Windows and Features

This section describes the various windows and features of the Form Letter module. Please follow the links below for specific details on the word processor in Theatre Manager, the different areas of the Form Letters Menu and the Form Letter Window.

Quick Reference information (Quick Reference Guides, Cheatsheets and Videos) are available for some Form letter functionality.

Features of the Word Processor

The word processing (form letter) module has a number of features common to most word processing software including a spell checker, merging of fields, tables, etc. It is also the foundation for creating what-you-see-is-what-you-get email blasts. You can see a sample on this page.

The Word Processor

  • has a number similarities with common word processors.
  • Documents can be viewed in Page Layout, Normal, and Field modes.
  • The rulers allow the placing of tabs and setting of indents and paper margins.
  • Text boxes, pictures and tables have numerous formatting options allowing the creation of more sophisticated documents.
  • Theatre Manager data fields can be placed directly into the document, allowing you to personalize mailings and include patron-specific information in large mail merges.
  • Document templates can be created for ease of use.
  • The Find and Replace function is capable of searching and replacing based on text, styles, paragraphs, text formatting options, or any combination of this list.
  • The spell checker is capable of checking as words are typed and will underline misspelled words in red. Simple context menus will show suggestions as to the appropriate spelling.

Other features include the Label Writer allowing address labels to be printed from database information, and a PDF Generator.

Quick Reference information (Quick Reference Guides, Cheatsheets and Videos) is available for some Form letter functionalty. Click here to access the Form Letter specific links.

The Form Letters Menu

The Form Letters Menu is used to access both the features of the Form Letter module and settings for individual Form Letters. This menu is located on the menu bar in Theatre Manager.

Alternatively, you can open Form Letters via the Letters button on the main Theatre Manager toolbar / ribbon bar.

Quick Reference information (Quick Reference Guides, Cheatsheets and Videos) is available for some Form letter functionalty. Click here to access the Form Letter specific links.

Parts of the Form Letter Menu

Form Letters This selection opens the Form Letter List window. Click here for more information on the Form Letter List window.
Recent Form Letters This sub-menu lists recently accessed form letters for editing, and merging. For more information on the Recent Form Letters menu, click here.
Tasks This sub-menu allows access to the printing features for letters and labels. For more information on the Tasks menu, click here.
Format This sub-menu allows access to the different format features available when creating or editing a letter. For more information on the Format menu, click here.
View This sub-menu allows changing the view options for the current document. For more information on the View menu, click here.
Scale This sub-menu allows changing the zoom options for the current document. For more information on the Scale menu, click here.
Insert This sub-menu allows the insertion of objects into the current document. For more information on the Insert menu, click here.
Show Data Clicking on this menu option will convert all merge fields to date taken from the database. This is for viewing how the letter will look when merged.
Document Info This will open the Form Letter Info Window for the current document. For more information on the Document Info window, click here.

Search Function

You may search for donation receipts using a variety of fields. The search fields can be selected from the drop down list located in the upper left portion of the window.

Patron # Use this search field to locate donation receipts for a range of, or a specific patron number.
Name/Company Use this search field to locate donation receipts for a particular patron, or a range of patrons based on letters in their last name or company name.
Last Name Use this search field to locate donation receipts for a particular patron, patrons with the same last name, or a range of patrons based on letters in their last name.
Company Use this search field to locate donation receipts based on the company a patron works for.
Fiscal Year Use this search field to locate donation receipts based on the fiscal year that the donation was received.
Donation Date Use this search field to locate donation receipts based on the actual date that the donation was received.
Campaign Name (Internal) Use this search field to locate donation receipts based on the internal name of the campaign type assigned to them.
Receipt # Use this search field to locate donation receipts based on the receipt numbers that were assigned to them.
Receipt Printed Use this search field to locate donation receipts based on the actual date that the donation receipts were printed.
From and To Use these fields to enter in search parameters based upon the field you are using to search.
This button will begin a search for donation receipts that match the specific search criteria set in the from and to fields.
Opens the selected Donations Detail window.
Unprints the receipt for the selected Donation.
Exports the data from the Donation Receipt List out of Theatre Manager as a tab-delimited file to be used in other programs.
Generates the Donation Receipts List as a report with the results of the searched for patrons found in the displayed list.

Form Letter List Window

The Form Letter List Window is opened by accessing the Form Letters Menu >> Letters >> Open or Rename Form Letters or by clicking on the Letters button on the main toolbar.

Quick Reference information (Quick Reference Guides, Cheatsheets and Videos) is available for some Form letter functionalty. Click here to access the Form Letter specific links.

