We’re adding an array of most requested Writer features—like repeating blocks, subform-field creation, date adjustments, and more—to make merging so automated, you’ll end up saving a huge amount of time and effort everyday!
Document merges are an easy way to generate hundreds of customized documents, invoices, or emails from one master template.
While many of you told us how important this has become for your daily workflow, some of you also told us how more specific, contextual tools are needed to make the entire merge process even faster.
Today, we’re announcing new powerful tools that reduce manual work and give you enough flexibility to customize the details exactly how you like. Take a look:
1. Creating repeatable blocks
A block of information can now be repeated automatically based on the number of records in your data source. Depending on how you want the output design to be, these blocks can be repeated as a paragraph, a table row, a table cell, or a table column.
For example, if you’re listing the titles, author, prices, and other details of books available in your bookstore, all you have to do is use the Simple Repeat option, select the merge fields that carry those details, and insert it into the document. For every book that exists in your inventory, a new block will be created post-merge.
Similarly, the same data can also be shown as a table—where new rows are created automatically for every individual book—using the Repeat as Table Row option instead.
2. New field types and settings
#️⃣ Auto-numbering to generate serial numbers
Now that you can repeat blocks and table rows automatically, you’ll need an additional tool to number these records and subform items in sequence (like a serial number column for example). That’s what the new Auto-number field is for.
📆 A smarter date field
When merging, date fields in Writer can now automatically take the date document was created, last opened, or last edited, and also be manually adjusted to consider additional/fewer days and weekends/weekdays.
In other words, you can date letters to the day you’re sending it, have deadlines fall on the next working day, or set next subscription renewal dates as “day subscribed+365 days”—all without having to enter them manually each time you merge.
📺 Embed field for powerful interactive elements
Similar to how you insert personalized images for each record/recipient, you can now add unique, individual interactive elements for each of them using an Embed field.
This makes it extremely easy to drop in a personalized Map location for each of your records, or add contextual video links to guide your recipients, making your automated templates look even more personal.
There’s more to what we’re doing with Fields. Read the complete list of announcements here.
3. Creating fillable documents from merge
Ever since we introduced Fillable fields and forms in Writer, a lot of you have been asking for a way to make output documents fillable as well.
Good idea: We added a new output format—Fillable Document—under the Merge and save to a folder option to let you do exactly that.
4. Cleaner, more detailed merge monitoring
Lastly, we applied similar updates to how Merge Log works as well, including a redesigned layout that gives you all the vital information about each output option at once.
Emails sent using Writer’s merge templates can now request read receipts and link tracking as well, giving you better analysis of how many recipients are actually reading your mailers and visiting the links you send them.
There’s still more to this release. Make sure to read the entire list of announcements on our community forum.
With more businesses adopting Writer’s easy to use merge features and native Zoho integrations, we’re committed to making this an even better experience for you and your team.
Let us know how you like the new tools in the comments section below, or by tweeting to us @zohowriter.