Chapter 21

USING LETTER MAKER

Letter Maker provides a quick and efficient way to write business letters. The Letter Maker system uses a series of WordPerfect macros to automatically select, format, and write business correspondence. Average time to write a complete letter with Letter Writer is less than one minute. Compare this to the five to seven minutes required to manually write a letter.

Editor's note: The following text describes the original distribution of the Applications Disk and Letter Maker disk.  For the on-line version you are now reading, the disk files are provided in two archives: DISK1.ZIP and DISK2.ZIP.  DISK2.DISK2.ZIP contains the Letter Maker files.  You must first expand these archive files -- to your hard disk or a formatted floppy disk -- before you can proceed with the instructions below.

ABOUT LETTER MAKER

The Letter Maker system comes with an initial collection of 88 form letters. You are free to edit these letters as you like, or add more. There is no limit to the number of form letters you can create and use with Letter Maker.

Letter Maker is fully menu driven. Once you start Letter Maker, it prompts you for all the information it needs to complete each letter. You can activate Letter Maker and write just one letter, or you can write a series of letters, each one completely different from the last.

The letters you write with Letter Maker are compatible with all of WordPerfect's features and commands, including merge printing, spell checking, and math.

Before using the Letter Maker system, use DOS to make a backup copy and store the original in a safe place.

 

INSTALLING LETTER MAKER

You can use Letter Maker from your hard disk or from a floppy disk.


Installing Letter Maker on a Hard Disk

When used with a hard disk, the Letter Maker files should be placed in a subdirectory under the main WordPerfect 5.1 directory. A good name for the Letter Maker subdirectory is LETMAKE.

To create the subdirectory, return to DOS and move to the WordPerfect 5.1 directory (for example, type CD \WP51). Then, type

MKDIR LETMAKE

and press [Enter]. Next, move to the newly created LETMAKE directory by typing

CD LETMAKE

Finally, copy all the files from the distribution disk to the LETMAKE directory. To do this, place the distribution diskette in drive A: or B:, and type

COPY A:*.*  

(substitute B: when using drive B:).

Note that although running Letter Maker from a hard disk offers convenience, many hard disk systems set aside a minimum of 4-8K of disk space for each file, regardless of the actual size of the file. Though Letter Maker does not completely fill a 360K data diskette, its files can consume over 800K of hard disk space. If you don't have this much space to spare, run Letter Maker from a floppy disk instead.

If you have indicated a directory for storing style files (using the Location of Files option under the Setup key), you should place a copy of the LM.STY file there. If the LM.STY file can't be found in the current style directory, Letter Maker may prompt you to manually enter the full path of the directory that contains the file.


Installing Letter Maker on a Floppy Disk

When using Letter Maker from a floppy disk, be sure to use a copy of the distribution diskette, not the original. Store the original in a safe place, and put the copy in drive A: or B:

If you have indicated a drive and/or directory for style files, using the Location of Files option (under the Setup key), you should copy the LM.STY file to that disk or directory. Otherwise, Letter Maker may prompt you for the location, and you'll have to enter it manually.

 

STARTING LETTER MAKER

Letter Maker needs all of the files on the distribution diskette to work properly. The instructions that follow assume you have installed the Letter Maker files as recommended above.

Start Letter Maker with these three steps:

  1. Press [Alt]-[F10].
  2. Type LM. If the Letter Maker files are not in the current macros directory, provide a full path, as necessary. Example: \WP51\LETMAKE\LM.
  3. Press [Enter].

Follow the prompts and menus provided by Letter Maker, as detailed below.

NOTE: If Letter Maker can't find the LM.STY letter format style file, you are given a second chance to indicate the disk and/or directory path where it resides. Letter Maker will stop if it can't find a macro file it needs to complete your letter.

 

USING LETTER MAKER

Letter maker provides prompts as an aid in navigating you through the process of writing a letter. These are the steps you'll repeat for each letter.

