Issue 15878 - Create labels for multiple pages
Summary: Create labels for multiple pages
Alias: None
Product: Writer
Classification: Application
Component: code (show other issues)
Version: OOo 1.1 Beta
Hardware: All All
: P3 Trivial with 16 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: AOO issues mailing list
QA Contact:
Depends on:
Reported: 2003-06-20 21:31 UTC by rogerathome
Modified: 2013-08-07 14:38 UTC (History)
2 users (show)

See Also:
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---


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Description rogerathome 2003-06-20 21:31:05 UTC
Because issues 8082, 11803, 13326, 15634, 15650 are closed I made this one.
These issues all regard making labels for multiple pages at once in one document.

Because I want to use OO for mailings I find this THE mayor drawback in Open
Office. Unbelievable this issue was closed. From a user point of view this
should work in the following way:

1 - select the label type (as in the current label template)
2 - select the datasource and required fields (as in the current label template)
3 - then select the required records or all
4 - generate all labels for multiple pages in one New document with th eklik of
a button

So no Next Record, No Synchronize Labels, and especially... no work arounds!
Comment 1 vreid47362 2003-06-21 05:42:16 UTC
I work at a social service agency and also do some computer 
consulting work on the side.  I have been pushing OOo since 
StarOffice 5.2 because it is an open product with a lot of potential 
and most of the people that I work with are poor or on a very tight 
technology budget.  Most of the groups that I have worked with really 
like OOo, but they struggle with tasks that take a long time to 
accomplish in OOo, but were quick and simple in Microsoft Word.  One 
such process is making mailing labels and merging them with data.  
Most of the users that I'm familiar with enjoy Microsoft Office's 
three step process.

In order to help the developers of OOo to move toward a more 
responsive label making and mail merging process, I have offered my 
own thought about what, I believe, will make OOo better (although 
still unwieldly compared to Microsoft Word's process).

Here go's

1.  Click File -> New -> Labels

2.  This brings up the labels creation box

3.  Keep the "Labels" tab the same

4.  Add the following to the "Options" tab
    a.  Add a checkbox that will will automatically hide empty fields
    b.  Add an "Advanced" button that will open the "Ctrl + F2" box 
and allow advanced users to tweak their label set-up
    c.  Change the name of the Synchronize checkbox to something that 
explains that checking that box will make a page of identical labels 
for each record in the datasource
    d.  Automatically add "<<nextrecord>>" to each field of each label

5.  When the user clicks "OK" -- automatically add the data fields, 
hidden field modifiers, next record fields, and any additional 
options created under the "Advanced" option

6.  Make it easier to go back and change the layout of the labels 
without having to edit each individual field and use the "Ctrl + F2" 
option.  At the very least, add a button on one of the menus to open 
this dialogue and create a option to apply the changes to all of the 
labels on the template without making the labels revert back to 
printing an entire page of the same label (unless that's what the 
user wants).

Now that the labels are created, it's time to do the mail merge

1.  First, create a way to merge without having to open the data 
sources pane

2.  Add a way to show populated labels before printing them so that 
users can see what they are getting before they print and waste paper 
or email

3.  Add an option to the print to file selection to allow the user to 
either create a file for each label or to save the entire merge to a 
single file.

And now the "Ctrl + F2" box

This set of menus is way too hard for someone who is not a programmer 
to understand and use.  It needs to be more visual and set up so that 
someone with no programming know-how can understand the options.

To conclude

The options above will make the label creation and mail merge 
processes more responsive to average users, but it still leaves a lot 
to be desired.  It's great that OOo allows so much flexibility, but 
at the same time, it is also frustrating for users who are used to 
Microsoft Word's three step process.  Ideally, OOo could develop a 
three step process, but it is beyond my grasp as a non-programmer to 
understand what, exactly, needs to be done.  As the label making and 
mail merge interface make-over moves forward, I think three key 
points need to be made.  First, simplify, simplify, simplify.  
Second, leave "Advanced Options" buttons for sophisticated and 
experienced users to retain the kind of control that the current 
interface offers.  Last, use words and descriptions to explain the 
options and actions of the label making and mail merge processes that 
are not rooted in computer programming because the average office 
worker doesn't have a clue, and doesn't have a desire to understand, 
computer programming.  They just need to create a few pages of labels 
to send out thank you letters, etc.

