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Email Form Letter


btransue

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Ok, it could just be that I had way too much caffine this morning, but I'm trying to do something that seems very basic. I simply want to email the content s of a form letter embedded with some information from the data base. i.e., dear <>, please enter the following activation code <>...etc.

i see options for typing in text or getting text from an external file...surely there is a way to just send this as a composed form letter embedded with the correct info...no?

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First you have to answer what FileMaker object you mean by "form letter". Is it just text you've typed on the layout in Layout mode? In that case you'd just use Merge fields, almost exactly as you've said, <>

Oops, I see you say "email" it. Well, the only way you can email the above is to create a PDF, then attach that to an email. This may be your best bet if the "form" is "pretty."

But if the "form letter" was actually a text field, then you'd need to use the Substitute() function to replace your tagged text with the relevant field(s).* It would not do "pretty," as you can't do fancy placement or graphics.

*Or use a Custom Function made to handle this. But that requires FileMaker Advanced.

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Thanks for the response.

Sounds like option 2 here is what I'm after. There's no "pretty" requirement with this, strictly text being sent. Just seems strange, that I'm looking at the letter, with the correct info and I can't send that as an email...so un FileMaker. I'm not familiar with using the Substitute () command, if you have any quick tips, I'd be very thankful, otherwise I'll dive in and start looking it up.

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BTW, the first option of sending as a PDF is ok, but still forces you to add the recipients email address manually, which seems wrong (I'm sure it's me). The only other problem with this is that they can not directly highlight and copy the text from the PDF.

But this gets me closer. I would like to know more about the substitute function you mention. Seems like you really should be able to email the letter, as text.

Appreciate your help, Blaine

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1. The trick to the "email the PDF" technique is to use a script Variable for the file path when you Save As PDF. You can then follow that step with a Send Mail step, and use the same script Variable for the attachment path. So it's a 2-step process.

But, yeah, you can't select the "text" in the PDF, 'cause FileMaker considers it a "picture" when it outputs the PDF.

2. Here's a little file with a couple of methods for Substitute(). The first one has the usual [the text, the substitution], which is somewhat tedious, but works well. The 2nd is more clever (by others :-); it uses the Evaluate() function to Substitute() any field (enclosed in "<<" & ">>").

The regular Substitute works well in later versions of FileMaker, because it now preserves the formatting, including any Tabs.

I've also got the same file with a comparison of several Custom Functions, most of which also preserve the formatting. But you don't seem to have FileMaker Advanced, so that's out. Possibly overkill as well.

LetterMerge_noCF.fp7.zip

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