Monday, May 24, 2021

Mail Merge with Autocrat

I used to use Microsoft Office’s Mail Merge a lot. Office Mail Merge works in a Word Document and lets you transfer Excel data into it. When we began using Google tools I had to use an Add-on to do this, but now it works from Google a Sheet and sends that data to a Google Document (it also works with Google Slides!!!). It sounds more complicated than it actually is, Below are the steps to create Mail Merges. 

Create a Document Template:

  1. This is the Document that all your data will be put into. When you are typing up the Document and get to a place where you want the data to be imported, put “<<” before the data label and “>>” after it. 

    1. Example: <<Name>> will import what is listed in my Spreadsheet under the “Name” header.

  1. Any and all formatting you do in the document will carry through even after the import. For example, you can see in the image above that I bolded and made the Data larger. When the data comes over it will keep that bold and size. 

Tip: I always save this in a folder in my Drive with the data Spreadsheet for ease of use.

Create a Spreadsheet with Data:

  1. Create a Google Spreadsheet. 

  2. Enter in headers at the top that tell you what the data is (this MUST MATCH EXACTLY what is in the Document). 

Setting up Autocrat:

  1. When you have all your data done you will need to install the Google Sheets Add-on called Autocrat (this only has to be done once in your account). 

    • Click “Add-ons” at the top of your Sheet 

    • Click “Get Add-ons”. Search for Autocrat.

    • Install.

  1. Get back to your Spreadsheet and click “Add-ons” at the top, click “Autocrat”, then click “Launch”. You will need to allow permissions the first time you run this. Go ahead and allow it. You may need to re-launch Autocrat.

  1. Click “New job”.

  1. Name the Merge. This can be any name you want and is not tied to anything but running the import. Click “Next”.

  1. Choose the template you are sending the Spreadsheet data. This is the Document (or Slide) you just created. Click “From Drive” and locate the Document you created with the << >> tags in it and select it. Click “Next”.

  1. Choose the Sheet number (tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet), and what row is Header and what row the data begins (usually Sheet 1, Header is Row 1, and data is row 2). Make sure the Data labels all match up (they usually do). Click “Next”.

  1. Choose how you want the merge to be merged and then click “Next”.

    • File Name: You need to name the saved file. 

      • Multiple Output: If you are doing Multiple Output, you will need to include the student name by adding “<<Name>>” in the title. You can look at possible merge fields by clicking the blue arrow to the left.

  • Single Output: If you are doing Single Output you can just name what you want the single document called.

  • Type: You can choose the merge to be a PDF or a Google Document.

  • Output as:

    • Multiple Output: Every row in your sheet (usually a name) gets its OWN Document created. That means there will be MULTIPLE Documents created so you can do individual sharing/printing.

      • I use this when I want to share a merged document with individual people so they can see just their data.

    • Single Output: All the merges will be put into a SINGLE document for easy printing.

      • I use this when I want to print every merge file and then hand it out or keep it for myself. If I do this I always include the page break so each document is on its own page.

  1. Choose where you want the merged file (or files) to go. I always choose the same folder the Spreadsheet and Template Document are in. Click "Save”. There are more options (like my favorite like email a copy when a form is submitted), but they are beyond this basic how-to. 

Running Autocrat:

You have done all the work to set up your merge. Now it is time to run it (the easy part)! 

  1. If you left the Autocrat screen you will need to go back into your Spreadsheet, click “Add-ons”, “Autocrat”, and click “Launch”. Otherwise, all you need to do is click the “Play” button.

  1. It will run and show you its progress as it goes.

  1. When it is done click “X” and go back into your Spreadsheet.

  1. You will see a link to the Document(s) (and they will be in the folder you saved them to). You can click the link in the spreadsheet and the Document will open.

Final Merge (I did Single Output):


If you want to run the merge again, you MUST delete the old files from your Drive folder (the previously run documents) and delete the text from the columns in the Spreadsheet that Autocrat put in. Otherwise, previously run files will not run.

Here is a Video Walk-Through as well.

If you want these directions in a Document click HERE!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Google Document Page Orientation

Google Documents now has the ability to have multiple page orientations in the same document. You can now have some pages set to portrait while others are set to landscape, all within the same document. Check out the steps below to see how to do this.

Set Full Document Page Orientation:

  1. Open your Document.

  2. Click on “Page setup”.

  1. Choose “Whole Document” in the top box.

  1. Choose the layout you want (Portrait or Landscape).

  1. Click “Ok”.

Set Different Page Orientations:

  1. Open your Document.

  2. Select the section (text) that you want to change the layout.

  1. Click on “Page setup”.

  1. Choose “Selected content” in the top box.

  1. Choose the layout you want (Portrait or Landscape).

  1. Click “Ok”.

You can switch back and forth between layouts as often as you want in the same document!


If you want these directions in a Document click HERE!

Thursday, May 6, 2021

Multiple Gmail Signatures

Email is still the most widely used tool for communication. I use it all day long for both in-district and out-of-district communication. When I communicate with others in my district, I want them to see a signature that reflects what I want them to see (links to my blog, Twitter account, and a “Book Me” link. When I communicate with educators outside my district, I don’t want them to have access to my “Book Me” link. In the past, I had to delete this portion of my signature. Gmail allows you to have multiple signatures saved. Before sending an email I can select the correct one for the recipient. Set up multiple signatures in your account (one for staff, one for students, and one for parents) to make your signature specific to your audience! If you are looking at how to make a Creative Signature click HERE.

Set Up Multiple Signatures:

  1. Open Gmail.

  2. Click on the gear in the top right and choose “See all settings”.

  1. Under the “General” tab scroll down to “Signature” and click “+ Create new”.

  1. Name this signature (something you remember and tied to its purpose). Click the “Create” button to save this on your list.

  1. You will see this newly created name on the left side. Click on it and you can now create this signature to the right. If you are looking at how to make a Creative Signature click HERE.

  1. Make sure to click “Save changes” at the bottom of the screen to save.

Insert Correct Signature:

  1. After composing your email you can easily switch and use any created signature. Click the “Signature” icon and choose the one you want from the list. This is why naming them for easy identification is important.

Start creating Multiple Signatures today!

If you want these directions in a Document click HERE!