Parts of the Form Letter List Window

Opens the Form Letter Window and created a new Form Letter. Click here for more information on creating a Form Letter.
Opens the currently selected Form Letter. Click here for more information on finding a Form Letter.
Duplicates the currently selected Form Letter. Click here for more information on duplicating a Form Letter.
Deletes the currently selected Form Letter. Click here for more information on deleting a Form Letter.
Prints the currently selected Form Letter. Click here for more information on printing a Form Letter.
Displays the Form Letter Info Window for the currently selected Form Letter. Click here for more information on this window.
Drop down menu allowing for different ways to search for a Form Letter.
Allows for searching for a Form Letter via text matching the selected field in the Drop Down List. Pressing the search button with noting entered, displays the full listing of letters.
Letter Name The file name of the letter currently displayed.
Active? Shows whether the letter is currently active for use.
Is Template Shows whether the letter is a template to be used for the creation of other letters.
Template Name Shows the name of the template used in the creation of the letter.
File Name The data set being used for the merge fields of the letter.
Folder The folder that the letter is currently saved under.

Recent Form Letters Menu

This menu shows a list of recently used form letters to more quickly access the most recent letters.

Form Letter Tasks Menu

This menu is used for creating new form letters, editing existing form letters, and merging form letters with data.

 

Parts of the Tasks Menu

Print Letters / Send Emails Begins the batch print process for letters and/or the batch process for sending e-mails. For more information on printing letters and sending emails click here.
Mail Labels for Printed Letters Allows you to print labels. Click here for more information on printing labels.
Letter / Email Recipient List Allows you to find out who received a letter or eblast and/or look at the current status of a series of letters. click here for more information on the email / recipient listing.

Formatting

After creating a new letter or opening an existing letter, the Format Menu becomes available for use from the Form Letter Menu. Description of and instructions for the formatting features are contained in this section via the links below.

Format Menu Items

The Format menu is used for adjusting the format of the text and paragraphs of the letter. Some of these options are also available in:

 

Parts of the Format Menu

Style This opens up the Format Style window for changing the style of the text based on an existing style (or to make a new style.
Font This opens the Format Font Format Font window for changing the font of the text.
Paragraph This opens the Paragraph Properties window for changing the format of paragraphs in the letter.
Bullets and Numbering This opens the Bullets and Numbering window for formatting text with bullets or numbering.
Page Size This opens the Format Page Size window for the adjusting the properties of the document.

Format Style

The Style Menu is a sub level of the Format Menu under Form Letters. The Style Menu lists templates of the most used font styles and sizes. It allows setting the style and size in which the text will be displayed, or to change the style and/or size of the currently selected text.

Some of these options are also available in:

 

Parts of the Format Style Converter

Adjusts the style of the selected template. For more information on the style tab click here.
Sets the font for the selected template. For more information on the font tab click here.
Defines the paragraph dimensions for the selected template. For more information on the paragraph tab click here.
Determines the bullet and numbering format for the selected template. For more information on the numbering tab click here.

Style Sheet Tab

Displays the styles available in the document and allows you to both alter the style sheet and choose the style for the following paragraph.

Parts of the Style Tab

Converter This style is a 12 point Geneva font.
Heading 1 This style is typically used for the first heading of a section. It is a 16 point Helvetica font.
Heading 2 This style is typically used for a second-level heading in a section. It is a 14 point Helvetica font.
Heading 3 This style is typically used for a third-level heading in a section. It is a 13 point Helvetica font.
Normal This style is typically used for the body of a paragraph. It is a 12 point Times New Roman font.

Font Tab

Font Tab

Font A drop-down menu listing all available fonts that can be used in the letter.
Font Size A drop-down menu listing standard point sizes for the font selected. Sizes may also be entered in the field manually.
Style This style section refers to the style of the font. The available options are Bold, Italics, and Underlined.
Text Color The color of the text may be changed either by:
  • using the color picker button on the right hand side
  • or picking from the list of default colours
    Script The script section allows for the text to be formatted as either Superscript or Subscript.

    Format URL for Link

    Links are useful in eblasts to help you direct the patron to a specific area in the web site to begin the buying process and track the reason people came to the web site using the tmsource feature of a link

    You can right-click on text to format it a Link or to edit the URL for an existing link.

    You can alter the:

    • Name of the link which is displayed on the letter for the patron to click on
    • Description of the field which is the tooltip displayed when you run your mouse over the field. It will default to explain what link you have chosen
    • URL that clicking on the link will display in your browser.

     

    Selecting a link

    You can type in any link you want such as your marketing web site URL or the ticketing web site.

