Saturday, 17 December 2011

Multiple copies of labels in OpenOffice

A relative does some volunteer work for the Parkinsons  Disease Society .

She needs  3 copies of each address label. Currently its a MSWord/Avery labels  document where an address is copied across the sheet.   Its alphabetical  so any changes mean a lot of work  in moving rows up and down . Can OpenOffice do better. ?

Things that I've looked at and not got very far  :
  • I've looked for a macro where the text in column  1 is copied across the other 2 columns.
  • The list could be printed out 3 times, but that could be wasteful with the last page of each run only having a few labels.  OK there are macros around that let you use bits of a sheet. but I want to make this as easy as possible
So I've done it by defining my own label size  containing the label text replicated 3 times.  I experimented with  some sheets  I bought from WHSmith that aren't exactly the same as the default 'industry standard' Avery

1.Create a new label sheet from OpenOffice File -> New ->labels.
Check the page is the correct size for A4  - 297 X 210 mm

and then create a custom label size. A4 is 297x 210 mm. I measured the margins on the label sheet (1.5cm each side)and created a label the remaining width of the document by the measured height of the label. The frame is  3.81cm X 19.0 cm ( width of the sheet minus margins)

In the top frame , drag the placemarkers to the correct place. I then added the conditional formatting for missing address fields as described here

2. I then measured the distance the 2nd and 3rd column text would be and set the tabs and tabbed across and copied the  database field labels to the new columns ( a bit tedious )

3.I saved the template layout file at this stage

4. the copy the filled frame down the page

5. Tell it where to start the next record 

5. And then did then run the  mailmerge from the Database (this was odb file , but I suppose it  could be anything ) containing the  Address details
  • No address block  (I wonder if it could be done with no text and just an address block ? ) 
  • No salutation
6. Run the mailmerge and do a test page .

If its not quite right then fiddle with the margins or tab spacing.