Mail Merge doesn't seem to have an obvious way of using a CSV file as a data source.
What I tried:
Other external data source
There it only propose various database types (MySql, dBase), applications with address books (Thunderbird), etc. but no CSV
However, there is "text".
When I chose that, I can navigate to the directory where I have my CSV file stored, but no matter whether I call them something.csv or something.txt they are not shown.
Maybe it's possible, but for sure it's not "discoverable".
In the end I got my mailmerge working by loading it into a mysql database, but that's not how it's supposed to be, and not how to win over new users (indeed, I was showing a friend how to do mailmerge, and he was shaking his head at the complexity involved... :-( )
After having solved the problem with an import into mysql, I still continued looking for an "easier" solution, and tried out the CSV Jdbc bridge from http://csvjdbc.sourceforge.net/
I could add my CSV directory as a data source all right, but after that I had no luck running the actual mail merge.
After pressing Print, Yes (to forms letter), Ok, I got an error popup without any text. There was just a title bar: "LibreOffice 5.1 - Fatal error" and an otherwise empty box with a yellow (empty) speech bubble and an OK button. After clicking OK, libreoffice crashed.
What should have happened:
- even if the jdbc is somehow faulty, I'd expect a meaningful diagnostic message and no crash.
Again, not a good impression when this happens while attempting to win a newbie over from Microsoft Office.
Here is how I have tested a mail merge CSV bug 108825
1. Tools - Mail merge wizard
2. Next (use current document, default)
3. Next (letter, default)
4. Select address list
5. Add, select the CSV. Field separator is Tab, text separator "
What do you propose to improve the discoverability?
Set to NEEDINFO.
Change back to UNCONFIRMED after you have provided the information.
> 1. Tools - Mail merge wizard
Interesting. So there is another completely different workflow to achieve the same goal in another completely different menu.
Yes, yours does work with CSV.
> What do you propose to improve the discoverability?
There should be *one* entry point which proposes *all* the data sources (maybe keep the other entry point as a link?)
This is an interesting bug. On one side, it could be NotABug because it works. On the other side, something is not obvious and needs to be changed. So let's see those issues.
I can't say what comes first: obvious use for all functions or proper documentation.
1. There's always issue of documentation. Help on MailMerge doesn't seem sufficient enough to give details on CSV or even best practices. Can be another bug. But important to know that MailMerge Wizard is reduced from 8 to 5 steps and better from LO 5.2, that MailMerge toolbar is better from LO 5.3 (Bug 98793) and even more useful from LO 6.0 (Bug 109118).
2. There are differences between File->Wizards->Address Data Source and Tools->Mail Merge Wizard and that's not the same. Moreover we have also Tools-> Address Book Source. Not an answer but there's Bug 109124 to discuss that.
As for Wizard and CSV:
3. File->Wizards->Address Data Source has Other external data source. I don't see why that 2nd step with Settings is necessary. Can be another bug or can be discussed here.
4. Database types has "Text" which is not clear enough, it should be "Text (TXT, CSV or custom)". And this bug can be about this.
5. Database types - Spreadsheet with Browse... opens normal "Open" dialog, while Text opens small "Select Path" dialog. Again, I guess it's because there's another Additional Settings dialog. But, this procedure looks more complicated that adding of CSV address list in MailMerge Wizard. Can be this one or another bug.
So, this bug is about 4. renaming "Text" in Address Data Source Wizard to (my proposal) "Text (TXT, CSV or custom)".
Comments on 3. and 5. are welcome.