You can choose from File, Label and Page options: File creates a file on disk to send elsewhere for printing, Label prints mailing labels and Letter/Page/Report prints letters or envelopes according to a layout that you establish via the Output Layouts option. The information that you enter is mostly similar for all three options.
This will either show "Use all fields" or a predefined output layout, which you can change by clicking on the button. You can edit the output layout selected – see Changing Output Layouts.
File Layout defaults to "Output Supplied Fields".
Label Layout defaults to ADDRESS.LBX, which is a standard layout which should be suitable for most mailing labels, in terms of content. To change the label dimensions and the number across or down the page, use the Label Wizard via the Edit, Output Layouts menu.
Page Layout defaults to MAILSHOT.FRX, which you will most likely need to amend.
Destination File Name
The name of the output file.
This shows the current output format, which can be changed for output to file by using the drop-down list. The options here are basically the same as for Input Format except for:
- Paradox format (which is not available for output)
- Access (which you can only output by using an ODBC connection, although you can output as a DBF file which you can then read easily in Access, including field labels)
- Excel (which is limited to Excel 5 format and thus 65,000 records, unless you use an ODBC connection).
For ODBC format, the Connection File Name must be a pre-existing connection file (see "ODBC Manager"). You will be prompted for a file name.
If the output is labels or letters, it can be previewed on the screen or printed directly.
If you are outputting to file, this option cannot be changed.
- Sequential numbering: check this option to generate sequence numbers in the output.
- Record at which to start printing: enter the number of the record from which you want to start the output.
- And number it: enter the sequence number you want to output, in the first record output (only available once sequential numbering is selected).
- Number of records: Either choose "all" (the default) or enter the number of records you want to output.
Close up blank address lines?
Check this option to close up the address lines to eliminate any blank lines in the output. matchIT will prompt you to say whether you want to close up the zip code field as well.
Include Flagged Records
Include records that have been flagged, as duplicate or otherwise, in your output file.
You can print a sample of the records by checking the box and entering a number. See also "Quality Assurance".
Filters and Ordering
You can create Filters and/or Indexes for any of your Output Files. For example, you may have a filter of COUNTRY='US' and an index of SURNAME+FORENAMES. This would output all records with a Country value of "US", the resultant file would then be sorted by Surname then Forename.
Selecting a Layout to Modify
The "Output Layouts" option from the Edit menu allows you to modify file, label or letter/page/report layouts. You can create new formats by saving modified ones under a new name, or by selecting New when asked for a layout to modify.
Select which type of layout you wish to modify and then select the layout name.
The list of fields for output to file can be modified and saved for future use. The top line in the dialog shows the file name and path of the current layout: click on the button to choose other output layout files (*.OPL). Choose the Edit button to change the output layout. You can also select this option from the Edit menu, Output Layouts.
You will then see the File Layout Designer:
This allows you to specify which fields (and field expressions if you wish) will be output to your file. The field picker shows you all the fields which are available in the currently selected file in the left hand pane, and all the fields which have been selected for output in the right hand pane. You can click on the Remove All button in the middle to remove all the fields selected.
You must select the fields from the left hand pane in the order that you want them output. You can scroll down the available fields list to see more fields and double click any field name to move it to the right hand pane. You can also add or insert Field Expressions into the layout e.g. PADL(ALLTRIM(SEQ_NUM), 7, '0') to output a sequence number padded out with leading zeroes (you must output the normal sequence number via the check box as well, because this is the SEQ_NUM field).
Click Save Layout As when you have finished editing your layout(s).
Mailing Labels are address labels, the layout of which can be modified via the Label option of this menu. New Label layouts can be created using the Label Wizard option.
The Label Wizard
In a few steps you can create a simple label which can be used or further modified:
- Select Edit -> Output Layouts -> Label Wizard . If you do not have a Main File open, choose one now.
- mDesktop asks a preliminary question about your printer, as it does not support Dot Matrix and line printers.
- Next, the Label Dimensions window is displayed:
- Enter information about label dimensions, margins, and number of labels across the page. You can also select Change Font to change the font used and whether the dimensions are in inches or centimeters.
- Click "Continue" to move to the next stage.
- Now you can select the fields you would like on your label. Check the options required and change the spinner at the bottom to reflect how many address lines are to be used (up to a maximum of the number in your file).
- Click "Create Label" when finished and save your new label.
- You will then be shown your new label in the Label Designer window for further editing. This activates a new set of menus. To display the toolbars, you must select these options from the View menu. Context-sensitive help is displayed in the bottom left-hand corner of the screen.
- You can move the fields around by selecting the box containing the field, then drag it to another place.
- You can add new fields by firstly viewing the Report Controls Toolbar (View menu), then clicking on the button.
- When you now hover the mouse over the label it forms a crosshair. Click and drag a box to anywhere where there is space.
- An expression builder will pop up. Type the field name you wish to include on the label.
- You can preview the layout without leaving the design view, by selecting Preview from the View menu.
Labels should show the direct or residue selection code of their destination, as well as the name and address. The default label layout for both these types of label is ADDRESS.LBX, which is a standard content that should be suitable for most mailing labels, including a person's name, job title, company, 5 address lines plus state and zip. Any fields which are not defined in your Main File are not printed.
mDesktop's reports as well as your own letter layouts can be edited to include any fields or wording you need. They all use the same report designer as the Label Editor, described above.
MAILSHOT.FRX in the Report sub-directory provides a model for printing "mail-merge" type letters. CLIENT.FRX in the same directory is a model for a checklist of customer names and addresses.
There are standard reports provided for printing residential and business records in pairs or sets, namely RESPAIRS, RESSETS, BIZPAIRS and BIZSETS. These formats show the person's name in the format in which it was imported, zip, 4 lines of address and (if present) the telephone number. The business formats also show the name of the business after the person's name. If you want to show more or less data, vary the order of the fields or the field widths, you will need to create new report format that you can base on the closest standard report by modifying the standard report and saving it under a new name.
In order to view or change the printing format of any of the reports, or to create new formats, or to change the type of printer, select the Output Layouts option of the Edit menu.
Use the Windows Print Manager to control printer selection and setup.
The Format and Report menus allow many different operations. These include:
- defining new fields and deleting existing fields
- changing field lengths and positions
- changing, moving, adding or deleting headings.
You can cut and paste field definitions from one report to another. You can also move or cut and paste groups of fields.
Don't change the field expressions DUP_REF(REF1) and DUP_REF(REF2) in the matching reports, or move them from their position at the beginning of each line (except that you may position them after the Match Score field). If you do, you may find that data from the wrong client records is printed in the report. You can correct this problem, if it arises, by using the Report menu option "Send To Front".
On the Output Options screen you can print/output a range of records.
One in N sampling
One in N sampling from the Output Options screen is available to help pre-empt problems with final ("live") output. When you choose this option, an intermediate table is created containing a selection of the records in your Main File. For example, if you have a Main File of 100,000 records, and choose One in 1000 sampling, your test file will contain 100 records – the 1000th, 2000th, etc. from your Main File.
Obviously, sampling does not guarantee that there will be no errors in your data.
Alternatively, on the Output Options screen users can choose to output a number of records, the first 100 records from the File, or the 1000th through to the 1100th record.
You can also preview output using mDesktop's default address labels, even if you are not printing labels from mDesktop or printing labels at all, because this is an easy way to visually check name and address data before committing it to any further processing.