Creating & Maintaining Documents

Reports & Documents > Documents > Add or Maintain Documents

This process allows you to define new or modify existing document definitions. Here you will identify the specific data that is to be merged within the document itself.

Creating a new document definition

This is the first part of two parts needed to setup your mail merge documents. Here you define the mail merge fields needed to handle variable information inside your document, such as debtor name, address, balance due and client name. The second part is creating the Microsoft Word mail-merge document template.

Tip: A shortcut to creating a new document is to carbon copy an existing document definition. To do this, bring up the existing definition that has all or most of the merge fields you need. Then change its document name and description then save. This will save you a lot of time locating all the merge fields which can be the most time consuming.

Documents can be in Microsoft Word or Crystal Reports. This section is only concerned with Word type documents. Contact DebtCol should you feel the need to setup your document in Crystal Reports.

The DebtCol “Document Name” specified here must be identical to the Word document; excluding the Word document extension of .docx.

Describe the Document where indicated. The description is used to help locate the document within an action wizard.

Select the appropriate stationery type from the list. The stationery type will determine if your document gets immediately dispatched or queued for later dispatch. Right-click on stationery and choose "maintain" to see how that stationery type is setup to dispatch the document.

Where indicated, select the data source file to extract your document merge data from. In most cases this will be “All case and related information”.

Legal Precedents or any document needing information on a specific stage of legal action should use the Data Source file "information derived from a specific legal step", then choose the legal step from the select box of the same name.

Specify if the document template will be created using Microsoft Word or Crystal Reports. NOTE: This section will only address Microsoft Word documents.

If the document is defined in Microsoft Word, select the mail merge letter type.

Letter Type “Form Letters” is for your standard mail merge documents.

Letter Type “Directory” is used to create a directory of notes on a case, or anything similar in nature. You can merge your data to a single document making it possible to produce a letter to the debtor with their case notes attached.

Specify the number of copies to be dispatched.

Documents can be emailed to any party related to a case such as client, debtor, agent etc. Define the email rules in the "Email Rules" page on the side bar. Make sure "Save PDF Version" is ticked when emailing a document.

“Save PDF Version” will ensure a copy of the fully merged document is also stored in PDF format. Tick this is you elect to email the document.

“Shared Template” will be ticked for the legal precedents supplied by DebtCol. These document definitions cannot be altered as they are shared by all DebtCol sites.

When a document is produced for a case that has multiple debtors, multiple copies of the document are produced for each debtor on the case. Tick "No Multiple Defendants” to produce a single letter regardless of the number of defendants/debtors are linked to the case.

Tip: You would tick the “No Multiple Defendants” when producing any letters to the client, agent, solicitor, liquidator, court, sheriff, or where a single letter to all debtors is required. In the case of multiple defendants, where a copy of the letter is required for each defendant, leave un-ticked.

Select the fields you need merged into the Word mail-merge document where indicated.

IMPORTANT: Because these merge fields become fields within the Word Document for you to include in the body of the document, you cannot have any blank rows in the display fields table, only valid fields.

Email Rules

If you would like your document emailed, click “Email Rules” on the navigation bar.

In this page you can nominate which party is to receive the document via email. You must then choose a pre-defined email template.

Tip: Use the merge fields shown on the screen to personalize the subject with case specific information

Tip: Right-click the “Email Message Template” and choose “maintain” to quickly create a new email template.

Dispatch Rules

Click “Dispatch Rules” on the navigation bar to sort how batches of documents are dispatched, set branch rules and the number of copies for legal documents.

To sort the way the documents are dispatched, choose the sort field and nominate ascending or descending. Secondary sort is achieved by adding a second row and choosing the sort field and sort order. For each additional sort, simply add and define another row. See the example below.

If you produce this document across multiple branches/offices, you can specify

a stationery type for each branch. The settings on the stationery type can determine how the document is dispatched.

If differing number of copies is required based on the legal entity of the debtors, define the rules in the table for each legal type.

If electronic lodgement is possible (check with DebtCol), tick where indicated. These documents must then be dispatched using the Electronic Lodgement option.

Specify the number of copies of the printed document that the court requires if any.

Click “Save”

Clicking "Update" on your Action Bar can open Word, allowing you to create or maintain your document from your desktop.

The user is expected to have at least an intermediate knowledge of Microsoft Word.

Amending an existing Document

Reports and Documents > Documents > Add or Maintain Documents

Enter the document name if known, or select it from the dropdown list. Alternatively search for the document by clicking the magnified glass on the toolbar.

When the document definition is open you can make your amendments then click “Save”.

Clicking "Update" on your Action Bar can open Word, allowing you to maintain your document from your desktop.

Creating a new Word mail merge Document

Enter the document name if known, or select it from the dropdown list. Alternatively search for the document by clicking the magnified glass on the toolbar.

The user is expected to have at least an intermediate knowledge of Microsoft Word.

Click “Update”. This will create the data file that is to be linked to the Word mail-merge document. You should be asked to save this file. Make sure it is saved to C:\DebtCol\CSV


A new Internet Explorer Window will open, which makes a call to open the document in Word.

Here you must setup your document inside Word.

If the document doesn’t exist in Word, it will open Word as a blank document.

If the document exists as a mail-merge document in Word it will prompt to continue opening the document with the SQL select command.

Click “Yes”

Go to the “Mailings” menu in Word

Click on “Select Recipients” then select “use an existing list”.

Navigate to the c:\DebtCol\CSV folder then open the file with the same name as the document.


Now your Word document is linked to your DebtCol document definition. Build the document how you would like it then save.

For specific details on how to insert mail merge fields into the document and how to format them, refer to your Microsoft Word for Windows user guide.

Do a test mail merge in Microsoft Word

In Microsoft Word, when you have the mail-merge document open, you can test if a mail merge document has errors.

Step 1.

Open the document in Microsoft Word

Click “Auto Check for Errors” from the Mailings menu

Step 2.

Click “OK” to “Complete the merge, pausing to report each error as it occurs”.

If any errors occur, they will be presented on the screen.

Step 3.

 Correct any errors reported.

The most common error to occur is where a mail merge field appears in the Word document, but no longer appears in the DebtCol document definition.

From the “Fields in data source” list, select the correct field you wish to replace the old field with, then click OK.
If the field is no longer required it must be removed from the Word document. Click “Remove Field” to remove it.

Quick Word Formatting Tips

To see the merge fields in detail, including any formatting instructions such as how you want  a date expressed i.e. dd/mm/yyyy or d month year etc, you must be in field display mode. To toggle to field display mode press Alt+F9

Quick Tips for formatting in upper case:-

{ MERGEFIELD "Name" \* Caps }

Quick Tips for inserting picture (signature):-


Quick Tips for formatting date type fields:-

{ MERGEFIELD "Date" \@ "MMMM d, yyyy" }


{ MERGEFIELD "LastInterestDate" \@"d MMMM yyyy"}

Quick Tips for formatting currency type fields:-

{ MERGEFIELD “BalanceDue” \# "$,0.00;($,0.00)" }