described above for Messenger to recognise it – you cannot simply type $StudentName$.

Step 3- Save the file

The document must be saved as a standard .docx file. You can select the file type by going through the Save As function.

Ensure that the document is saved in a place that is easy to find, as you will need to locate it when uploading to Messenger.

 

certificate-example

 

 

Steps for creating an e-merge document

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Creating an e-merge document...

Step 1: Create the mail merge template

First of all, you need to create the base template with the content in – exactly as you would if you were writing a single letter or other document, with any logos or other items all in the right places. The only addition will be to add the special merge fields where you want to personalise the document, with student names for example.

You can easily amend any letters or documents that you currently use, if they are suitable, or even use an existing mail merge template you have (just modifying the relevant fields).

 

Here are the steps:

  1. Open Microsoft Word
  2. Create your document, including any layout, formatting and other settings you would normally use.

Now add merge fields to the merge document. Messenger will replace these tags with the data in Messenger. Place the cursor where you would like the merge field to go (perhaps replacing an existing merge field, or student name, etc):

  1. Click Insert, Quick Parts -> Field.
    Field
  2. Under Field Names, select Merge Field
  3. Under Field Name (in the middle), enter the merge field name, including the $ symbol before and after. You can find the name of the merge fields to use in Messenger (see below)- for example, $StudentName$ will show the full student name when produced
  4. Repeat this process for all the merge fields you need to add.

Tip: If you copy and paste a text box you have already modified, this will save you time – simply replace the merge field.

Important: You must insert a Merge Field as described above for Messenger to recognise it – you cannot simply type $StudentName$.

For a list of all available merge fields in Messenger to use here, in Messenger click Tools -> Templates -> Manage Merge Documents. Here, click List All Tokens top right, and a list of all the tokens and their user will display, as a reference.

Step 2: Save

You need to save your document as a .docx file type, which is a Word Template file type.

Save the document somewhere easy to find again later when you upload to Messenger.

 

 

 

Adding a merge document template to Messenger Using a merge document in a message

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Adding a merge document template...

When you have created your merge document or ecard template, you will need to upload it to Messenger.

 

  1. In Messenger, click Tools - > Libraries -> Manage Merge Documents.
  2. Under School Templates, click Upload New Template.
  3. Select the .docx file you want to upload.

upload-new-template

 

Important Note: If you upload a file with the same name as another template, uploading the template will update/overwrite the existing file.

 

To add a merge document to a message:

 

In Advanced Messaging, on the compose message screen, click ‘Attach Merge Document Template’ and choose the template you wish to use from the list.

 

attach-merge-document-template

 

On the Preview screen (screen 3), you have the opportunity to enter the details for some token/merge fields that need your input, such as Teacher Name.