Mail Merge to PDF
December 12, 2014 12:55 PM   Subscribe

Can someone walk me through how to make a mail merge from excel data with a word letter so that each individual letter will be a separate PDF? If it's easier via an Apple/Mac program, let me know. I have access to both a windows computer and a mac.
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Is the letter by any chance a single page? If so, there's an easy way on Mac. Simply generate a PDF with all of the letters. (I assume you know how to do a Mail Merge in Word/Excel. If not, the help files are pretty good.)

Then, run "Automator" and create a new Application.
Under PDF (under Actions), there's "Split PDF." Drag that to the left, and save. Now, just drag your PDF with all of the letter to this new application, and voila, you have a PDF for each page.

This can probably be done for a multiple page letter, but would require a bit more thought.
posted by JMOZ at 1:18 PM on December 12, 2014

It is a one page letter, thank you, I'll try that
posted by internet fraud detective squad, station number 9 at 1:20 PM on December 12, 2014

Print the merged letter to PDF and use a free tool to split it
posted by Sophont at 3:45 PM on December 12, 2014

I do this automatically in Google Drive using forms, sheets and a template doc. Send me a memail if you want instructions. It uses Autocrat, a mail merge script that's fairly easy to set up.
posted by guster4lovers at 3:55 PM on December 12, 2014

Do you want the individual letter documents to have the recipient's name as the file name? This is my clunky method, which requires Adobe Acrobat.
1. Apply a heading style to the name merge field in the Word letter document.
2. Merge using “Edit individual documents” to create a single Word document containing all the pages.
3. Use Word's "Save as PDF," checking the print option to convert headers to bookmarks.
4. In Acrobat, use Split Document on the PDF file; split by “Top-level bookmarks” and select from the Output Options: File name = “Use bookmark names for file names.”

A variation, if you want the individual file names to be unique values from the Excel data not appearing in the letter, is to do the above steps with a merge field that uses the background color for its font, making it "invisible" but still used by Acrobat's Split Document feature to serve as the documents' file names.
posted by Snerd at 7:48 PM on December 12, 2014 [2 favorites]

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