    The context menu has a helper to help you quickly insert a URL for various parts of your ticketing web site. For example, if you want to place a link to show all events:

    • Right click on the URL field
    • Select Insert URL
    • Select Tickets category of URL's
    • Select Show All Events in Icon List
      • The Description will change to describe what the link does as a helpful tip to you
      • The URL will be changed to the link that will accomplish that task
    • Some links will have XXX or QQQ in them. It the link is for a donation campaign, the XXX need to be changed to one of your donation campaigns.
    For more information about a URL that is inserted, please refer to redirecting links
    The parameter tmSource is automatically appended to the end of all links with an example value. Please change it to make sure you do eblast referral tracking.

    Formatting Fields and Calculations or a Form Letter

    You can double click on fields to alter some formatting of the field and some other options. You can alter the:
    • Name of the field which is displayed on the letter, if you prefer something different than the standard.
    • Description of the field which is the tooltip displayed when you run your mouse over the field.
    • Calculation that the field will display. This is normally only a single database field selected from the context menu as per the example to the right.
    • Formatting of the field (numeric, date, text, currency, etc) by using the popup.
    • Number of decimals if it is a numeric field
    • Aggregation of the field if it is of a type that can be aggregated.
      • Typically this lets you display maximum, minimum, total or average value of all the records that might appear on a consolidated letter
      • It is only effective on a document designed to display multiple records in a table
      • Note: If a field has aggregation set on it, it appears yellow in the document
    In many cases, the only thing you may wish to change is the formatting.

    Adding a calculation containing one or more fields

    The one time you may wish to change all the options available for a field is when you want to have a calculation occur between multiple fields. The example below shows calculating the net deductible donation amount based on the difference between the actual donation amount and the benefit. In this case, the sample shows the calculation changed and all other items in the screen changed to reflect it on the document.

    An obvious question is how to get the names of the fields for a calculation. You can use a simple trick:

    • Insert each the fields onto the form letter that you might want to put in the calculation
      • Double click on those fields
      • Write down the name of the field from the 'evaluation' field
      • Close the window
    • Insert one of the fields a second time (or copy/paste it). This is what we will use as the calculated field.
      • Change the Database/System Field area to contain a calculation based on multiple variables. In this example, the field

        DD_AMOUNT_ACTUAL was changed to be the calculation

        DD_AMOUNT_ACTUAL-DD_BENEFIT_AMOUNT

      • hit the tab key and the Database/System Field will change to Calculation if it contains valid fields to let you know that Theatre Manager recognizes the calculation
      • You may wish to change the name and description to indicate what you've done - and the next person to edit the letter will know from the name of the calculation what it means.
    • Print some samples of the letters - reviewing the date on the letter to see if it is right
    • Then remove any fields from the letter that you don't really want the patron to see, but you added to the letter to get the field names

    Once you've created a calculation, you should also be able to use it to create a custom field and do conditional printing.

    Paragraph Tab

    Paragraph Tab

    First Line Indent Sets the indent of the first line of each paragraph.
    Left Indent Sets a left indent to all lines of a paragraph.
    Right Indent Sets a right indent to all lines of a paragraph.
    Alignment A drop-down menu allowing for the adjustment of the alignment of the paragraph. The available options are Left, Center, Right, and Justified.
    Line Spacing A drop-down menu to set the spacing between lines in a paragraph. The available options are Single, 1.5, and Double.
    Spacing Before Sets the spacing before each paragraph.
    Spacing After Sets the spacing after each paragraph.
    Tabs Sets any tab stops that should be on the page. L=Left, C=Centre, R=Right, D=Decimal followed by a number where the tab stop occurs.

    For example: a tab stop o L2.50 would a Left Tab at 2.5". Tabs can be set usin the toolbar as well.

    Numbering Tab

    Parts of the Bullets and Numbering Window

    Text is not in list format or removes list format from selected text.
    Converts the text to a list with bullets.
    Converts the text to a list with numbers and a period separator.
    Converts the text to a list with numbers and a parentheses separator.
    Converts the text to a list with upper case letters and a period separator.
    Converts the text to a list with upper case letters and a parentheses separator.
    Converts the text to a list with lower case letters and a period separator.
    Converts the text to a list with lower case letters and a parentheses separator.
    Converts the text to a list with roman numerals and a period separator.
    Converts the text to a list with roman numerals and a parentheses separator.

    Format Font Window

    The Font Menu is a sublevel of the Format Menu under Form Letters. The Font Menu allows the changing of the font and size of the text for input, or to change text that is currently selected.

    Some of these options are also available in:

     

    Parts of the Format Font Window

    Font A drop-down menu listing all available fonts that can be used in the letter.
    Font Size A drop-down menu listing standard point sizes for the font selected. Sizes may also be entered in the field manually.
    Style This style section refers to the style of the font. The available options are Bold, Italics, and Underlined.
    Text Color The color of the text may be changed either by using the color picker button on the right hand side, or the list of default colors below.
    Script The script section allows for the text to be formatted as either Superscript or Subscript.
    Closes the Format Font window without applying any changes.
    Applies the changes to the text and closes the Format Font window.

