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On 04/01/14 21:54, Sqwuiddy wrote:


Part of our company has moved completely to LibreOffice and removed
Microsoft Office from their computers. I have tried programming mail merge
templates on my computer, and then having them open it on theirs, and the
documents will not merge.

First, you should know that you want to work only with the .odt format. .doc isn't going to work.

Second, AFAIK, you have to reinsert any fields. I have no idea why. With 300 templates, that's a bit of a chore. However one bit of knowledge might make it slightly easier for you. Here's a copy of a post I made recently:
... one thing I recently learned is that you can keep the fields window open while inserting all your fields.

There are arrow buttons/icons that In some cases you can simply click those and it will move you from document field to document field... So you click the arrow, insert field... click... insert... click.... insert. Makes it a whole lot faster when you don't close the window between each insertion like I was doing at first.

In the event the arrow icons don't work (because it doesn't recognize the fields yet), you can still scroll the document and keeping the fields window open still makes it faster than closing and reopening it. Hopefully that will ease your pain a bit.
There might be a way to write a program to reinsert fields, I have no idea how, it's just a thought that might spark someone else's thought process.

The first error we encountered was that the IF
statements that I built didn’t function at all. I simply wanted to make an
“X” appear when a field contained a certain value. These were if statements
that would function on my computer. The second error was that… well, none of
the merge fields merged. When I re-inserted them they worked fine, but they
wouldn’t pull from the database even after re-registering it. My question
You'll need to post more detail on these points for anyone to help, I think.

here is, does Word give Libre Writer a leg up if both programs are on one
computer? Is that why when I moved a document I’d programmed and tested to
success in Libre Writer to another computer without Microsoft Office it
wouldn’t function? This is essential to know; because I’m helping others
troubleshoot their issues.

Doubtful.  I'd suggest posting your function here for folks to ponder.

Nested IF Statements:

Is this possible? I have tried a variety of things and I’ve done a good deal
of research, and I’ve hit a wall. We cannot move forward if we do not have
the capability of creating nested if statements.

I would think so... but have never tried it. Again... post specifics for others to ponder (Having now finally made it through your novella, I see that you did post an example way, way at the bottom - others may want to take a peek down there).... however there doesn't seem to be anyone else responding... no doubt because of the subject line. It's not an actual specific question.

IF Statements resulting in a Mail Merge Field:

So far I have only been able to make conditional mail merge fields
hide/appear using hidden sections. This is not a practical technique for us,
as our documents are built almost entirely on conditionally revealed values.
I have researched this as much as I could, it seems I cannot create a
conditional statement that results in a mail merge field, but I wanted to

It's been my experience that you may want to limit your requests for help to one (at most two) different issues per email. Otherwise it's just too overwhelming for most people to deal with. And you'll find that different people have different experience with each issue... so you'll get a better/wider response if you write a subject line that matches the specific question. I'd suggest reposting as I just described. Pick one problem, post, wait a bit for a response, deal with that then post your next issue. Obviously if you get answers... you can just ignore me :)

Formatting Fields:

We regularly use a formatting switch on our mail merge fields in Word 2010
called “DollarText.” This takes a number from an Excel spreadsheet and
spells it out, like below:

Cell Value: $1,231.67
Formatted: One thousand, two hundred and thirty one dollars and sixty seven

That's one I can sort of help with... I needed the same thing. I had to create a an extra field in the spreadsheet with the "dollartext" formula. Unfortunately, my solution won't help because I did my spreadsheet in google spreadsheet. However, I was able to find something just now... which again is probably not very useful, but I don't want to prejudge what you can or can't do, so this link has something which appears to be something like what you need... the bad news is it's not in English and I have no idea how to use it or any further information. Could be a dead end, maybe someone else here can help further.

I'll forgo commenting on the rest of your issues below, as my answers will pretty much be "don't know" or other useless comments... other than to say that my experience has been that if you want to do anything "fancy" in LO, you have to do it in LO. The Word formats just don't carry over. My experience is that LO isn't a Word (Office) clone, it's a Word (Office) alternative; just like tea isn't a coffee clone, but an alternative. Maybe someone else can provide a better response and/or has a more enlightened/experienced response, since I'm relatively new.

We have other switches that we need to use as well, but those don’t seem
available in the list of additional formats. Is there a workaround for this,
or am I missing something? I have to admit, I don’t fully understand how to
build custom formats (I haven’t found much documentation on them at all).

Check Boxes:

FormCheckBoxes from Word do not translate in Writer. Meaning, I can open
Word 97-2003 documents containing these functional check boxes with Libre
Writer but they do not print. Is there a setting somewhere that I need to
switch or perhaps a better alternative? I have tried retemplating these
documents in Libre using Writer’s FormCheckBoxes but they are impossible for
me to place on a table. Wingdings are also not an option.

Table-Intensive Documents:

We build forms that go to court, so they have to be laid out in tables
exactly as the court requires. Most of the time we build these forms on
tables in Word. When opened in Libre Writer, the tables break, cells expand,
and other such things occur. I spent 4 hours last week trying to rebuild one
for a firm that doesn’t have access to Microsoft Office and had no luck.
After I finally finished my rebuilding, I saved the document as a Writer
document to prevent further issue with compatibility, and to my absolute
dismay I discovered that it turned all of the mail merge fields into text. I
spent the next 4 hours attempting to reprogram it. …I don’t really have a
question here, I guess.


We have already built hundreds of mail merge templates in Word. In order to
continue to function through the conversion from Word to Writer, we need to
be able to merge these and not rebuild them all immediately. However,
simple, very simple, documents have been crashing Writer like we were in a
derby and on fire. This isn’t just with one, but a great majority of our
templates. Is this common? They are Word 97-2003 documents I am opening in
Libre Writer 4.0.

In all, I just need to know if these things are possible. If not, I can tell
my team that we need to keep Microsoft Office, the rest of our company is on
Libre anyway. If they are, I would love a brief tutorial or explanation.

Also, below are some fun, plain-text formulas I built in Word that we use on
every day templates, just to give you an idea of the level of complexity I’m
talking about.

“{ IF { MERGEFIELD SUITCOST } >= 5001.00 “GREATER” “” }” = “” “CHECKS” “NO

The above formula determines firstly whether or not the county we’re filing
in is Miami-Dade or not. If it is, it then goes and determines whether or
not the principal we’re filing for is over $5001.00. If it is, we want
checks, otherwise it will say “NO CHECKS.” If it is not Miami-Dade it checks
to see whether the county is any within a list of counties and if it is, it
will result in “CHECKS” which triggers the final layer of IF statements to
either display “CHECKS” if it is one of those counties or “NO CHECKS” if it
is not.


True: SUITCOST = 5001.00 False: No Checks
True: Checks False: No Checks

False: COUNTY = “List of Counties”
True: Checks False: BLANK)
YES: No Checks NO: Checks

NUMBER3 } <> “” “60” “{ IF { MERGEFIELD NUMBER2 } <> “” “43” “20” }” } }

This is how we number paragraphs in our documents. Because we make frequent
edits, and the “automated numbering” tool in Word continues numbering
through all the documents in the merge, we have to program numbers in. These
can change depending on which paragraphs we include, and we have to force
the field to start at certain numbers depending on certain variables.
The \r switch within the field tells the field it needs to start at a
specified number. In this case, if “NUMBER4” in our spreadsheet isn’t blank,
we want the IF statement to result in “77.” If it is blank and “NUMBER3” is
not, we want it to result in 60 and thus start numbering at 60. And so on…

Can these be recreated in Libre Writer without learning to code in Pearl and

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