Printing Excel Reports via a Word Document
Using Microsoft Excel & Word
This post will detail the process of establishing a simple database in excel and then linking that to a Standard Report in word and saving the data as a new Word file.
Why use Word?
Some organisations will only accept files in Word format and may have specific formats which are used internationally (International shipping I’m looking at you!)
In these cases although you may be able to setup an Excel file to look exactly like its Word equivalent. But if they wont accept it…
You have to change.
+ A database source in Excel
+ A Word file (to be used as a template, not to be confused with a Word template)
The process is simply a matter of:
+ Setup a Control sheet
+ Setup a Transfer Sheet
+ Setup a Word template
+ Run the Report
This tutorial will only be using the 2007/10 files as examples but feel free to follow along if you are using previous versions.
The 2007/10 Sample has been tested on both Office 2007 & 2010
The 1997/03 Sample has been tested on Office XP (and I make no claim that it will work in prior versions but it might/should)
Open the example workbook (Production records.xlsm from the above links) or your own data file.
Notice that there are 3 worksheets in the workbook:
+ Control: The master sheet which allows selection of your filter or summation criteria and a button to execute a macro
+ Transfer: The transfer sheet, the entry or summation here will be transferred to word
+ Data: The database
Setup a Control Sheet
The control sheet is a simple data validation or selection tool and a button which will run a macro.
It can be as simple or as complex as you need to make it.
In the example above there is simply a Data Validation cell which is linked to a list of shipment numbers and a Button to run the reports VBA subroutine.
You can make yours as simple or as complex as you need to extract the data from your data source.
The Produce Word Report button is linked to the MergeMe VBA subroutine.
Setup a Transfer Sheet
The Transfer sheet requires 2 rows
Row 1: Has a list of field names, These will be used in Word later so use something meaningful.
Row 2: Has a list of the records which will be transferred to Word. The cells will contain sufficient formulas to extract the relevant records from the Data sheet using the Data validation on the Control Sheet.
You need to setup sufficient fields to ensure that all records required in Word are setup or retrieved.
The order of the fields isn’t important as the field names are used for the transfer not the order.
Also you don’t have to use all the fields in Word, but if the Field isn’t made here you can’t retrieve it later.
The format or layout doesn’t matter as this is controlled in Word.
Notice on the Transfer sheet that the Top Row is a list of field names
The second row uses an Index(Match( )) combination to retrieve the relevant records from the Data sheet.
Save the Excel file.
In the sample file I have made a simple retrieval of a matching records and associated fields, but the Transfer sheet could have just as easily sumarised multiple rows of data from your data source.
Setup a Word template
Setup in word a file which will be used as a template for the import.
Leave gaps where your fields values will go.
Save the file
Open the example file (Shipping Template.docx)
If this is the first time you have opened the example file it may prompt you
“Opening this file will run the following SQL File …”
This is ok so accept Yes
You can either accept that and then follow the links to connect the file to the Production records.xlsm file
It will then prompt you for the Data Table which in our case is Transfer$ ie: the Sheet Name with a $ sign at the end
If it didn’t prompt you above or you answered No to the “Opening this file will run the following SQL File …” prompt we will connect again later anyway.
Now setup the file in word with all the text graphics, lines colors etc required for your form/report.
Leave gaps for the fields which we will add next.
Use mail merge to open the data source (Production records.xlsm)
Goto Mailings, Select Recipients, Use Existing List…
Navigate to the Production Records.xlsm file after which it will prompt you for the table which in our case is Transfer$ ie: the Sheet Name with a $ sign at the end (as discussed above)
Move to the 4 missing Field Locations as per the following table and insert the Field Names using the
Mailings, Insert Merge Field tab
Insert Fields as per the following table and highlights above:
|Location||Field Name (from Production Records.xlsm)|
|Shipment No :||Shipment_No|
The other fields Destination, Form and Date have already been pre-entered and are shown in Blue
You can format the fields as required, select the entire field and change the font, colors etc to suit.
You can view the field values using the Preview Results Button, see below
Make any other changes to the file
Save the file as a Word File Shipping Template.docx (not as a Word Template *.dotx)
Run the Report
In the Production records.xlsm file we will now link the macro to the button on the control sheet
We need to check 3 lines in the macro before we execute it.
Goto VBA using Alt F11
Select the Production Records.xlsm, Modules on the left and find the
Sub MergeMe() Subroutine on the right
Near the top of the subroutine are 2 lines which list both the file which Word will use as a template and what the new file will be saved as after merging.
‘ Setup filenames
Const WTempName = “Shipping Template.docx“ ‘This is the Word Templates name, Change as req’d
Const NewFileName = “New Certificate.docx” ‘This is the New Word Documents File Name, Change as req’d
Change these values as appropriate
The code will overwrite the existing output file if it exists so once executes save it to another name/location.
If you are using your own data file copy this subroutine to your own VBA Module and edit as above.
You can now go back to Excel (Alt F11) and execute the macro using the button on the control page.
You should now have a new file called New Certificate.docx in the same directory as the Sample files.
The above macro which does this transfer is a simple and easily scalable to 50+ fields without any modification.
Future enhancements would be:
+ Sourcing the New Word File name from the Control sheet
+ Incremental numbering of the word document each time the transfer is done
+ Numbering of the word document based on a Field value each time the transfer is done
+ Export of Multiple records at one time
+ Conditional formatting in Word based on field values
+ Improved error checking
If you are interested I encourage you to modify and post these enhancements here for all to benefit.
You can copy the Macro into any Excel file and save it as an *.xlsm file and link it to a Button and be up and running in minutes
The macro has a very small number of changes that need making internally to work anywhere.
What have been your Excel to Word transfer experiences ?
What have been your Excel to Word transfer experiences, let us know in the comments below:
What do you think of this approach to data transfer ?