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I use the term database loosely here -- it can be an actual database, or a spreadsheet (in any format including CSV) or can be package-dependent.

Is there a way to create mail-merged documents similar to what can be done in word processing packages? I found the mailmerge package which sort of works but it puts all the mail-merged data into one document.

Is there a package or way to generate new, individual documents for each part of the database? In other words, if I have a firstName value in whatever storage system, can I get LaTeX to generate a file called <firstName>.dvi for each of the names in the database? Or do I need to resort to a scripting language driver to pull that off?

EDIT

So to further explain what I am trying to do (and will now set it up based on the answer to Change document class per page ) :

I'm trying to create a "welcome to the company" sort of document that has a cover page, table of contents, welcome letter, then various sections of information. I've never tried this in anything other than a word processor where it's easy to set "master pages" or "template pages" for individual pages in the document. So I could use a letterhead template page for the welcome letter part and a standard article-type template for the rest and still have the letter numbered/referenced in the ToC.

If I use the approach on the answer there, how can I tell \pdfpages which page to include? Ultimately I would like to have many files like Bob.pdf, Sue.pdf, John.pdf etc. where each file is the same document with a custom letter embedded within.

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The datatool package can be used to process a CSV file, and then you can extract the appropriate pages from the PDF file. –  Peter Grill Jan 8 '13 at 0:40
    
See if this answers your question: Example of mailmerge package with an Excel spreadsheet. If it does, we can close your question as a duplicate. –  Alan Munn Jan 8 '13 at 0:42
    
@AlanMunn I updated the question based on your answer to the other question. The issue isn't so much getting the data from a file/database into the document but how to create many versions of the same document with only one page "mail-merged." –  tpg2114 Jan 8 '13 at 1:01
    
So you want to have e.g. a master file welcome.tex which includes Bob-letter.pdf and then outputs welcome-bob.pdf, etc. for each person? You don't want 1 document which includes separate letters for Bob, Sue, etc. I would be inclined to script that part. –  Alan Munn Jan 8 '13 at 1:07
    
@AlanMunn Yes, sort of. But based on your suggestion on how to create the letters, I won't have Bob-letter.pdf, I'll just have letters.pdf which has Bob's letter on some page. So the welcome.tex used to create welcome-bob.pdf would need to know the same database as letters.pdf in order to know which order the pages are in. If that makes sense... –  tpg2114 Jan 8 '13 at 1:10

2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

You can build your TeX database, based on your needs simply by creating a list to hold the list of persons you sending your mailing. We will create a list with fields as shown in the table below, will also keep it sorted to make life easier.

enter image description here

This is done by creating first an empty list \let\alist\@empty

The format of the input file, is best to be in TeX format, to make the programming easier and to enable the use of a comma in the addresses. I have used the following format for capturing the fields, but please feel free to use your own:

\RB Nisbet|John|Mr.| 235, Highlands, Scotland | United Kingdom;
\RB Guevara|Che|Dr.| 527 Main Street, Havana | Cuba;
\RB Zapata|Emiliano|Mr.| 5237, Mexico City | Mexico;
\RB von Kleist-Schmenzin|Herr| Ewald| Greens, Dubberow| Germany;

Names are delimited by "|" and an ending semicolon. The standard part of the letter is on a separate file called stdletter.dat. I have generated it on the fly using the filecontents package. The MWE example is shown below.

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage{lstdoc,booktabs,filecontents}
\begin{filecontents}{stdletter.dat}
We are happy to enclose our new catalogue.
\vspace{20pt}

Regards,
\vspace{20pt}

Some CEO
\end{filecontents}
\begin{document}
\pagestyle{plain}
\makeatletter
\let\alist\@empty
\let\blist\@empty

\def\addtolist#1#2{%
  \lst@lAddTo#1{#2}
}

\def\addtolist#1#2{%
  \lst@lAddTo#1{#2}
}


\def\RB#1|#2|#3|#4|#5;{%
   \addtolist{\alist}{#1#2,}% 
   % macro for table
   \expandafter\gdef\csname#1#2@table\endcsname{\textit{#1}&#2&#3&#4\cr\relax}
   % macro for salutation
   \expandafter\gdef\csname#1#2@salut\endcsname{Dear #3 #2\relax}
   \lst@BubbleSort{\alist}
}

%% adding the data now
\RB Nisbet|John|Mr.| 235, Highlands, Scotland | United Kingdom;
\RB Guevara|Che|Dr.| 527 Main Street, Havana | Cuba;
\RB Zapata|Emiliano|Mr.| 5237, Mexico City | Mexico;
\RB von Kleist-Schmenzin|Herr| Ewald| Greens, Dubberow| Germany;

%% typesetting the table
\def\addresslist{%
\newsavebox{\tempbox}
\savebox{\tempbox}{
\centering
\begin{tabular}{llll}
  \toprule[1pt]
  First Name & Second Name & Salutation & Address\\
  \midrule
  \@for\i:=\alist \do{\csname\i @table\endcsname}
  \vspace{-14pt}\\\bottomrule
\end{tabular}}

\begin{table}
\usebox{\tempbox}
\caption{Client List}
\end{table}
}


\addresslist

\mbox{}\newpage

\@for\i:=\alist \do{\csname\i\endcsname
\csname\i \endcsname
\expandafter\csname \i @salut\endcsname
\par\medskip
\input{stdletter.dat}

\pagebreak
}

\makeatletter

\end{document}

The "article" part can be created the same way or preferably printed separately and resetting page numbering (much easier).

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A simple solution is the textmerg package to obtain a single pdf, but that you can split with some external tool as pdfsam or pdftk. A MWE:

\documentclass{article}
\usepackage[utf8]{inputenc} 
\usepackage{eurosym}
\usepackage{textmerg} 
\begin{document}

\Fields{\Mr\Name\SurName\Address\Donation} 


\Merge{data.dat}{
\hspace{.25\textwidth}
\begin{tabular}{rl}
Address & {\bf \Mr\ \Name\  \SurName }\\
        & {\bf \Address }\\
        & \\
Subject & \Donation{} donation \\
\end{tabular}
\vspace{2 cm} 
Dear \Mr \Name,  bla bla bla .... 

\newpage    
}
\end{document}

Where the merged file data.dat is a plain text where the field separators are the carriage returns as in this example:

Mr.
Peter
Smith
Newtown Road, Los Angeles, USA
209 \$


Ms. 
Maria 
Rossi
Regina Elena, 113, Milano, Italy
145 \euro
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