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Saving Personalized Copies of a Document

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Saving Personalized Copies of a Document.

When you are working with other people in your company or perhaps with a group of clients, you may want to create a personalized file for each client. While it may be best to do the creating by using a mail merge, if your personalization needs are modest, there is an easier way. Start by creating a regular text file that contains the names of individuals who are to receive your document, one name per line. The macro will then stuff the name into the header of a document and save the document under that person's name. Thus, if your text file has fifteen people in it, you'll end up with fifteen copies of the document, one per person. Each will be personalized with the individual's name in the header. The process to perform such a task is fairly straightforward: open the text file, grab a name, put it in the header, and then save the document. Another name is grabbed, and the process is repeated until there are no more names in the file. The following macro implements such a process:
Sub SaveNameFiles()
    Dim sName As String
    Dim sFile As String

    Open "c:/names.txt" For Input As #5

    On Error Resume Next
    Do While Not EOF(5)
        ' get the name
        Line Input #5, sName
        sFile = sName & ".doc"
        sFile = "c:\mypath\" & sFile

        ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.SeekView = _
          wdSeekCurrentPageHeader
        Selection.WholeStory
        Selection.Delete
        Selection.TypeText Text:=sName

        ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.SeekView = _
          wdSeekMainDocument
        ActiveDocument.SaveAs FileName:=sFile
    Loop

    Close #5

    ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.SeekView = _
      wdSeekCurrentPageHeader
    Selection.WholeStory
    Selection.Delete
    ActiveWindow.ActivePane.View.SeekView = _
      wdSeekMainDocument
End Sub
The tricky part of the macro is using the .SeekView property to specify which story in the document you want to work with. As implemented here, the .SeekView property is used repeatedly to switch between the header area and the main document. Note, as well, that the sFile variable specifies the name of the file in which the personalized document will be saved. Right after the name is grabbed from the text file, the sFile variable is constructed by adding the .doc file extension and the path to the front of the file name. (You should change the path to one that is appropriate for your system.) The actual save operation is relatively easy; the .SaveAs method is used with a filename. This is the most error-prone line of code in the macro, since one of the names read from the file could include characters that are inappropriate for valid filenames. If this is the case, an error is generated and the macro continues with the next line. The document, however, will not be saved under the offending name. After the loop (grabbing names and saving) is completed, the header area is cleared and the .SeekView is switched back to the main document.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (195) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Saving Personalized Copies of a Document.

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