OT- Libreoffice - Base / Writer will this work?

P. Echols p.echo926 at gmail.com
Mon Dec 14 17:25:56 UTC 2015

On Sun, Dec 13, 2015 at 3:45 PM, P. Echols <p.echo926 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sun, Dec 13, 2015 at 12:16 PM, Tommy Trussell <tommy.trussell at gmail.com
> > wrote:
>> On Fri, Dec 11, 2015 at 1:15 PM, P. Echols <p.echo926 at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> Greetings:
>>> <trim>
>>> I manage projects where I need to generate written reports, action
>>> requests, etc. with project specific information.  Because of my existing
>>> extensive library of forms, I need to stay with LO writer.
>>> I know it is possible to set up a database with a single table, each
>>> record having the data for one project.  Insert fields for that db into a
>>> template, and then open the template and select the particular record to
>>> populate.
>>> BUT, in my project, there are two items that require a list more
>>> appropriate for a linked table.  Imagine a report about an author.  Details
>>> specific to that author are from the "AuthorInfo" table, the author's
>>> bibliography is a separate table and publishers are another table.  I need
>>> to be able to generate a Writer template that will import the individual
>>> fields from the AuthorInfo table, but also allow inserting the bibliography
>>> and publisher info as if pasting in a spreadsheet.
>> It sounds like you are creating more of a directory (single document with
>> multiple data rows in it). I don't believe the mail merge tools are able to
>> insert new rows into tables, but it would be logical and useful if they
>> could. (I know you can set up a blank table and insert database contents
>> into it -- that's how the mailing label tools work.)
> What I am really trying to do is both, have a document that contains
> information from the basic information table sprinkled throughout, but
> includes a table populated by a linked table.  Do you know how to set up
> such a table in a document?  I have not found a guide that shows it.
I've made some progress.  For those who are interested, here is what works
(sort of) and the remaining challenge and workaround.

Note: I have added some instructions for those who are doing this for the
first time.  So the following is what I see as the workflow for the entire
document.  Remember, this is creating a document that will contain
information from one record in a "master" table and multiple records from a
linked table.

First, create the document with the text you want.  Then, insert the fields
you want using menu item: Insert | Fields | More Fields.  On the Database
tab, select "Mail merge fields", pick the master table and put the fields
where you want them.

Where you want to have multiple rows from a linked table, go back to the
Fields dialog just like for the fields from the master table.  This time,
however, select the fields from the linked table.  You could do this in a
table, on one line, several lines or a paragraph.  Once you are happy with
one record, go to where the next record will start. Then back in the
"Fields" entry box, select "next record" in the left side of the box and
click insert.  It does not appear to do anything, but carry on and repeat
entry of the fields as before.

Repeat for as many records as you think you'll need.  Obviously, copy and
paste are your friend in this procedure.  Save your document as a template.

When you want to generate the document, open the template and you will see
all the linked fields.  Click the data sources icon (F4) and you will see
what looks like a spreadsheet at the top of the screen.  Make sure you also
see the explorer on the left.  In explorer, select the master table.  In
the "spreadsheet" portion, select and highlight the record you want then
click the "Data to Fields" icon.  Repeat for the linked table.  The only
difference being that instead of selecting one record, select all the
records you want.

1. Writer does not seem to know how to handle linked tables.  One method to
deal with this would be to run a query in Base, and set up the form to use
the query results rather than the linked table.  It appears that you would
still have to manually select all the records in the linked table.

2. I have not found a code to automatically add the information for more
records to your template.  So, if the procedure for multiple records
results in a template with space for five records, but your data has seven,
 only the first five will show.  The solution, once you see that, is to
copy / paste the last two records again, then redo the "data to fields"
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