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How to Use Templates in Microsoft Office


These templates are formed using Microsoft's text form fields. When you merge a document into these, the form may appear to have gray boxes around all of the text. This will not print with the form. If you want to edit any of the text in the forms (and there are several forms where we were unable to find ways to merge the data, therefore fields were made so that you can easily type in the missing data), double click the text you want to edit. A window will appear and the field where you can type information is called "Default text:". Usually you should not need to edit the text, but the cases where you might have to are outlined below. You can also type anywhere on these forms. The form itself is an image behind the text, so you can not edit that.

If you want to edit or delete a text field and its text: double click the merge field to bring up a window where you can type what you want the field to say. It does not have to be any code at this point. Anything can be typed. Or click the merge field once to highlight it, and hit the delete key on the keyboard if you wish to completely erase the merge field. Neither of these operations will affect the template for any future merges.

The codes in these templates are written and formatted in the hopes that they will properly merge the client's information into the document. However, sometimes the form has difficult spacing for information fields (such as boxes for individual letters), and therefore the merged data does not always fit correctly. It just depends on the length of the words or the particular letters in the merged item. If something does merge incorrectly for you, there are ways to fix this problem. If it is something you only need to fix once, we suggest doing it in the merged file (instructions below). However, if it has to do with your firm name and you will use it often in the future, we suggest changing the spacing in the template itself (instructions below). You can either change only the spacing for the merge, or you can erase the merge code and type in your firm data if you would prefer that the template always has that information and you do not want to merge it into the document every time
Edit the spacing between letters: click the merge field once to highlight it, then go to "Format" (Up near "File" and "Edit") and choose "Font". Go to the tab for "Character Spacing". The line marked "Spacing" is what you will most likely want to edit if there is a problem. If it is expanded already, and needs to be adjusted, try expanding by a little more or a little less. Sometimes certain combinations of letters in the merged data will make it impossible to fit the form's spacing using this method. In that case, change the spacing back to "normal" in the drop-down menu, and edit the merge field (explained above) using manual spaces between individual characters.

Changing information in the permanent template: follow the same instructions as above on editing text and spacing, but instead of doing it in the merged document, open the template itself from the TemplatesSSA folder. Once you edit it here and save it, those changes will be permanent in the document for every time you use the template in the future. If you do not want the changes saved, edit the text in the document you have merged data into only. You will know which you are using, because the permanent template has the SSA form name as the file name, and the file name of the merged templates will be displayed as Document1 or something similar. Be cautious when you do this, because spacing of the merge codes may appear incorrectly-placed in the template since spacing changes during the merge. You can always merge something with that document to test where the data will appear.

If merge codes are not workable and you would rather manually type the data: follow the instructions from above about how to edit text in the text field.

Trouble Shooting

If the merge codes appear in the document you merged: the merge codes may appear if you have not selected sub-tables of client information. Merge codes will have "<< >>" around code. This is simple to fix. Back in the case management software, open the Document Merge window again. Highlight the form you want to merge. Near the top of this window, look for the dropdown menu under "Select Document Category". Choose the appropriate category, and then choose one of the options that appears in the window below this. If you are unsure of which document category you need, look at the exposed code to see what it is asking for.

SSA-HA-539 Former Client: This form follows this pattern. You must choose the Contacts document category, and then choose a particular contact whose information you want included in the form.

Unmerged text appears in the template: There are several forms that were impossible to accurately space the data for the majority of cases (especially when there was an individual box for each letter), and others where the data is not saved in our program (such as the representative's social security number). These items can be manually typed into the form using the Edit Text option above. In most cases, the text will be properly spaced for this already. However, if it does not match up correctly, change the font spacing as instructed above.

SSA-1699: This form follows this pattern. The representative's name must be typed in because
the name is saved as one item in the program, rather than three individual names. Also, the social
security number of the representative must be typed, because that information is not kept in the program. Follow the text editting instructions above

SSA-1695: Here the representative's social security number must also be typed in manually.

The merged data is too long to fit in the form properly: This would rarely happen, because we have tried to take that into account. But in the event of uncommonly long addresses, try changing the font size. To do this, click on the text box once to highlight it, and go to "Font" to change the font size as you would with anything else in MS Word.

© 2006 Crocodile Consulting, LLC.