    Paragraph Properties

    The Paragraph Menu is a sublevel of the Format Menu under Form Letters. The Paragraph Menu allows the adjustment of the paragraphs in the letter.

    Some of these options are also available in:

     

    Parts of the Paragraph Properties Tab

    First Line Indent Sets the indent of the first line of each paragraph.
    Left Indent Sets a left indent to all lines of a paragraph.
    Right Indent Sets a right indent to all lines of a paragraph.
    Alignment A drop-down menu allowing for the adjustment of the alignment of the paragraph. The available options are Left, Center, Right, and Justified.
    Line Spacing A drop-down menu to set the spacing between lines in a paragraph. The available options are Single, 1.5, and Double.
    Spacing Before Sets the spacing before each paragraph.
    Spacing After Sets the spacing after each paragraph.
    Tabs Sets any tab stops that should be on the page. An example of a tab stop would be L2.50 which places a Left Tab at 2.5".
    Closes the Format Font window without applying any changes.
    Applies the changes to the text and closes the Format Font window.

    Format Page Size Window

    The Page Size Menu is a sublevel of the Format Menu under Form Letters. The Page Size Menu allows the adjustment of the size and orientation of the letter..

    Some of these options are also available in:

     

    Parts of the Format Page Size Window

    Paper

    Paper Size The drop-down menu displays a list of standard paper sizes. The user may also enter custom sizes below or select the custom format from the list.
    Orientation The drop-down menu allows a change between orientating the paper in Portrait or Landscape.
    Height Displays the height of the paper when a size is selected above or allows the user to enter a custom height.
    Width Displays the width of the paper when a size is selected above or allows the user to enter a custom width.

    Margins

    Top Sets the size of the top margin in inches.
    Left Sets the size of the left margin in inches.
    Right Sets the size of the right margin in inches.
    Bottom Sets the size of the bottom margin in inches.
    Closes the Format Font window without applying any changes.
    Applies the changes to the text and closes the Format Font window.

    Format Picture or Image

    This allows you to format many aspects of a picture such as:
    • How text wraps around the image
    • How the text aligns to the top or bottom of text
    • The amount of spacing from the image and the rest of the text in all directions
    • Alter the size of the picture for display purposes
    • Keep the aspect ratio
    • Give the image a name and description for documentation purposes
    • A URL to open when the image is clicked

    The Formatting Palette

    The Formatting Pallete is on the left of each Form Letter Window to allow easy access to common word processor features. A number of these options are also available in:

    Parts of the Formatting Pallette

    Font

    Style Templates for font styles. A style may be applied to text to change its formatting. Drop down the menu to change the style.
    Name Name of the current font. Drop down the menu to change the font.
    Size Size of the current font. Drop down the menu to change the size.
    Color Color of the font. Drop down the menu to view the color picker.
    Face Affects the special format of the text. This allows for Bold, Italic, Underlined, Superscript and Subscript text.
    Lists Inserts a list into the current text. The list can be in numbered or bulletted format. The list can also be indented or outdented.

    Alignment and Spacing

    Horizontal Changes the horizontal alignment of the text to either Left, Center, Right or Justified.
    Line Spacing Changes the spacing between lines to 1 line, 1.5 lines or 2 lines.

    Paragraph Spacing

    Before Changes the spacing between a new paragraph and the preceding paragraph.
    After Changes the spacing after a paragraph and before the following paragraph.

    Indentation

    Left Changes the indenation of text on the left side.
    Right Changes the indentation of text on the right side.
    First Changes the indentation for the first line of a paragraph.

    Document

    Margins

    Top Changes the size of the Top margin of the document.
    Left Changes the size of the Left margin of the document.
    Right Changes the size of the Right margin of the document.
    Bottom Changes the size of the Bottom margin of the document.

    View

    Layout Changes the Layout View of the document between:
    • Normal - which shows text flow without the borders and header locations showing
    • Page Layout - similar to normal, and shows page borders dependant on the size of the document.
    • Window Width - which expands the document to the width of the window which can be used for pure text entry.
    Also on the View Menu
    100% You can set the zoom in/out of the document view.
    Show The first button will turn on the rulers and the second button will change the rulers from inches to centimetres.

    Also on the View Menu

    Show Paragraph the show paragraph icon will show the hidden text markers like tabs, paragraph markers and other invisible non-breaking spacing characters
    Paper Colour Drop down menu allows for changing the color of the paper via a color picker.
    Paper Size Opens a window that lets you set some page size characteristics based on common paper sizes, or ones that you might want to customize.

