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Courses - Microsoft Access 205
Description: Intermediate Microsoft Access 5
Running Time: 72 minutes
Pre-Requisites: Access 204 very strongly recommended
Previous Lesson: Access 204
Next Lesson: Access 206
Main Topics: Mass Mailing, Forms!FormName Notation, Multi-Column Reports, Print Post Cards
Versions: This course is valid for Access 2000 through 2003. If you are using Access 2007 or 2010, you will still benefit from this course. You will find that the concepts are the same, but there are cosmetic differences between the versions.

Microsoft Access 205
Intermediate Access 5

Using Our Letter Writer for Mass Mailings, Collection Letters, Generic Sales Letters, Columns in Reports, Post Cards. 72 Minutes.

AC205 Major Topics

  • Letter Writer - Mass Mailings
  • Forms ! FormName Notation
  • Multiple Column Reports
  • Printing Post Cards

In this class, we're continuing on with the Letter Writer we started building in Access 204. This time, we're focusing on Mass Mail - making it so you can send mass mailings directly from your database (without using an outside program like Microsoft Word). We'll make a series of collection letters, and a generic letter template for sending things like sales letters and such. We'll also see how to format reports to print Post Cards. If you do any mass-customer correspondence, this is a great class.

We will begin by adding some fields to our Customer table to track which customers have past-due amounts on their account, and what date their bills are due. It's a simplified version of what will come later - a full order-entry system where we can track invoices. But for today, this will do the job.


Next, we'll make a query to show us only the customers who have past-due amounts. We'll make it a parameter query so the user can type in the past due date (in case you want to see customers that are 30-days due, 60-days due, etc.)


Next, we'll learn all about the Wildcard Field (*) in queries. How you can use it to bring all of the fields from a table into a query, and why it's so very powerful.


Next, we'll edit the letter we started building in the last class for individual correspondence, and we'll make it work with our new query for collection letters.

Then, we'll build a new table and form to hold our letters - meaning we will create "stock" letters, like a 30-day past due letter. We can then select which letter we want to send out using this form!


We'll see how we can get values from a form into a report, just like we did by getting values across two forms.


Next we will learn how to force a new page to start after each customer record so we can print one customer letter to a page.


We will learn how to take the specific fields from our query and use them on the report for each customer.


We'll then add the capability for the user to enter in the date for the report right on the form - preventing us from having to type it in all the time. Again, this goes back to the topic of getting values across forms and reports.


Now that we've built a letter specific to sending collections, with just a little modification we can make this system generic - so we can send everything from sales and promotional letters to holiday greeting cards. We'll begin by adding a field to our customer table so we can track which customers to mail to.


We'll create a mailing list query (easy to do) and then create a separate letter report for this generic letter. We'll add a new button to our form to open this letter instead. Plus, I'll teach you a neat trick to make your forms look cool with some rectangles and other effects.


We will edit our Customer List Form to show a checkbox where we can quickly and easily add or remove customers to/from our mailing list.


Now since we've been working with mailings, we'll spend some time learning how to format a report to print post cards. We'll begin by learning how to turn columns on in our reports. This will let us print four post cards on a page.


Then we'll use the same techniques from creating our letter (in fact, I'll show you how to just 'borrow' some of the fields) to create our post cards.


Again, if you are interested in using your Access database to do any kind of mass mailing, customer correspondence, post cards, or anything of this nature - or if you want to learn more about formatting reports - don't miss this course!


Access 205 Outline
1. Past Due Customers
Add fields to CustomerT: AmountDue, AmountDueDate
Create a past due query
Wilcard Field (*) in queries

2. Letter Table & Report
Copy letter to work with new query for collection letters
Create a Letter table to hold your letter text
Create a Letter form
Bringing data from an unbound form field into a report

3. More Letter Report
Force new page after section in reports
Create a greeting line
Place AmountDue and AmountDueDate in letter report
The difference between DefaultValue and ControlSource
Place report date in unbound text box on LetterF

4. Generic Letter Report
Making the letter writer generic so we can send to anyone
Add IncludeInMailing field to CustomerT
Create a Mailing List query
Create a generic letter report
Form design tricks with rectangles
Create a button to open generic letter report
Add IncludeInMailing field to customer list form
Add IncludeInMailing field to customer form
Update main menu with button to letter form

5. Post Cards
Create a blank report to use for post cards
Columns in reports
Sizing the post cards properly
Copying data fields and labels from other reports

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