Saturday, January 27, 2018

Acrobat -- Mail Merge and Email PDF Files


Direct purchase using PayPal ($99 per license)!
Another new and powerful tool to make your PDF experience easier and more efficient.
This time, it's a PDF mail-merging tool. "Mail merging" is the production of multiple (and potentially large numbers of) documents from a single template form and a structured data source (Wikipedia). In this case the template is a PDF file with form fields and a plain-text or CSV file (which can be easily exported from an Excel spreadsheet).
The tool even offers the option to automatically email the merged files to the recipients (see below)!

A free DEMO version of this tool which will process up to 3 items in a list, but does not contain the auto-email feature. You can download and try it from here.


Update (27/01/2018): Due to a bug in some versions of Acrobat that prevented merging more than 50 files at a time I have removed the Flattening Pages option from the tool and reverted it back to a previous version that was not affected by this issue.
Instead of the "Flatten Merged Files" option I added an Action that allows doing it after the files have been merged, so the functionality of the tool is the same.

Update (01/11/2017): Another new feature, based on popular demand.
It's now possible to encrypt the merged files, either using the same policy for all of them, or by specifying a policy for each individual file (this has to be done manually, though).
In addition, I've moved the option to flatten the merged files from the email dialog to the main one, which means that you can do it even if you don't wish to email them.
The new application dialog looks like this now:

The new features are highlighted in red

When the option to encrypt the files is selected, this dialog appears:


Here you can select your own security policy (like the last one in the screenshot) to apply the same policy to all files, or one of the built-in policies (the first two) and specify the specific settings you wish to use for each file.

Update (29/08/2017): Yet another new feature added to this tool. It's now possible to flatten the copies of the merged files before they are sent out, so the users will receive a non-editable copy.
The new Email Settings dialog now looks like this:



Update (28/01/2015): A new feature and a new look for this tool! The Price is the same...

The new feature is the ability to merge all the records as a single PDF file. This means you can then easily print them out and send out by regular mail, for example.

The new look of the tool is more concise and easy to use. There are still two buttons, but they are now called: "Mail Merge" and "Mail Merge (To Single File)".

The new buttons (click to enlarge)

After clicking on the first one, for example, you're presented with this dialog window, where various settings can be set:


Clicking the second button causes this smaller window to appear:


Then you're prompted to select the input file and if you selected the option to email the generated files then the email settings window (see below) appears as well.

The files are then generated and saved. In the "single file" a file called merged.pdf is generated and saved in the same folder as the original PDF file.


Update (04/12/2014): A new feature added to this tool. You can now include not just text but also IMAGES in your merged files. Simply create a button field in your PDF and set its layout to "Icon Only" and then specify the file-path to the image in the input spreadsheet, and voila! The image is automatically imported into your file along with the other data.


How the tool works?
You start by setting up your input file and the empty PDF form (notice the column headers match the field names in the PDF):



If you have any questions regarding this tool, you can contact me directly.
(Click on "Read More" to see the rest of the post)