    This also available on the context menu and the Format Menu

    Headers & Footers

    Different Check for different Odd and Eve and/or Different first page headers and footers
    Margins Define the margins for the headers and footers

    View Menu

    The View menu is used for adjusting the view of the letter in the Form Letter Window.

    Parts of the View Menu

    Normal The Normal command displays normal view (active when checked), to display page breaks as horizontal lines, and to not display headers and footers.
    Page Layout The Page command displays page layout view (active when checked), to display a document as it will print. The page outline, text, margins, headers, footers and objects display in their actual size and position.
    Fit Window This sets the Form Letter window to Fit Window view. This view sets the zoom size of the letter to fit the size of the window.
    Use Centimeters This converts the ruler from inches to centimeters. If it says "use centimeters" then inches are currently in use.
    Hide Rulers This turns on or off the rulers in the Form Letter window. If it says "hide rulers" then rulers are currently visible.

    Scale Menu

    The Scale menu is used for adjusting the zoom of the letter in the Form Letter Window.

    Parts of the Scale Menu

    25% Sets the view of the letter at 25% zoom.
    50% Sets the view of the letter at 50% zoom.
    75% Sets the view of the letter at 75% zoom.
    100% Sets the view of the letter at 100% zoom.
    125% Sets the view of the letter at 125% zoom.
    133% Sets the view of the letter at 133% zoom.
    150% Sets the view of the letter at 150% zoom.
    200% Sets the view of the letter at 200% zoom.
    Render at Screen DPI Renders the letter and images at the DPI of the screen.
    Render at 72 DPI Renders the letter and images at 72 DPI.
    Render at 96 DPI Renders the letter and images at 96 DPI.

    Insert Menu

    The Insert menu is used for inserting special objects into the letter. An example of these objects would be hyperlinks or tables.

    Page Break Inserts a page break into the letter. A page break will force any text following the page break to start on a new page.
    Hyperlink Inserts a hyperlink into the letter. A hyperlink is typically used to create a clickable link to a web URL.
    Create Custom Field Inserts a custom field into the letter. These are specialty fields that are not found within the standard Theatre Manager merge fields. For more information on inserting custom fields click here.
    Text Box Inserts a Text Box into the letter. The text box is typically used to create a section of text that is movable in the letter.
    Table Opens the Insert Table window. Tables are used to format text into rows and columns. For more information on inserting tables click here.
    Row Field Opens the Insert Row Fields window. Row Fields are used to insert data in table format into the letter. This would typically be used to display a list of tickets or donations. For more information on inserting row fields click here.

    Insert Custom Field Window

    The Create Custom Field Menu is a sublevel of the Insert Menu under Form Letters. The Create Custom Field Menu allows for the creation of custom fields to be added to a letter using selected text.

    Custom fields are different than calculated fields in a document. A custom field is used for conditional documents and paragraphs. In some cases, they can be built from any text, fields or calculated fields.

    Parts of the Insert Custom Field

    Display Options

    Name Enter a name for the custom field.
    Description Enter a description of what the custom field does.

    Evaluation Options

    Strip empty lines from result When checked, Theatre Manger will remove any empty lines from the data returned.
    Multi row field, evaluate for each record When checked, Theatre Manager will remove any empty lines from the data returned, and check on a line by line basis.

    Insert Options

    Make available to other users Makes the custom field available to other users.
    Insert as text box Inserts the custom field as a text box.
    Cancels the current operation. Closes the window and performs no action.
    Performs the current operation. This will add or alter the custom field that has been created.

    Insert Table Window

    The Table menu is used for inserting a table into the letter. Tables allow text to be formatted into rows and columns in order to create a better presentation.

    Parts of the Insert Table Window

    Number of Rows The number of rows to create the table with.
    Number of Columns The number of columns to create the table with.
    Fit Across Page When checked, Theatre Manager automatically determines the column width in order to fit the table to the full width of the letter.
    Column Width The width of the columns to be set when the table is created.
    Cancels the current operation. Closes the window and performs no action.
    Performs the current operation. This will add the table to the letter.

    Table Borders and Shading

    Formatting table Borders and Shading options are accessible after a table or row field table is inserted into a Form Letter. Borders and Shading is part of the table properties.

    1. Accessing Borders and Shading options right-click anywhere on the inserted table, select Table, Borders and Shading.



    2. Set Borders and Shading attributes there are 5 attribute options for Borders and Shading:
      • Border Style
      • Frame Options
      • Line Style, Colors
      • Line Size


      • Apply edits by selecting an option from the dropdown menu where changes are to be applied to the table, then click the Apply button.