As OOo evolves with user input, I hope that routine tasks will become 
quicker and simpler for basic office suite users.  OOo is an 
excellent product, it just needs to interact more simply with the 
average user.

I hope this helps,

Vaughn L. Reid III
Comment 2 Unknown 2003-06-22 17:32:47 UTC
*** This issue has been confirmed by popular vote. ***
Comment 3 h.ilter 2003-06-23 11:29:17 UTC
HI->BH: The description contains suggestions about the label dialog.
Comment 4 thorsten.ziehm 2003-07-07 09:31:20 UTC
Change priority from 1 to 3.
This will be a usefull change, and we hope we can integrate it into
OOo 2.0. But this is a normal enhancement => priority 3.
Comment 5 osavill 2003-07-21 15:08:17 UTC
Please put this back to priority 2 ! I have a client who has a basic
version of M$ Office. When confronted with the prospect of modifying
the mailing list in Excel and the doing a Mail Merge into Word he went
for the simple dBase approach of OOo. However, they are no thinking of
going back to Word (which would mean the removal of OOo and even more
money to M$ coffers) because it is such a hassle going through their
entire mailing list producing one sheet of lables at a time. I
mentioned this when I first highlighted this issue (11803) and have
kept them hanging in there so far, but I don't know how long I can
keep them from migrating back to M$ :-( I don't know what the time
scal for 2.0 is (1.1 --> 2.0 or 1.1, 1.2, 1.2a, 1.3, 1.4 etc.) but I
would like to vote for this issue to be put in the very next release
or beta.
Comment 6 jensja 2003-07-27 19:41:39 UTC
I strongly object against making OOo GUI a 1:1 copy of MS Office.
Please don't make it look the same but keep OOo GUI structure clean
and straightforward!

In particular the suggestion above repeatedly mentions something I'd
like not to see spreading in OOo: Nested dialogs with the infamous MS
Word "Advanced" or "More..." buttons. 

Whenever I'm forced to use MS Office the random choice of so called
"advanced" functions almost drives me insane. 

Comment 7 Unknown 2003-07-30 04:32:41 UTC
In my opinion, this should be a P2 and not a P3.  To me, this
qualifies as a defect because the behavior is not consistent with the
rest of the mail merge functionality in OOo.

This single issue prevents my entire office from converting over to  Without the ability to do multi-page labels, it makes
the entire mail-merge function totally useless.

With OOo, I can merge thousands of names into a form letter and print
those just fine, but when I go to create mailing labels for those same
form letters, I have to create dozens of inidividual mailing label
sheets... which literally can take hours.

OOo is a great product, but the mail merge needs to be consistent from
documents to labels.  To me, this is clearly a bug.  I have to use MS
Office until this is fixed.

How this is considered a P3, I simply cannot understand.  OOo does
things like export to PDF and Flash.  Yet it can't do simple multiple
page mailing label merges?

Not to rant... but I think the priorities are a little whacked.  :-)
Comment 8 rogerathome 2003-09-13 11:19:56 UTC
Im very very worried about the current status of this issue. This will
be solved in 1.2 I hope? This is THE issue why I can't recommend OO
too my business friends. My company is using OO with great pleasure
but we still need Microsoft for this one. 
All professional companies have a marketing/sales departments who make
labels for mailings.. Also HRM departments use this to make labels for
mailings to employees.
Please change it too a higher priority. 
If it's too much work making a whole new interface in 1.2 then just
remove the One Page restriction in the current function.
Comment 9 osavill 2003-10-09 12:31:36 UTC
My client had another word with me just last night about this issue. 
I think it is a shame and a real missed opportunity that this was not 
fixed in 1.1 
This is not really an enhancement, to the end user this is a bug ! 
Comment 10 rogerathome 2003-10-11 11:15:13 UTC
UPDATE 1.1: After installing OO 1.1 final release I can produce labels
with mail merge but noticed that some mayor drawbacks still exist:
- It is not possible to generate the labels in ONE document so this
isuue will stay OPEN
- We need a more user friendly way for user too make a spreadsheet a
datasource, why not just select it and generate all the datasource
stuff in the background and open all records.
- The datasource refresh doesn't work with spreadsheet documents. I
have to close and reopen openoffice to get the updated spreadsheet >>
Comment 11 Unknown 2003-10-25 19:20:59 UTC
It is not possible to generate the labels in ONE document - this
prevents a client of mine from switching their office from Microsoft
Office to OOo.

