Wulf's Webden

The Webden on WordPress

Gmail MailMerge

One of the things that using a Google set up for office type tasks seems to be missing is the ability to send a mail merge. I can see why, too. You can use a “group” (distribution list) to send to multiple recipients without revealing all their identities but there isn’t an option to add a personalised salutation or other information inside the message.

However, it turns out that this ability is lurking not too far below the surface. Jane has a news letter she needs to send out to a small group of people connected with a church project she is working on and wants to send a short message to them. It is such a small group that she is doing this by hand but I have discovered that, next time, I may be able to assist.

The secret is that Google Documents now allow scripts to be added. Writing such scripts isn’t an entirely trivial project but I’ve spent more than a decade writing scripts in PHP, Python, Javascript and other languages so it isn’t new to me. With the documentation even giving a worked example, I now have an outline in place that just needs customising with a few details before being pressed into use.

I promise not to spam the world but it will be a useful tool.

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