    3. To complete the update and apply changes to Table. Closing the Borders and Shading window will set the Applied Changes. From the Table Property Window, click Apply button from the Table Property window.


    Insert Row Field Window

    The Row Field menu is used for inserting a table with data fields into the letter. This table consists of columns of data fields to present a list of information. This is typically used in form letters to list things like the examples below:

    • tickets that have been purchased for an order, subscription or what have you.
    • donations that have been made for a year, a specific campaign, or part of an ongoing-never ending donation
    • volunteer of staff activity assignments for an upcoming period of time
    • a notice of gift certificates that are still active, available and assigned to a patron so that they can redeem them
    • or anything else where you want a list of some data on the form letter.

    Row fields can have:

    • Multiple columns of data from related records in the database
    • Column headers
    • Detail rows containing the data for each column
    • Subtotals, averages, max and minimum on rows that are numeric
    • Separate subtotals, averages, etc outside the row field

     

    Sample of empty Row Field

     

    Parts of the Insert Row Field Window

    Headers & Footers

    Create a header row Creates a header row for the table listing the fields that are used.
    Bold Sets the header row in bold typeface.
    Fill Color Allows changing the color of the header row background.
    Create a footer row Creates a footer row for the table. The footer row typically contains sub-totals of the information in the table.
    Bold Sets the footer row in a bold typeface.
    Fill Color Allows changing the color of the footer row background.

    Columns

    Adds another row field to the table.
    Deletes the row field from the table.
    Moves the placement of the row field up. This will place the column farther left in the table.
    Moves the placement of the row field down. This will place the column farther right in the table.
    Database Field The database field to be used as a column header.
    Displays a drop-down menu to allow the lookup of database fields.
    Column Header Allows a description to be entered as the column header rather than using the database field.
    Total When checked, the total will be displayed for this field instead.
    Cancels the current operation. Closes the window and performs no action.
    Performs the current operation. This will add the table to the letter.

     

    Sample of row field for some ticket data

    The example below shows a row field containing some ticket data. Refer to creating a ticket example for more information.

    Form Letter Window

    To open Form letters, use the main menu Form Letters Menu >> Letters >> New Letter menu. The Form Letter window opens. Click for more information on the:

    Quick Reference information (Quick Reference Guides, Cheatsheets and Videos) is available for some Form letter functionalty. Click here to access the Form Letter specific links.

    Parts of the Form Letter Window

    Creates a new form letter. Click here for more information on creating a new Form Letter.
    Saves the current Form Letter.
    Duplicates the current Form Letter. Click here for more information on duplicating Form Letters.
    Reverts to the last saved version of the letter.
    Deletes the current Form Letter. Click here for more information on deleting a Form Letter.
    Prints the current Form Letter. Click here for more information on printing Form Letters.
    Checks the spelling of the current letter.
    Undoes the last action taken on the current letter. This does not revert to the last save.
    Redoes the last action that was undone. This is good for correcting an action that was accidentally undone.
    Imports an RTF document to be used as a letter. Click here for more information on importing a Form Letter.
    Exports the letter as an RTF document to be opened in another application. Click here for more information on exporting a Form Letter.
    Opens the Form Letter Info Window. Click here for more information on the window.
    Formatting Pallette The fomatting pallette allows easy access to many common word processing functions. For more information on this feature, click here.
    Context Menu The Context Menu, also known as the right-click menu allows for adding new fields and making other adjustments to the letter. For more information about using this menu, click here.
    Headers and Footers Headers and Footers can be used for contracts and page numbering. For more information about using the header and footer, click here.

    New Form Letter Window

    The Form Letter Info Window opens when a new Form Letter is created, or by pressing the Info button on the Form Letter Window.

     

    Parts of the Form Letter Info Window

    Form Letter Details

    Name File name of the Form Letter
    Email Subject The email subject heading if the form letter is designed to be emailed to patrons
    Folder The Form Letter Folder where the letter will be saved
    Data The type of data that can be contained within the letter. Refer to file selection for mail lists for additional assistance as the merge fields on a letter follow the same principles as the search criteria on mail lists or reports.
    Unsubscribe List If an email is to be sent out with an unsubscribe capability on it, you need to specify a mail list to track the unsubscribes. This allows you to pick a default for each mail list. you can use the same one for many letters if you want one common list for unsubscribe tracking.

