Creating Personalized Thank You Cards with Publisher 2003 (Part 4 of 4)

(Previously: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3)

Perform the Merge

Now you’re ready to actually preview how the cards will look when merged. To set up the data source, do the following:

· Sort the records based on Gift? = True, so you select only the records for people who sent you gifts.

· If you’re planning on performing more than one merge, sort on Record merged? = False, so you only select the records that haven’t already been merged.

Preview the cards to make sure they look like you want them, and then perform the merge to a new publication.

So what does the final card interior look like? Well, here’s one of ours:

Again, I’ve formatted the text that’s coming from merge records in blue, so you can more easily see the personalization of each card.


(What, you didn’t think I was going to post a clear picture of my ugly mug on the web, did you? What’s the point of the witness protection program if I do something like that?)

Once you’ve performed the merge and saved the merged file, remember to go back and set the Record merged? field to True for those records you’ve just merged. That way they won’t be included in the next merge you perform, so you won’t get duplicate cards.

When you print the merge results, you’ll actually be printing them on the other side of the card exterior, which you printed earlier. It’s a good idea to print a test page or two to make sure you’ve got the paper fed correctly into the printer. For example, in our case, I had to make sure that the gift picture on the inside printed on the other side from the card front.

Once you’ve printed the cards, all that remains is to cut them, fold them, and mail them to your loved ones. Seriously, the response we got from the cards was wonderful. People gushed; they really loved receiving such a unique personalized card. Except for the people who thought we should have taken all the money we obviously spent on this expensive service and used it to provide more cake.

And I’m sure you’ve realized that you can use this method for a lot more than just wedding gifts. The next time someone is having a birthday party, have someone there taking digital pictures as they unwrap their loot. A few days later, everyone who gave a present receives a nice personalized card with a picture of the birthday girl/boy’s look of joy as they open the present that person brought.

But even after this success, my fiancée still put the brakes on my idea of performing our vows as a PowerPoint presentation.


Yeah, that was probably a good call on her part.