Bug 86672 - MAILMERGE: Add dialog to choose pages from document and number of copies to print
Summary: MAILMERGE: Add dialog to choose pages from document and number of copies to p...
Status: NEW
Alias: None
Product: LibreOffice
Classification: Unclassified
Component: LibreOffice (show other bugs)
(earliest affected)
Inherited From OOo
Hardware: Other All
: medium enhancement
Assignee: Not Assigned
Depends on:
Blocks: Mail-Merge
  Show dependency treegraph
Reported: 2014-11-24 20:07 UTC by Timur
Modified: 2021-09-23 14:09 UTC (History)
4 users (show)

See Also:
Crash report or crash signature:

Simple ODT mailmerge example with 1 field and 2 pages (8.87 KB, application/vnd.oasis.opendocument.text)
2014-11-26 09:09 UTC, Timur
Pages and Ranges: example added to mailmerge Print dialog (40.47 KB, image/jpeg)
2014-12-17 18:11 UTC, Timur
mailmerge Print dialog example: added Pages and Ranges and Output (46.64 KB, image/jpeg)
2015-05-22 07:37 UTC, Timur

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Description Timur 2014-11-24 20:07:21 UTC
When we print a Writer document with database fields, it asks: "Your document contains address database fields. Do you want to print a form letter?"
But, we cannot chooses which pages to print and it prints all.
We should have a dialog to choose which pages from document to print.
Comment 1 Joel Madero 2014-11-25 16:01:39 UTC
@Timur - can you provide clear steps on how to get to that dialog. Also a sample document would help.

Setting to NEEDINFO - once you provide info please set to UNCONFIRMED. Thanks
Comment 2 Timur 2014-11-26 09:09:55 UTC
Created attachment 110046 [details]
Simple ODT mailmerge example with 1 field and 2 pages

1. Open new Writer document and add 2nd page
2. Turn on View-Data Sources
3. From built-in Bibliography data source with 20 records, add Author field to the document on the 1st page
4. Choose File-Print to print document with database fields (20 copies) and Yes to print a form letter
5. You can choose Records and Output but not pages from the document to print so it will print all pages x number of records
Comment 3 Timur 2014-12-17 18:11:19 UTC
Created attachment 110960 [details]
Pages and Ranges: example added to mailmerge Print dialog

I put here "Inherited from OO". There've been some improvements through development, because OO prints forms badly, but neither can choose pages.
I add an example image how mailmerge print dialog might look like with standard Pages and Ranges print section.
Comment 4 Robinson Tryon (qubit) 2014-12-21 17:04:42 UTC
One for the UX folks :-)
Comment 5 Alex Thurgood 2015-01-03 17:39:54 UTC Comment hidden (no-value)
Comment 6 Timur 2015-05-22 07:37:36 UTC
Created attachment 115796 [details]
mailmerge Print dialog example: added Pages and Ranges and Output
Comment 7 Robinson Tryon (qubit) 2016-08-25 05:26:48 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 8 Heiko Tietze 2016-09-12 13:52:34 UTC
What meaning does it have when you print based on a database with a selection of entries and then limit the output to a specific page? I mean you print from 1 to 2 in the attached file, which creates four pages, and why would you want to actually print only the first 3 pages? Is there a use case?

If there is a good reason you may go with the suggestion (removing UX). Otherwise my personal choice would be to not implement this option. You may face issues for the implementation when, for instance, from/to is set to some value and the page count has to get updated reliably.

Btw1: <strikethrough>I don't see how "Selected records" can be enabled.</strikethrough> The first column should indicate that it may get selected; or multiselection is possible per ctrl/shift (selecting the whole column).

Btw2: Like "Print to PDF" (bug 86668) the Preview does not deal with the fact of fields in the document. On the other hand, if there is no good use case for Print to PDF or Preview without merging the db fields we could disable the functions and make them available in the mail merge dialog as Preview next to Ok, and PDF as part of output = file (exists).

Btw3, "Explorer off" by default makes the dialog easier to understand (you should know what table is being used in this document). And stripping edit functions would also streamline the user experience. Not sure if editing is needed shortly before the document is going to the printer. Rather you put more effort in the filter because after closing the overlay dialog you have no clue about the actual filter parameter.

Btw4: Sorry for the delay. Shouldn't take two years to get an answer.
Comment 9 Timur 2016-09-13 06:56:47 UTC
Personally I use the same documents for mailmerge repeatedly, I just copy the previous to the top, change and print (instead of making a separate new document each time). 
Also, in some other case, I keep notes and preparation stuff in the same document as final mailmerge, so I don't print all. Workaround is to temporary delete that before printing but it's not safe, one may save it.
Comment 10 Timur 2016-09-13 10:13:35 UTC
The reason why I created attachment 115796 [details] instead of attachment 110960 [details] is in Bug 91377.
Comment 11 Heiko Tietze 2016-09-14 13:13:02 UTC
Apparently I was wrong and the proposal makes sense. Did a quick poll with the community https://plus.google.com/107566594492891737454/posts/jW1cXUDEgtt, and while many do not known the feature mail merge more than 50% of the yes/no replies agree with the idea to have more print options.
Comment 12 Xisco Faulí 2020-03-09 13:28:21 UTC Comment hidden (obsolete)
Comment 13 Justin L 2021-09-23 14:09:22 UTC
I would tend to disagree with making mail-merge more complex. It is already very strange. For doing anything other than a "print one copy of the entire document for each selected record", I would put that burden directly on the user to handle manually.

The user can create a single merged document, and then from that normal document print as many copies of the pages that he selects to print.