Printing unique information on each copy of the document
CorelDRAW has a wonderful feature called Print Merge that can be used for printing letters, labels and other documents with unique information on each copy of it. For example, you can print a number of envelopes with the different people's addresses on each. Or you can print labels with individual serial number on each copy.
To use Print Merge feature you must keep in mind the way it works when designing your document. To use Print Merge, your document must contain a substitute strings, artistic text objects with unique text in it that is substituted when printing each copy of the document. The actual substitution text is retrieved from a text file that is created for using with Print Merge. This text file must have a certain format to work with this feature correctly.
Note that due to the fact that Print Merge is used quite rarely it is removed from the File Menu in CorelDRAW 8. If you want to use Print Merge, you must customize it back. For this purpose open Tools/Options dialog (Ctrl-J) and go to Workspace/Customize/Menus. Under Commands, expand File & Layout, and expand File. Click Print &Merge in the list of commands, and expand &File from the Menu options on the right. Click Add. Using the Up and Down buttons in the center of the dialog, position the menu item to the place you want it to be, and click OK.
Before you can use Print Merge you must prepare your drawing for this. For example, you are making a visit card for several people working for Banana Computer, Inc. You can either type in the people's names manually into several copies of the card or let CorelDRAW do this for you.
If you decided to let CorelDRAW do your work, then create the card to be something like this:
Text objects Name, Occupation, PhNumber and FaxNumber is to be replaced during Print Merge. Obviously they are not something special, just ordinary artistic text objects. Their special nature will be defined later when creating the text document with the substitute strings.
Remember, that each text to be replaced must have unique text string and be a separate Artistic text object. In the example above, "Phone:" and "PhNumber" are two separate objects, not one.
The substituted text takes on the same attributes (typeface, point size, spacing, etc.) and alignment (left, right, center) as the original text. Any transformations applied to the original text are applied to the substituted text (except Blend, Extrude, and Fit To Path).
To create the text file with the substitute strings, you can use any word processor or text editor that can save the document in plain text file (*.TXT) with no formatting. The text file must have the following structure:
A sample text file should look like this:
4 \Name\\Occupation\\PhNumber\\FaxNumber\ \John Smith\\Senior Manager\\555 55 66\\555 56 67\ \Teri Douglas\\Marketing Consultant\\555 88 78\\555 34 87\
After you created this file save it and choose File/Print Merge in CorelDRAW. Pick up the text file you've just saved and get the job done.
You will get the following two visit cards:
Note, that Print Merge replaces only one instance of the text in the documents, therefore if you want to print several visit cards on a single sheet of page, you have to edit your drawing so that each text string to be replaced be unique. For example, make the substitution strings in the first visit card be "Name1", "Occupation1", "PhNumber1", and "FaxNumber1" and in the second one - "Name2", "Occupation2", "PhNumber2", and "FaxNumber2". Modify the text file as follows:
8 \Name1\\Occupation1\\PhNumber1\\FaxNumber1\ \Name2\\Occupation2\\PhNumber2\\FaxNumber2\ \John Smith\\Senior Manager\\555 55 66\\555 56 67\ \Teri Douglas\\Marketing Consultant\\555 88 78\\555 34 87\
Here, 8 is the number of text strings to replace (four in one card and four in the other). After printing the document with Print Merge you will get the two cards on a single sheet of paper but with different information in each.
And one more last example - printing labels with unique serial numbers. Let's assume that we have 16 labels on page:
Don't forget that "S/N" and "Num1" must be two separate artistic text objects for the Print Merge to work correctly.
Create the following text file:
16 \Num1\\Num2\\Num3\\Num4\\Num5\\Num6\\Num7\\Num8\ \Num9\\Num10\\Num11\\Num12\\Num13\\Num14\\Num15\\Num16\ \0001\ \0002\ \0003\ \0004\ \0005\ \0006\ \0007\ \0008\ \0009\ \0010\ \0011\ \0012\ \0013\ \0014\ \0015\ \0016\
Print the document using Print Merge command and you will get this:
The text file with serial number can be generated automatically using any programming language even CorelSCRIPT (visit the CorelSCRIPT Tutorial to learn more about CorelSCRIPT programming language). Here is a sample program that generates serial numbers for Print Merge:
CONST Num%=16 OPEN "SN.TXT" FOR OUTPUT AS #1 PRINT #1,Num PRINT #1,"\Num1\\Num2\\Num3\\Num4\\Num5\\Num6\\Num7\\Num8\" PRINT #1,"\Num9\\Num10\\Num11\\Num12\\Num13\\Num14\\Num15\\Num16\" FOR i%=1 TO Num PRINT #1,"\"+RIGHT("000"+LTRIM(STR(i)),4)+"\" NEXT i% CLOSE #1
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