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File Merge from User Side

Note: Prior to 9.1, this function was called Document Merge, and it was only available on the Admin side. Document Merge now refers to a new feature that utilizes the merge facility in Microsoft Word. Users can be given the right on a proposal basis to access the File Merge feature on the user side.

Proposals are often split into various sections during the work in process stage. You can construct a single document from multiple files or symbolic links by using the file merge feature. If a link is selected, the original file will be used. This can be done manually, or by selecting a previously saved list and modifying it if desired.

The manual process involves selecting files and links from the left treeview in the order they are to be added, selecting the break type from pull down menu, selecting the local folder where the file is to be created, selecting a name for the new file and optionally selecting a folder on the server to copy the merged file to. Files and links can be selected by double clicking on them or using the add button. Can select multiple files and links at same time. If a file or link is selected in the File Merge panel and then another is selected from the treeview, the new one will be added above the one selected. The Move up and down buttons can be used to move the position of selected files and links.

When the option to copy the merged document to the server is selected, the user must have Create permission in the folder or the file will not be written to the server. If a file with the same name already exists in the selected folder, as long as the user has at least edit permission on the server file the option will be given to overwrite the original file or cancel. If overwrite is chosen, the original file will be written to the version folder, the version will be updated and “replacement” noted in the history of that document. If choose to cancel, the merge will be completed but the file will not be written to the server. In any case, if user doesn't have appropriate permissions the merge will be completed but the file will not be written to the server.

The semi-automated process involves selecting the proposal or the zone radio button, selecting the desired Saved List from the pull-down menu, and then editing any of the selections as desired. If the selected Saved List cannot be validated for the existing proposal documents, the missing ones will be shown in red, allowing the user to remove or replace them with the proper ones. An alert panel indicating the problems will be shown if they are not corrected before clicking on start.

The five break types are as follows:
  1. Page Break: Inserts a normal page break Text continues on next page, but the section remains the same
  2. Section Break Continuous: Inserts a section break, but not a page break The page continues to be the same while a new section is created
  3. Break Even Page: Inserts a page break or two so that the text continues on an even page A new section starts on that even page
  4. Break Next Page: Inserts a page break and a new section starts on next page
  5. Break Odd Page: Inserts a page break or two so that the text continues on an odd page A new section starts on that odd page

No matter what break is selected, certain styles will be inherited from the first document that is merged. Using the same set of styles in all documents is recommended. A style with the same name should not be defined differently in any of the documents. If you want a different style than you should use, or define, a new style instead of modifying an existing one. It may work best to have a "style template" as the first document in the list.

If section break continuous, break even page, break next page or break odd page are selected, each file merged will maintain page layout (if the original document is configured for pagination based on section) and header/footer. If page break is selected, each document will inherit selections from the first file. This feature can be used to merge Word, PowerPoint, XML, HTML, log, TXT and RTF files. If the files to be merged contain both Word2003 and Word2007 documents, the resultant document will be saved in the format suitable for the version of Word that the user has installed on their computer. However, if the name of the document to be saved contains the .doc extension, the document will be saved in the Word2003 format regardless of the version of Word installed. If there is no extension specified, the format will be as specified above.

When merging PowerPoint files, a page break is created after each slide. Excel files can also be merged, but only if all files selected are Excel. The resultant file will contain all the data in one worksheet in the order selected with a page break after each worksheet.

Users with the right to access File merge on the user side can save a document list for future use. They can be saved on a proposal or zone basis. After desired selections are made as indicated above, select either proposal or zone radio button, click on the "Save current list" icon, enter name in panel that pops up (limited to 16 characters), and then click on Continue. If the name already exists, a warning will be given with an option to overwrite or cancel. You can also start with an existing saved list, modify it as desired, click on "Save as a new list" icon, enter name in panel that pops up (limited to 16 characters) and then click on Continue. If the name already exists, a warning will be given with an option to overwrite or cancel. Any admin can delete a Saved List by selecting it and clicking on the "Delete list" icon. An alert panel will open to warn of impending action.

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