  1. Provide a disk and/or directory path that contains the Letter Maker files. If the files are in the current macros directory (as set by the Location of Files option under the Setup key), press [Enter].
  2. Enter a complimentary close: Press 1-9 to choose the complimentary close for the letter. Alternatively, press 0 and write your own complimentary close.
  3. Write the signature block. Type your name, title, and other information for the signature block. Enter as many lines as you want, but no more than 128 characters total. Press the Exit key ([F7]) when you are finished. You can also use the LM_SEND macro to quickly enter the signature block. This is particularly handy if you prepare letters for others. See the section below, "Quick Name and Address Entry," on using LM_SEND.
  4. Select the letter format. Press 1, 2, or 3 to select the desired format. Alternatively, you can indicate a custom style. This style must be created beforehand, and stored in the LM.STY file, as detailed in the next section.
  5. Select a letter list to use, A through F.
  6. Choose a letter to write. Enter the number for the letter you want, and press [Enter]. Or: press N to display the next menu list (press P to display the previous menu list). Or: activate a custom macro letter by pressing S, then entering the name of the macro file.
  7. Enter the inside name and address. Type the name and address of the person you are sending the letter to. The name and address can be any length, and can have as many lines as you want. Press [F7] when you are finished. You can also use the LM_REC macro to quickly enter the inside address. This is particularly handy if you frequently write letters to the same people. See the section below, "Quick Name and Address Entry," on using LM_REC.
  8. Indicate if you want the inside name and address to be stored in the LM.LAB label file. After writing one or more letters, the date in this file can be used to print labels or envelopes.
  9. At the RE: prompt, enter the subject of the letter, or press the [Enter] key to skip to the next step.
  10. Enter the salutation. Type the name or title of the person you're sending the letter do, with comma or colon. Press [Enter] when done.
  11. Fill in variable letter data. Each form letter asks for different variable information. Fill in the blanks as prompted.
  12. Enter Yes or No if you wish to enter the typists initials. If you answer Y, type the initials, and press [Enter] to go on.
  13. At the closing menu, choose option 1-6 to write the same letter to a different person, write a different letter, or quit, or to add additional information to the letter. This additional information is enclosure or "cc" comments, or extra text (such as a post script) at the end of the letter.

 

CHANGING THE LETTER FORMAT

Letter Maker uses a style file, LM.STY, to store three business letter formats: blocked, semi-block, and full-block. The style definitions can be edited. The initial letter formats are:

Definition    	Letter 	    Type Function 
B_body   	Block  	    Body format, blocked (no tab) 
B_date   	Block  	    Date format, blocked (no indent) 
FB_body  	Full-block  Body format, full-block (no tab) 
FB_date  	Full-block  Date format, full-block (indent) 
SB_body  	Semi-block  Body format, semi-block (tab) 
SB_date  	Semi-block  Date format, semi-block (indent) 
start    	All         Basic format for letter (1.25"  L/R
			    Margins line spacing:1, no page 
			    Numbering, center page)

To edit LM.STY: Copy the original LM.STY for safekeeping. If you have indicated a default Style Library (with the Location of Files menu under the Setup key), temporarily delete the entry and open a new WordPerfect document. From within the Style menu, retrieve the LM.STY document (this document contains only style definitions). Once the style definitions have been retrieved, they can be individually edited, as described in the WordPerfect manual. After editing is complete, save the changes.

You can also add your own custom letter format, and use it instead of the three basic formats Letter Maker provides. To add a custom letter format, retrieve the LM.STY as usual, then create a new style definition in the Style editor window. You'll need to create two definition: one for the date and closing of the letter, and one for the body of the letter. Use the following naming convention:

Date/closing format: name_date
Body format: name_body

Substitute name with the unique name of your style.

 

EDITING A FORM LETTER

Form letters are self-contained macros. Form letter macros are named LMLET###.WPM, where the ### suffix identifies a specific macro. The suffix consists of an alphabetic character, such as A, B, or C, and a one or two digit number. The letter corresponds with the menu used to select the desired macro (menu A, B, C etc.), and the number corresponds with the number of the letter as displayed in the menu. Example: the macro LMLETC11.WPM is number 11 in menu list C, "Letters of employment and Application."

You can use the built-in macro editor of WordPerfect to edit Letter Maker letters. Press [Ctrl]-[F10], and type the name of the letter macro you want (indicate a drive and/or directory, if necessary; you don't have to include the .WPM file extension), and press [Enter]. Press E to edit the macro.

Use the cursor keys to move around the macro editing window. Enter new text by typing it directly from the keyboard; remove unwanted text with the [Backspace] and [Delete] keys.

 

WRITING YOUR OWN FORM LETTERS

You can create your own form letters for use with Letter Maker. First, create a form letter macro using either or these methods:

. Start a new macro, and type the text for the letter. Enter pauses (to wait for user input when the macro is played back) by pressing [Ctrl]-[Page Up], then P, during macro definition.

