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How to integrate MS Office applications

By techrepublic ·
When I need to produce an invoice, I have to update each of 3 Excel worksheets (Invoices due, marketing & milage analysis, stock & expenses control), a Word document (database of clients used for mailshots), create the actual invoice in a Word document, and print a compliments slip which is in a Publisher document. Some data has, therefore, to be entered more than once. Is there any way to speed this process up and make it harder for me to forget one of the steps in the invoice creation process ?

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by dryflies In reply to How to integrate MS Offic ...

Frankly it sounds as though you have a patchwork solution that has been implemented a little at a time without thought to the other elements involved. Is that true? if so, your best bet would be to rethink the whole strategy. Barring that, you can use macros, forms and mail merge to enter the data and have it inserted into the appropriate document. I would create a form that takes all of the initial entry data and have, as its submit action, a macro that transforms the entered data into what is needed for the other worksheets and the word DB. further along in the macro, activate the documents that require data from the entry form and update or insert the data into the document using custom fields. BTW, using word for a client database is just wrong. you will eventually, if you are successful, out-grow the word DB. it is fairly easy to transfer your client DB to access. please rate my answer.

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by techrepublic In reply to

Thanks for the reply Dryflies. A patchwork solution indeed - hence the question here. You suggest things to do were the whole strategy not up for rethinking... but it is. I'm not sure if an Access database is best given the amount of macro programming needed (I don't currently know VBscript). And how could the Access reports be made to look like the existing Word Invoice document ? Where does one start ? Is there anywhere an example of how to make a submit button in Access populate an Excel workbook, or fire off a Word mail merge ?

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by dryflies In reply to How to integrate MS Offic ...

Do you really want the invoices to look the same? it can be done by moving text boxes and fields. but if you are rethinking the whole deal you are better off getting an off the shelf accounting program and then gen up a couple of reports for the marjeting and mileage analysis etc. If you want to integrate the patches you will have to use macros and VBA to accomplish your goals. when you select a table or query, in the tools menu there is an office links submenu with a merge with microsoft word entry. if it is in the menu, you can get to it programmatically. Have you programmed any language? if so, you can figure out VBA. use the help for VBA, use the answer wizards, use MSDN and technet, both great M$ resources. use two databases, one that you are developing and a copy of that which you experiment with make small scripts to start with and then link them into biggers ones. I know this is rather generic advice but your system details aren't exactly crystal either.

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