Thanks for your consideration.
Comment 12 osavill 2003-11-09 00:00:49 UTC
Well, strike another loss up to lack of movemement on this one. I  
raised an original report of this some 9 months ago. So far I have  
managed to keep my primary OOo user hanging in by saying `but they  
will fix it sometime'. But now they've given up with me and OOo.  
They have been convinced to fork out much money on M$ Office with  
Access in order to get their mailings working. I had to sit there  
while being told things like `we need serious software that actually  
works'. In short this one issue has convinced them, and potentially  
everyone they speak to, that OOo simply isn't up to the job. As a  
GUI designer for some 20 years it came as no surprise to me that a  
seemingly insignificant and non mainstream part of the entire suite  
can so badly colour peoples views of the entire package. The only  
fortunate thing to come out of this is I will no longer have to rant  
about this issue. Therefore my last words on this, while  
understanding that you have many other priorities and problem  
reports, is FOR GOODNESS SAKE JUST FIX THE THING !!! and treat it as 
it is a DEFECT and not a enhancement !!! 
Comment 13 Unknown 2003-11-30 00:09:53 UTC
I completely agree with the comments that fixing the 1-page limit for
mailing label generation is a bug fix not an enhancement. However, I
can also see that it might not get into the next release. So, may I
suggest that this limitation be *clearly* documented in the User Docs?
That would have saved me 2 frustrating hours of fiddling with my
labels because my 2nd page of labels didn't get generated.
Comment 14 bettina.haberer 2004-01-21 11:02:31 UTC
Summary: Enable creating labels for multiple pages at once in one document.
Hello Oliver, please give approval for this evaluated OO.o 2.0 flagged issue. 
If you confirm with the target OO.o 2.0, then please keep it on your owner (or
the owner of the concerning developer) for implementation. In case you want this
issue for 'OOo Later', then please reset the target milestone. If you decline
the issue finally, please set the resolution to 'Wontfix' (but do not close). In
case of 'OOo Later' or 'Wontfix' please reset it on Bettina's owner. Thank you.
Comment 15 Oliver Specht 2004-01-21 11:21:46 UTC
os->cj: Please incorporate this issue into the upcoming mail merge specicifation.
Comment 16 osavill 2004-04-06 13:15:21 UTC
> os->cj: Please incorporate this issue into the upcoming mail merge specicifation.

Has this reached any level of visibility yet !!! ?
Comment 17 rogerathome 2004-06-12 09:11:19 UTC
In issue 20057 I found this
Hopefully this will bring the solution....
Comment 18 osavill 2004-07-26 10:11:58 UTC
Sadly not soon enough ! This morning yet another client who was converted to OOo
is going back to M$ Access because they have had enough of printing 1 sheet at a
time :-(
Comment 19 osavill 2004-07-27 14:19:32 UTC
MailMerge, MailMerge, MailMerge ! Why didn't I see mail merge before !!! A
little disconcerting but it seems to work. Moreover, my client has said they
will wait for me to put OOo 1.1.2 onto their systems and see if it will "do
until this all becomes a lot more friendly" ! Great stuff :-) Maybe the help
stuff could be a little clearer in this regard.
Comment 20 Martin Hollmichel 2004-08-09 14:02:23 UTC
according to
this issue will be set to OOoLater