    If none is specified as a default, you can always specify one on the merge window

    Form Letter Options

    Base Template A template form letter containing some base content or formatting that will be automatically included in creating this letter. An example of a template might be a letterhead. The default 'Normal' template usually has nothing other than an empty page.
    Access Groups You can specify who has access to this letter using the access groups feature
    Active Indicates if the displayed Letter is active or not
    Cover Letter on Invoice Emails or emailing tickets When checked:
    Retain all history for letter Cannot automatically remove any form letters from a patron's letter tab during any purge process set up in system preferences

    Template Options

    Make this document a template The current letter will be saved as a template to be used for future letters

    Context Menu

    The Context menu is reached by right-clicking (CTRL + click for a single button mouse) anywhere in the Form Letter window as per the example to the right.
    • This menu is useful for quickly doing operations.
    • This is also where the option to add database merge fields is located.

    Some of the text formatting features are also available on the tools palette

     

    Parts of the Context Menu Window

    Preferences Opens the Preferences Flyout menu. You can:
    • Hide Toolbar - Hides the toolbar icons.
    • Hide Text - Hides the text titles under the icons.
    • Small Icons - Changes the size of the icons from to .
    • Restore Column Defaults - Changes the window size back to the default.
    Format Style This will open the Format Style window. For more information on formatting styles click here.
    Format Font This will open the Format Font window. For more information on formatting fonts click here.
    Format Paragraph This will open the Paragraph Properties window. For more information on formatting paragraphs click here.
    Bullets and Numbering This will open the Bullets and Numbering window. For more information on bullets and numbering click here.
    Page Size This will open the Page Size window. For more information on page size click here.
    Insert Document Object This will display the sub-menu for inserting a document object. For more information on inserting objects click here.
    Insert Database Field This will display the sub-menu for inserting a database field in the letter. For more information on inserting database fields click here.
    Insert Word Processor Field This will display the sub-menu for inserting a word processor field into the letter. The word processor fields are default fields that are commonly used when creating a document. Some examples are time and date formats. When using a field, the field will automatically update each time the document is opened or printed.
    Undo This will undo the last action taken. If there is no action to be undone, then it will say "Can't Undo."
    Redo This will redo the last action that was undone. If there is no action to redo, then it will say "Can't Redo."
    Cut This will cut the selected text or objects to the clipboard.
    Copy This will copy the selected text or objects to the clipboard.
    Paste This will paste any text or objects from the clipboard into the letter.
    Clear This will clear the selected text or objects.
    Select All This will select all text and objects in the document.

    Headers and Footers

    A header or footer is text or graphics that is usually printed at the top or bottom of every page in a document. A header is printed in the top margin; a footer is printed in the bottom margin.

    Headers and footers can be as simple as the document title and a page number, but you can create headers and footers that contain graphics, multiple paragraphs, and fields. You can specify a different header or footer for odd and even pages or use a different header or footer for the first page of a section or document.

    .

    You can insert the following into Headers and Footers:

    • Text
    • Graphics - pasted only and one text line high
    • Database Field - Using the right-click context menu
    • Custom Field - Using the right-click context menu
    • Word Processor Field - Using the right-click context menu

    Headers and footers can also have formatting applied to them.

    Adding a Merge Field

    These steps indicate how to add an individual field. Afterwards, you can make calculated fields with a few additional steps.

    When creating a Form Letter, the purpose is typically to pull data from Theatre Manager automatically so that letters or e-mails can be sent to patrons. To do this, database fields are placed in a generic Form Letter.

    1. In the Form Letter window, place the cursor in the position that the database field is to be located.

    2. Right-click to open the Context menu and go to the Insert Data Base Field option.

      A list of database categories will appear. For more information about the Context menu click here.

    3. Select the category that the database field resides under.

      A sub-menu will open showing all of the database fields that reside in the category.

    4. Click on the field to be used in the letter.

      The field will now appear in the letter.

    5. Repeat these steps for all merge fields that need to be entered.

      If a wrong field is selected, simply click on the merge field in the letter and press the DELETE key on the keyboard.

    Formatting a Merge Field

    You can double click on any merge field that you want and change some of its formatting characteristics.

    Most options may be self explanatory as they format the field by date, currency, etc.

    The Consolidate option has an important meaning depending on the option picked when actually merging letters.

    If the data field is in a row field table, each record will appear individually. If the field is OUTSIDE the row field, then the use of Consolidate has the following effect:

    • No Consolidating: The FIRST record found in the sort order appears in the non-table fields area. This can be used to advantage such as to show the 'last' event purchased along with tickets --or-- the most recent amount given along with the total given.
    • Consolidating: anything you are totalling, averaging or using minimum or maximum causes the field to appear 'orange'. It will be consolidated according to the total, average, maximum or minimum.

