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Cardbox mail merge with Word 2003

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25-Jul-2008 13:15

In the good old days you output a CSV file from the database and the WP imported it and read it, putting the field into a form letter.
Current Word 2003, does not do this it has a mail merge facility, which only includes data sources from Microsoft such as Access, Visio Excel etc.
So how do I tell Word to find a CSV file in the mail merge system in word? Cardbox manual seems to give no information at all!

Greg McN

25-Jul-2008 14:44

I think this question should have been directed at Microsoft since it is bemoaning the inadequacies of their products. However, I bet someone gives a useful answer.

Since CSV is a Microsoft format I would expect Word to use such files as sources of mailmerge information. Therefore it is to the Word manual you should turn for help, in my humble opinion ;)


25-Jul-2008 15:15

You can export your records from Cardbox formatted as letters (to be opened in MS Word), using File-transfer-write, and choosing .PRN in the "List conversion types" dialog box.

Alternatively, if you need your letters in hard copy - you may eliminate the MS Word step and print them directly from Cardbox.

In order to export records in form letters, you must
create an ALTERNATIVE FORMAT with the desired page layout containing the text of your form letter and merge blocks with one or several field references (see
Help-Format design-Inserting Merge blocks)

You may design letters formatted exactly as your letterhead, including logos, special fonts, etc., or letters configured so that they can be printed on your stationary.

You may design the format, so that you print one letter for each record, or a list of records in a letter.

If you have any additional questions or need help designing a form letter I will be happy to help. You may contact me off list at by e-mail at icar-consulting@rogers.com or by telephone at 905-884-9320


25-Jul-2008 15:31

.csv format is a comma delimited format used as the export format by Excel.
As far as I remember, it could always (and still can) be used to import into Cardbox records exported from an Excel spreadsheet, but it never appeared as an option for export from Cardbox.

You can export your Cardbox records in "comma delimited" format if you choose .TXT in the "List conversion types" dialog box.


25-Jul-2008 15:33

Searching in Google for

       "word 2003" mail-merge csv

gives a number of useful references.

The first is http://www.tucsonrealtors.org/mailmerge.pdf - a step-by-step guide to mail-merging in Word 2003, using CSV files among others.

The second is a link from Microsoft that clearly says that Word 2003 *can* use CSV files as a data source - http://support.microsoft.com/ph/2530/en-us/?sid=47&aid=3&GSA_AC_More3.

Later links in the same Google search give more detailed instructions.


25-Jul-2008 15:33

Still possible in MSWd 2003: use tools, letters en mailings, mailmerge, letters, follow the wizzard right on the screen. In step 3 of 6 you can select your csv file, exported by Cardbox.
More beautiful is using a Word macro which read your adresses one by one you have selected in Cardbox...


25-Jul-2008 15:41

In my opinion, you will get a better format layout using the mailmerge facility in word.
I've got 2007 loaded up and the process is simple wizard, from what I remember the process in 2003 is similar.

Choose mailing / start email merge

1 - Choose type of mailmerge letter / email etc
2 - Choose your document
3 - Choose your data source - this is where I suspect your going wrong in 2003.
  There is a button that you 'can' hit to choose a new data source, however, don't click that button, just hit browse and browse you can choose a CSV files from that list, along with many others

CSV isn't a 'Microsoft' format, it's an open format, standing for Comma Separated Values, but you will find lots of useful information in the Word help files.

DDE, which is often overlooked, is also worth taking a look at it, Cardbox has great support for it.


20-Aug-2008 13:57

Thanks all for the advice. Having 20 years ago, wrestled with Mailmerge it is clear that very little has changed. Frankly the Cardbox manual is very unhelpful for both internal mailmerge and external with Word etc, which I find all a bit strange because Databases are not a lot of use unless they interface with something!
I have spent hours playing with it and writing macros so the less proficient can pusha button so to speak. I have also written a step by step guide for reference, and which should in my opinion have been in the Cardbox manual


20-Aug-2008 14:03

With regard to Iuliana "CSV is not an option from cardbox" If I select a file and then export it, my version of Cardbox gives it as the first option, and which is exactly the same as far as I can see from the old "comma delimited format" which we used to use in the good old days of the Z80. I certainly works fine with Word 2003, as long as you steer clear of any Microsoft databases, and select the data file via browse

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