Mail Merge.

From: Leon Stedman <>
Date: Thu Dec 29 2016 - 17:31:03 CET

I read a review on Abiword, which stated "Load of rubbish - nothing works"
Normally I would say please read the documentation, but this is now so
out of date that almost nothing works as documented.

Anyone use Abiword mail merge?

There is what once was a very clear, well written How-to on mail merge.

I hope to update this and correct it. The "print" part might well read:

Printing of merged files is not well implemented in Abiword,

1. It is not implemented at all from the graphical user interface.
2. There is no way that a merge can be previewed, in Abiword, before
3. It is impossible to print directly to the printer, even from a text terminal.

using the magic formula:
                 abiword -m data.csv --to=ps --to-file=out merge.abw
at a text prompt will result in files out-0, out-1, out-2...out-`n-1`
being produced.

In the above -m data.csv gives the file where the data is stored. This
file contains n lines with n-1 records and a header line.

You might have thought that when you used Abiword and input the data file name it
would have stored the information in (in this case) merge.abw. Sadly this is not
the case. Each time you use merge.abw to change the merge or for output you need to
supply the data file name again.

--to=ps instructs Abiword to output postscript files and --to-file=out
tells Abiword the base name, out, to use. You can NOT use "standard out"
(fd://1)! Abiword will append "-0" etc. to the "standard out", which is no
then no longer standard out, it is just a file name, such as fd://1-0.

You can now preview the output using any program which can display postscript
files (NOT Abiword).

These postscript files can now be printed. Abiword can not be used in this final
printing process.


I would welcome any comments on this.

Leon Stedman

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Received on Thu Dec 29 17:31:11 2016

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