Creating a posting using a Word template and Excel spreadsheet | Filesplit

  • Updated

Product: Intralinks Filesplit
Applies to: Managers and publishers 

For most Filesplit users, this is the simplest method for distributing documents to investors. You begin by creating the document you want to send as a mail merge document in Microsoft Word. This document should contain mail merge fields for all of the information that is specific to each investor (name, address, balances, and so on). You also must create a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that contains the information that will be merged into the Word document. The spreadsheet must have a separate column for each mail merge field in your Word document.

Note: This method cannot be used if you have already completed your mail merge and have Word documents that contain individual investors’ information. Instead, convert the Word documents to PDF format and follow the steps in Creating a Filesplit posting using a PDF that allows textual search.

When you use this posting method, the following actions occur:

  • A posting is created. You can save this posting and reuse it in the future.
  • (Optional) You can save posting settings for use with other postings.
  • Individual investor documents are created.
  • Documents are uploaded to your exchange, and investors are given permission to view the documents that are meant for them. If folders do not exist already in the locations you have specified, they will be created automatically if you have marked the options to create them.

I want to

  • Use Microsoft Word and Excel to create mail merge documents
  • Share the documents with the appropriate limited partners


Prepare the Microsoft Word and Excel files

If you are unfamiliar with creating mail merge documents, consult the online help for Microsoft Word. The data source for your mail merge template must be a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.

All the mail merge fields in your Word template will be used. If a field has no corresponding entry in the Excel spreadsheet, the field will be blank in the PDF documents that are created and posted.

Before you begin, review the contents of your Excel spreadsheet; you will need to know which row contains the headers for columns, the numbers of the first and last rows that contain the data you want to use, and the worksheet that contains the data.

Also note that the information in the spreadsheet is not validated; if individual entries are incorrect or blank in the spreadsheet, the PDF documents that are created through the mail merge process will reflect these errors.

When creating your Word template, also keep in mind the following recommendations:

  • The total number of characters used for all the labels used for mail-merge fields should be 255 or less. Use only alphanumeric characters in labels and spreadsheet column headings.
  • Merge field labels should not contain spaces.
  • The text in the Word template must be 11 points or larger. Arial is the recommended font.
  • Each page in the Word template should have a blank line at the beginning and at the end of the page.
  • If your Word template includes tables:
    • Use a plain table Do not use table themes.
    • Be sure that the text in the table is aligned so that there is some white space between the table’s borders and the text.
    • If the table includes merge fields, be sure to allow enough room for the text to expand when the mail merge is performed. In particular, be sure there is enough room between the bottom of the table and the bottom of the page to accommodate the expanded text.
  • To avoid errors, include no more than 1,000 posting items (distributed documents) in each posting. If you need to post more than 350 items, create multiple postings.
  • As a best practice, test the mail merge in Microsoft Word before attempting to create a posting in Filesplit.

Important! If your Excel spreadsheet or Microsoft Word file contains a link or a template field to another data source, be sure that the information from the data source can be displayed in the Word or Excel file before you create your posting. If the information cannot be displayed, an error will occur when you attempt to create the posting. (This problem can occur if either the data source or the Word or Excel file was moved after the data was inserted into the Word or Excel file.)

Create your posting

Note: You can save your entries a draft version of the posting at any time by clicking the Save as draft button. The posting will appear in the list of postings on the Intralinks Filesplit screen, and you can double-click it to reopen it and resume making changes.

The Intralinks Filesplit window should be displayed.

  1. From the Actions menu, select Create new Posting. The New Posting dialog box appears.
  2. Name the posting. Be sure that the name clearly describes the group receiving the posting; if you do not complete the posting at this time, the name will help you to identify the correct posting when you are ready to resume posting.
  3. Mark the first posting type option, Use Word template and Excel data.
  4. Click Create. The New posting Wizard appears, and step 1. Load Files is displayed.
  5. Select the Microsoft Word template and the Microsoft Excel spreadsheet that contain information for this posting. When you select the spreadsheet, information about the row containing column headings, first and last rows containing data, and the worksheet containing the data are displayed; review these entries and make any corrections, then click Next. Step 2. Match Fields appears.
  6. Using the Unique identifier field, select the column in your Excel spreadsheet that contains the unique identifiers for your These may be client numbers or names, or some other piece of information that is unique to each investor. Your selection here will be used to identify each investor’s statement inside the resulting PDF file. The entries in this column also may be used to create exchange groups, and can be used in file names.
  7. The mail merge fields in the Word template you selected appear on the left side of the screen, and the columns that appear in the Excel spreadsheet appear on the right. Filesplit attempts to match the fields and columns. Be sure to review these selections; if a a field and column match is incorrect, click on the Excel column name to display a list of all columns, and select the column that correctly matches the field.
  8. When you are satisfied with your selections, click Next. Step 3. Define settings appears.

    The settings on this screen can be used to determine where (and whether) documents will be posted, the names of the documents and the groups receiving access to them, the permissions that will be applied to the documents, and the text that appears in email alerts. You can choose to delay permissioning the documents and sending alerts if you like, allowing you to review the posting on your exchange before making the documents available to investors.

    For an explanation of individual settings, see Filesplit posting settings.

  9. If you previously saved your settings and you want to reuse them, select them from the list at the top of the screen.
  10. Review the selections (if any) on the screen and make any needed changes. When you are satisfied with your selections, click Next. Step 4. Review results appears.
  11. Review the entries on the screen. Entries that appear with a red background have errors that must be corrected before you create your posting. Be sure to review the unique ID that is displayed, as well, to be sure that each document is being distributed to the person who is intended to receive it.

    To correct an entry, double-click it. The Edit Posting Item screen appears. An error icon (Filesplit_red_x.png) appears next to any items that must be corrected. Make your corrections, then click Save to redisplay the wizard. Correct all entries that appear in red.

    If you wish to remove an entry, highlight it and click Delete.

    When you have finished reviewing the entries and making corrections, click Next. Step 5. Confirm results appears, displaying a copy of the first posting document that was created.

  12. Review each document. You can display additional documents by clicking the buttons that appear on the bottom of the screen. Alternatively, you can click the Save Documents button to save a copy of these documents and review them using Adobe Acrobat or another application.

    If changes are needed, click the Back button and make corrections as you did in step 9.

  13. When you are satisfied that all documents are ready for posting, click the Start posting button. (This button does not appear if you did not mark the Upload to Exchange command in Step 3. Define Settings. In this case, be sure to save the documents as described in the previous step.)

    The documents are uploaded to the specified locations on the selected exchange. If you did not choose to delay permissioning in step 10, investors are given permission to view the documents that are meant for them. If folders do not exist already in the locations you have specified, they may be created automatically, depending upon the settings you selected in step 10.

    A progress indicator appears showing the progress of the upload. When the upload is complete, a message appears to alert you. Click the View Logs button in the message to view detailed information about the posting, including any errors that may have occurred.

    Note: If the exchange was frozen (set to prevent any changes from being made to it), a message will appear asking whether you wish to unfreeze it to allow the posting to be completed. When posting is complete, the exchange will be frozen again to prevent further changes.


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