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Create Multiple Documents From Common Data Sheet
(A Microsoft Word Help & Tip page by Gregory K. Maxey)


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This Microsoft Word Tips & Microsoft Word Help page introduces "DocBunder." DocBundler is a document automation process developed by former Word MVP Greg Maxey (me). It consists of a central Data Sheet template containing VBA processing instructions, and a set of related templates that you can customize and use to create sets (or "bundles") of Word Documents that draw data from the Data Sheet.

For example, consider a "Settlement Statement" from a mortgage company. This type of form is often accompanied by a half a dozen or so additional forms where each shares common data (i.e., borrower's name, addresses, loan numbers, loan amount, etc.).

Rather than prepare each form individually, you can use a custom Data Sheet template to collect the required data for all of the related forms and a set of custom document templates to generate the Settlement Statement and related forms as a bundled document set automatically.

To illustrate this process, you can down load one of two (or both) zip packages that comes with a DocBundler description and instructions document, a simplified demonstration "Data Sheet" template (Data, and three simple form templates "Main," "Supplemental Form" and "Supplemental Form" 

One package contains Word97-2003 .dot templates (works with Word 2007-2010), the other package was developed for Word 2007-2010 to employ the new content controls. Download:  Word 2003  and/or Word 2007-2010.

Follow these steps to create your first bundled document set:

  1. Create a new sub-folder in your Word template directory. Name this folder "Document Bundle"
  2. Unzip and place the files you downloaded into this folder.
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  1. Create a new sub-folder in your documents directory to store the bundled document sets that you will create. Name this sub-folder "Loans," "Properties," or "Clients," or whatever suits your needs. For example, you might create a folder:
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  1. Open Word and create a new Data Sheet document based on the Data Sheet template.
  2. When the document opens, a setup interface will display. Use the browse buttons on this interface to select both the template and storage folder you created previously. Save your selections.

Site Note IconNotes:
    1.The setup displays automatically on first use. Thereafter it can be displayed using the "Setup" command on the menu incorporated with the Data Sheet template.

    2. You can rename your template and bundled document folders created in steps 1 and 3 anything you like before saving the setup.

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  1. Enter a "Bundle ID" in the first formfield. This is a mandatory field.
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  1. Fill in the remaining formfields in the Data Sheet.
  2. When all fields are completed, you create the set of bundled documents using the "Create Bundle" command on the "Document Bundle" menu. When you click on this command:
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Create bundle

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Bundled documents created

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Example bundled document
  1. If changes are required to any of the form data you can edit the bundled documents automatically by opening the unique Data Sheet document for that bundle, making the changes and then use the "Update Bundle" command on the "Document Bundle" menu.
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Creating your own template:

Now that you have seen the working example, the next step to creating your own custom process is simple.

Site Note IconNote: DO NOT alter or modify the BundleID formfield

Site Note iconNote: This tips page, illustrations and examples were developed using Word 2003. It is wholly functional with Word 2007-2010 (menu commands propagate on the Add-Ins tab).

Working with Word 2007-2010

The Word2007 version uses a custom ribbon tab "Bundler" in lieu of a "Document Bundler" menu command. It also incorporates the new content controls for entering data.

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Site Note IconThere is a bug in Word 2007 content controls that precludes setting the focus in the content control automatically or making a direct selection. The Data Sheet in the Word 2007-2010 package contains a "Double-click here to start" MacroButton field in the document. Double-click as indicated in the template to set focus in a content control titled "Bundle ID."

That's it! I hope you have found this tips page useful and informative. Special thanks to friend and Word MVP Graham Mayor for his dogged development reviews and criticism which led to many improvements.



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