    Form Letter keyboard short cuts

    There are over 40 keyboard shortcuts for editing text or cursor movement in a document that are listed below. They cover some of the things that people do the most and are intended, as much as possible, to be comparable to the similar keystrokes in Microsoft Word. Using keystrokes will also change the options displayed within the toolbar (example on the right)

    There are other methods of formatting your document:

    Form Letter Action OSX Shortcut Keys Windows Shortcut Keys Tools Palette
    Bolds or unbolds the selected text Command & B Ctrl & B
    Italicizes or removes italicization from the selected text Command & I Ctrl & I
    Underlines or removes underlining from the selected text Command & U Ctrl & U
    Makes the selected text smaller by increments Command & [ Ctrl & [
    Makes the selected text larger by increments Command & ] Ctrl & ]
    Makes the selected text smaller by one point size Command & Shift & { Ctrl & Shift & {
    Makes the selected text larger by one point size Command & Shift & } Ctrl & Shift & }
    Hide or show non printable characters Command & Shift & 8 Ctrl & Shift & 8
    Selects all text Command & A Ctrl & A
    Undo the latest change. You can undo multiple times to back out a number of changes Command & Z Ctrl & Z
    Redo the latest change. You can redo multiple times to roll forward a number of changes Command & Y Ctrl & Y
    Cut the selected items Command & X Ctrl & X
    Copy the selected items Command & C Ctrl & C
    Zooms out on the document (you see more of the document in the same viewing area and everything is smaller) Command & - Ctrl & -
    Zooms in on the document (you see less of the document in the same viewing area and everything is magnified) Command & = Ctrl & =
    Paragraph alignment - left justify Command & Shift & L Ctrl & Shift & L
    Paragraph alignment - right justify Command & Shift & R Ctrl & Shift & R
    Paragraph alignment - center justify Command & Shift & C Ctrl & Shift & C
    Paragraph alignment - fully justify Command & Shift & J Ctrl & Shift & J
    Paragraph spacing - single line Command & 1 Ctrl & 1
    Paragraph spacing - double line Command & 2 Ctrl & 2
    Paragraph spacing - 1.5 lines Command & 5 Ctrl & 5
    Paragraph increase left indentation Command & M Ctrl & M
    Paragraph decease left indentation Command & Shift & M Ctrl & Shift & M
    Paragraph increase first line indentation. The first line is indented more within the paragraph. Command & T Ctrl & T
    Paragraph decrease first line indentation. This can make paragraph out-dents Command & Shift & T Ctrl & Shift & T
    Previous character left-arrow left-arrow
    Next character right-arrow right-arrow
    Previous word Option & left-arrow Ctrl & left-arrow
    Next word Option & right-arrow Ctrl & right-arrow
    Previous paragraph Option & up-arrow Ctrl & up-arrow
    Next paragraph Option & down-arrow Ctrl & down-arrow
    Beginning of line Command & left-arrow Home
    End of line Command & right-arrow End
    Beginning of document Home Ctrl & Home
    End of document End Ctrl & End
    Scroll left Command & Option & left-arrow Ctrl & Option and left-arrow
    Scroll right Command & Option & right-arrow Ctrl & Option and right-arrow
    Scroll up Command & Option & up-arrow Ctrl & Option and up-arrow
    Scroll down Command & Option & down-arrow Ctrl & Option and down-arrow
    Scroll page up Page Up Page Up
    Scroll page down Page Down Page Down

    Sort Window

    When printing multiple records into a table on a document, it may be helpful to specify the sort order of the data so that it appears in the order you want. You can specify up to 9 sort fields.

    For example, you may want to display:

    • the oldest to newest donation within a campaign
    • all the tickets for a performance date together
    • volunteer activities for a patron in the order that you want them to come to the venue

    If you do not sort the data in a table, it will appear in a random order.- which may be ok.

    Note: The current sort order of a letter is displayed on the form letter merge window for your convenience.

     

    Parts of the Sort Tab

    If available, uses the default search criteria for this report.
    If this Letter has previously been merged, this button adds the previous criteria.
    Opens a list of saved criteria for this report.
    Saves the current criteria to be used later.
    Saves the current criteria to be used later and opens a dialog to name this criteria.
    Available Sort Fields A list of fields available to sort your Row Field elements by, if a row field is used on the form letter.
    Adds the currently selected field to the sort field list on the Right.
    Removes the currently selected field from the sort field list.
    Selected Sort Fields The fields currently used for sorting the data within a Row Field. There is a limit of nine sort fields to sort the list by.
    Sort In Descending Order When checked, the currently selected sort field will sort in descending order.
    Upper Case Conversion When checked, the currently selected sort field will be converted to upper case letters.
    Cancels that adding of criteria and returns the user to the Merge window.
    Completes the addition of criteria and the sorting of data, and begins to generate the merge.