. Open a new macro and enter the text directly into the macro editor window. Enter text for the letter by typing it into the window. Remove unwanted text by pressing the [Backspace] and [Delete] keys. Enter pauses by pressing [Ctrl]-[Page Up], scrolling through the list of macro commands until you find {PAUSE}, and pressing [Enter].

 

RUNNING A CUSTOM FORM LETTER

To run a form letter you have created:

  1. Start Letter Maker in the usual way and proceed to the first list of letters (List A).
  2. Press S (for Special), and enter the name of your macro (include a directory and/or drive, if necessary).

Your macro letter will now run. Unless you include contradictory formatting instructions in the macro, the letter will be formatted according to the styles defined in the LM.STY style file.

ZIPNote: You can enter a custom macro with the S option at any Letter Maker menu list.

 

USING MEMO MAKER

Memo Maker is a modified version of the Letter Maker macro. Instead of formatting the letters as letters, Memo Maker formats them as standard inter-office memos.

To start Memo Maker:

  1. Press [Alt]-[F10].
  2. Type MM. If the Letter Maker files are not in the current macros directory, provide a full path, as necessary. Example: \WP51\LETMAKE\MM.
  3. Press [Enter].

Memo Maker memos do not use the styles defined in the LM.STY file. The only formatting instruction for memos is single spacing. This instruction is contained in the LMHEAD.WPM macro. You can include additional formatting instructions for memos, if desired, at the specified point (following the "memo" label) in the LMHEAD.WPM macro. Memo Maker automatically adds the standard memo headings: Date, Subject, To, and From (the current date, as set in DOS, is automatically inserted into the memo document). Edit LMHEAD.WPM, as required, to change these headings.

As with Letter Maker, Menu Maker provides prompts as an aid in navigating you through the process of writing a memo. These are the steps you'll repeat for each memo.

  1. Provide a disk and/or directory path that contains the Letter Maker files. If the files are in the current macros directory (as set by the Location of Files option under the Setup key), press [Enter].
  2. Enter your name or the name that will appear after the From: slug of the memo.
  3. Select a letter list to use, A through F.
  4. Choose a letter to write. Enter the number for the letter you want, and press [Enter]. Or: press N to display the next menu list (press P to display the previous menu list). Or: activate a custom macro letter by pressing S, then entering the name of the macro file.
  5. Enter the name you're sending the memo to.
  6. Enter the subject of the memo.
  7. Fill in variable memo data. Each form letter asks for different variable information. Fill in the blanks as prompted.
  8. At the closing menu, choose option 1-4 to write the same memo to a different person, write a different memo, or quit.

 

QUICK NAME AND ADDRESS ENTRY

The LM_SEND.WPM and LM_REC.WPM macros can be used in Letter Maker to automatically insert signature blocks, and inside names and addresses, respectively. Both macro files come with two "dummy" name entries; edit these entries, and add others as desired, to fit your needs. You'll need to modify the {TEXT} menu prompt and add a separate {LABEL} for each name you include. The sample entries in the LM_SEND and LM_REC files show the proper format.

To use LM_SEND in Letter Maker, follow these steps when you are prompted to type the signature block:

  1. Press [Alt]-[F10], and type LM_SEND (include a disk and directory path, if the Letter Maker files aren't in the current macro directory).
  2. Press [Enter].
  3. Select the name/signature block you want to use from the menu list that appears.
  4. Press [Enter].
  5. Accept the signature block by press the Exit ([F7]) key. You can also edit the signature block manually before going on.

Follow the same basic steps when inserting an inside name and address, except use the LM_REC macro instead.

 

ON-LINE HELP

The LMHELP.WPM macro provides instant on-line help for using Letter Maker. The help text is essentially the same as the text in this chapter; the LMHELP.WPM macros lets you review installing Letter Maker without referring this book.

To use LMHELP.WPM, activate it as you would any macro.

The LMHELP.WPM macro should not be used concurrently with Letter Maker.

 

QUICK LETTER LIST

The LMLIST.WPM macro provides a menu list of the 88 pre-written form letters. Before using Letter Maker you can start the LMLIST.WPM and review the letter options available to you.

The LMLIST.WPM macro should not be used concurrently with Letter Maker.

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Top Contents

WordPerfect 5.1 Macros and Templates
Electronic Edition
Copyright 1990, 1997, Gordon McComb.  All Rights Reserved.
First published by Bantam Electronic Publishing, 1990.
http://www.gmccomb.com/