Tutorial 9 - Creating a Form Letter

Although STEP FORWARD is not intended to be used as a word processor, form letters with variable components can be created and derive variable data from the database and run-time Parameters. In this example the database retrieval is limited to the name and address, and other variables are obtained through run-time Parameters. It is, however, possible to create more complex structures and Report Procedures, possibly coupled with Processes, that can handle a wide variety of formats and multiple addressees.

A Form Letter is essentially a Report and requires one or more Print Templates and a Report Procedure. In our example we used two Print Templates (LetterH for Header and Footer, and LetterB for the Body of the Letter).

The Current Date field is a Local System field (in the Palette);
PO#, Name, Address, City Combo, and Salutation are Print fields (dyn1, dyn2, etc. renamed in the Local Dynamic area of the Palette);
Purchase Order, Yours truly, and Your Local Lagoon Organization are Title fields.
The Template Printing Inspector setting is Always start on the new page.

The area above the Separator is the Header. The Segment Inspector setting is Print when Template starts; Insert blank lines: Before printing the fields (10) and After printing the fields (1).

The area below the Separator is the Footer. The Segment Inspector setting is Print when Template ends; Insert blank lines: Before printing the fields (2).

The Text field is a Local Dynamic field (in the Palette);
Alignment Inspector setting is left justified;
Formatting: Add lines if needed to fit all text (switch is ON), and Text line spacing is set to 18.
The Segment Inspector setting is for the Body segment Print on every call to Template; Insert blank lines: Before printing the fields (1).

These two Print Templates are incorporated into the Report Procedure Letter1:

This Print Procedure makes use of a number of Variables and Parameters which are initially loaded as (var1, par1, etc.) and then renamed in the Palette.
The Retrieval object is a Single row retrieval and has the following Search criteria: Numeric ID = Customer







Clicking on the Test button, supplying data to the Parameters, and clicking on the Run button will generate the following Form Letter.

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