How to Create Custom Auction Materials Using Merge Templates

ReadySetAuction provides Microsoft Word mail merge templates that you can use — together with a data file — to create customizable auction materials.

IMPORTANT: When performing mail merges, Microsoft Word mistranslates special characters such as curly apostrophes, curly quotation marks, ellipses, dashes and international characters. For this reason, you should proofread your auction materials after completing the merge. If you see strange character combinations — like ’ instead of an apostrophe — use Word’s find-and-replace feature to restore the proper characters.

Before You Begin…

Download two files from the ReadySetAuction Control Center. Save these files to a place on your computer where they’ll be easy to find later.

  1. Click the name of the Merge Template that you want to use. You’ll find various templates on the Items > Printed Materials and Patrons > Printed Materials pages of the Control Center.
  2. In the description of the Merge Template you chose, click to the corresponding report you’ll need to complete the merge. Click “Export.”

If you’re on a Windows computer, you’ll need Microsoft Word and Excel 2010 or later.

If you’re on a Mac, you’ll need Microsoft Word 2008 or later.

Windows Instructions

Note: The images are from Word for Windows 2013, but the mail merge interface is nearly identical in the 2010 version.

  1. To avoid a problem with some versions of Word, first open the CSV file you downloaded in Microsoft Excel and re-save it in “Excel Workbook” format.
  2. Open the merge template that you want to use in Word. If you’re creating bid sheets or fixed-price signup sheets, refer to the customization tips below for an important pre-merge step.
  3. Near the top of the Word window, click the Mailings tab to reveal the tools for working with mail merges.

    A screen shot showing the location of the Mailings tab in Word for Windows.

  4. Click the “Select Recipients” button, and choose “Use Existing List” from the drop-down menu that appears. Find the Excel file you saved in step 1 and double-click it.

    A screen shot illustrating data source selection for mail merges with Word for Windows.

  5. In the Select Table pop-up window that appears after you choose a file, just click the “OK” button without making any changes.

    A screen shot of the Select Table dialog for mail merges with Word for Windows.

  6. For the 2-Up Bid Sheet and 2-Up Fixed-Price Purchase Sheet merge templates only: Back in the main Word window, click the “Edit Recipient List” button…

    A screen shot illustrating how to filter your merge data source in Word for Windows.

    …and then click the “Filter…” link. This will bring up the Query Options window:

    A screen shot illustrating how to filter your merge data source in Word for Windows.

    For ‘Field’ choose Sale_Method. For ‘Comparison’ choose Equal To. For ‘Compare To’ enter Fixed-Price if you’re making the 2-Up Fixed-Price Purchase Sheets, or Biddable if you’re making the 2-Up Bid Sheets.

  7. Back in the main Word window, click the “Finish & Merge” button and choose “Edit Individual Documents” from the drop-down menu.

    A screen shot illustrating the final step of mail merges with Word for Windows.

  8. When the merge is complete, save the new Word document and make any desired customizations. Remember to proofread your auction materials for character mistranslations as described at the top of this page.


Macintosh Instructions

Note: The images are from Word for Mac 2011, but the mail merge interface is nearly identical in the 2008 version.

  1. Open the merge template that you want to use in Word. If you’re creating bid sheets or fixed-price signup sheets, refer to the customization tips below for an important pre-merge step.
  2. Word will have noticed that this is a merge document and opened the Mail Merge Manager palette window. Click on Step 2, “Select Recipients List,” then click the “Get List” button and select “Open Data Source…” from the menu. Find the CSV file you downloaded from the toolset and double-click it.

    A screen shot illustrating data source selection for mail merges with Word for Macintosh.

  3. In the File Conversion pop-up window that appears, click the “Other encoding” radio button and then choose “Unicode 6.1 UTF-8” from the list to the right. Click “OK.”

    A screen shot of the File Conversion dialog for mail merges with Word for Macintosh.

  4. For the 2-Up Bid Sheet and 2-Up Fixed-Price Purchase Sheet merge templates only: Back in the Mail Merge Manager palette window click on Step 4 “Filter Recipients” and then “Options….”

    A screen shot illustrating how to filter your merge data source in Word for Mac.

    This will bring up the Query Options window:

    A screen shot illustrating how to filter your merge data source in Word for Mac.

    For ‘Field’ choose Sale_Method. For ‘Comparison’ choose Equal To. For ‘Compare to’ enter Biddable if you’re making the 2-Up Bid Sheets, or Fixed-Price if you’re making the 2-Up Fixed-Price Purchase Sheets.

  5. Back in the Mail Merge Manager palette window click on Step 6, “Complete Merge,” and then click the second button from the left: “Merge to New Document.”

    A screen shot illustrating the final step of mail merges with Word for Macintosh.

  6. When the merge is complete, save the new Word document and make any desired customizations. Remember to proofread your auction materials for character mistranslations as described at the top of this page.

Ideas for Customizing Your Auction Materials

Catalog

  • Create a cover for your catalog that includes your logo.
  • On page 1 of the document you create from the Paper Catalog Merge Template, customize the header text [in brackets] by replacing it with your organization name, event information and date. On page 2, open the header, and customize the organization name and event name. This will change the header information from pages 2 forward.
  • Insert advertisements of your sponsors.
  • Designers familiar with desktop publishing programs can import the Word document into a desktop publishing application for further customizations.

Bid Sheets and Fixed-Price Signup Sheets

  • Customize the header text [in brackets] before you complete the merge, replacing it with your organization and event information.
  • Add your logo to the footer of your bid sheets.
  • To create multiple carbon copies of your bid sheets, contact your local print shop and ask about NCR paper.

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