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NeoOffice :: View topic - Merge - ignore blank lines option?
Merge - ignore blank lines option?
 
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yoxi
Cipher


Joined: Sep 07, 2004
Posts: 1799
Location: Dawlish, Devon

PostPosted: Fri Oct 15, 2004 12:30 am    Post subject: Merge - ignore blank lines option? Reply with quote

Hello there

I'm trying to use merge to write a letter to all the donors in the charity (non-profit) I work for. I've got the fields inserted at the top of the letter for the donor's name, address, and so on:

<FullName>
<Address1>
<Address2>
<City> <PostCode>
<Country>

...but in other apps I've used that have a merge facility, you can get the merge to ignore blank field entries, so that for example you don't end up with:

Joan Soap
23 Skidoo Row

Hy Brasil 90125
Ireland

if there's nothing in the <address2> field. Does anyone know whether this option is available in Ooo, and if so, how to access it? The merge is pretty useless otherwise - although I can save it as a file, and then go in and manually remove all the blank lines (aragh)...

- yoxi
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Max_Barel
Oracle


Joined: May 31, 2003
Posts: 219
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 3:41 am    Post subject: RTM! Reply with quote

- Open the Neo/J manual;
- Go to the Index tab;
- Start typing "hidden paragraphs";
- Before you finish typing the index list will select this item, double click on "database fields", just below;
- Read the ten lines on top of the page manual just displayed;
- If you don't understand the example, read the page from the beginning.

This kind of question, being on OOo general usage rather than Neo/J specific, much efficiently pertains to:
http://documentation.openoffice.org/
or
http://user-faq.openoffice.org/
or else
http://www.oooforum.org/
Where you could easily find "on the shelf" answers.

Please notice that, for once, the title of this post is merciful enough to forget the infamous "F"! BTW, I don't use emoticons, as I find them ugly.
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yoxi
Cipher


Joined: Sep 07, 2004
Posts: 1799
Location: Dawlish, Devon

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 5:53 am    Post subject: Re: RTM! Reply with quote

Max_Barel wrote:
- Open the Neo/J manual;
- Go to the Index tab;
- Start typing "hidden paragraphs";
- Before you finish typing the index list will select this item, double click on "database fields", just below;
- Read the ten lines on top of the page manual just displayed;
- If you don't understand the example, read the page from the beginning.
Thank you, that's very helpful, especially as you'd have to already know to look under 'hidden paragraphs' in order to get that information out of Help - I spent over half an hour trying to get the relevant info out of Help before giving up and deciding to ask around.
Quote:
This kind of question, being on OOo general usage rather than Neo/J specific, much efficiently pertains to:
http://documentation.openoffice.org/
or
http://user-faq.openoffice.org/
or else
http://www.oooforum.org/
Where you could easily find "on the shelf" answers.
Yes, that's why my first port of call after trying Help was oooforum.org, which I found through a google search for forums - but the server was down, so I decided to ask here on the offchance that someone would know the answer - which was a good move, since you have kindly provided me with the answer I needed. I apologise to anyone on this forum who feels that my question didn't belong here.
Quote:
Please notice that, for once, the title of this post is merciful enough to forget the infamous "F"!
That's very gracious of you. By the way, I don't eat celery, I don't think it's food.

- yoxi
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Max_Barel
Oracle


Joined: May 31, 2003
Posts: 219
Location: French Alps

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 7:27 am    Post subject: How To Ask Questions The Smart Way Reply with quote

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way :
http://www.catb.org/~esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
Quote:
RTFM and STFW: How To Tell You've Seriously Screwed Up

There is an ancient and hallowed tradition: if you get a reply that reads “RTFM”, the person who sent it thinks you should have Read The Fucking Manual. He is almost certainly right. Go read it.

RTFM has a younger relative. If you get a reply that reads “STFW”, the person who sent it thinks you should have Searched The Fucking Web. He is almost certainly right. Go search it.

In Web forums, you may also be told to search the forum archives. In fact, someone may even be so kind as to provide a pointer to the previous thread where this problem was solved. But do not rely on this consideration; do your archive-searching before asking.

Often, the person telling you to do a search has the manual or the web page with the information you need open, and is looking at it as he types. These replies mean that he thinks (a) the information you need is easy to find, and (b) you will learn more if you seek out the information than if you have it spoon-fed to you.

You shouldn't be offended by this; by hacker standards, he is showing you a rough kind of respect simply by not ignoring you. You should instead thank him for his grandmotherly kindness.
And again:
Quote:
You shouldn't be offended by this;

This will be my last advocacy post.
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yoxi
Cipher


Joined: Sep 07, 2004
Posts: 1799
Location: Dawlish, Devon

PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2004 10:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Three things to say:

i) I'm sorry I took offence - my pride was involved, and that's never a good basis upon which to argue (and there's never a good basis for being sarcastic).

ii) 'technical forum netiquette' is just a model - no model is universal. In several years of technical forum participation, this is the first time I've been told RTFM! STFW! (this refers back to an earlier exchange between me and Max, sorry folks...) so it seems more like a regional dialect than a universal language to me (I certainly haven't seen it spoken on trinity.neooffice before now), and I was just reacting to the 'F' word, which I'm not used to in the normal course of events.

iii) As the model proposed above, 'netiquette' has a serious opponent, in my view, in the model of 'help and be helped'. It seems to me that this is the main language spoken on all of the forums I participate in - someone asks a question, I know the answer, I'm happy to help or point them in another direction - and they do the same for me. I don't mind spoon-feeding someone if it involves telling them how to feed themselves next time. If I don't have the time to be helpful, why do I have the time to be harsh? I'll let someone else be helpful and get on with whatever I'm so busy with instead.

As to my question about empty merge lines - I will post something to the docs forum at Ooo about adding a link from the mailmerge info to the 'hidden paragraphs' info, since as far as I can tell, it's not possible to extrapolate the one from the other, and one is pretty likely to need both when setting up mailmerges.

**update** Max tells me this is already the case in the French manual...

- yoxi
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