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:
  • the letter must be based on patron information
  • It must be active
  • It cannot contain a row of fields in a table
If the above are true, the letter can be used as a cover letter template for emailing invoices or tickets to the patron from the order window.
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.

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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.