Populate PDF forms with data from spreadsheets and databases. Perform PDF mail merge using data from Microsoft Excel or Access software.
AutoMailMerge™ Plug-in for Adobe® Acrobat®
What is AutoMailMerge™?
AutoMailMerge™ is a plug-in for Adobe® Acrobat® software for performing PDF mail merge - filling PDF forms with data. Mail merge is a computer term describing the production of multiple documents from a single template form and a data file. This technique is used to create personalized letters, documents, bills and pre-addressed envelopes or mailing labels for mass mailings (or document creation) from a database of names and addresses. Using mail merge, all you have to do is create one PDF form that contains the information that is the same in each version. Then add some fillable form fields for the information that is unique to each copy of the document. The plug-in uses a PDF form as a template and takes input from a variety of data sources to populate form fields and generate output PDF documents.
Where do I start?
Start with downloading and reading one of the visual step-by-step guides that provide a good starting point:
"How to Perform a Mail Merge" - a visual step-by-step introduction to the mail merge (PDF).
"Printing Multiple Labels per Page" - a visual guide (PDF) to creating business cards, labels or personalized postcards.
Use Cases
Use this plug-in to create and send personalized PDF documents such as statements, invoices, letters, labels, coupons, bills, W-2 forms and etc. Start from a PDF form template and use data from a spreadsheet or database to populate it and produce multiple individual documents. Use mail merge to create a set of documents that are essentially the same but where each document contains some unique personalized text. Creating each letter, message, bill, statement, fax, label, envelope, or coupon individually would take hours.
How it Works?
AutoMailMerge™ provides a complete solution for mass creation of PDF documents from variety of data sources. Output PDF documents can be optionally secured with individual passwords and e-mailed to the recipients. The plug-in supports a variety of different data sources such as ODBC-compliant databases (Microsoft Access, Microsoft Excel, dBase, Paradox, MS SQL Server, Oracle and almost any existing commercial and open-source database comes with ODBC driver), Excel spreadsheets, XML documents, comma and tab-delimited ASCII text files. The software reads data records (in case of text files - text lines) and fills forms fields of the template PDF form. New PDF file is spawned for each input data record to create a personalized PDF document. Any PDF document that has fillable form fields can be used as a mail merge template. Output PDF documents are saved into an output folder and optionally emailed to the recipients using email addresses retrieved from each data record.
Software Overview and Related Links
Features Summary
  • Create multiple PDF documents from a single PDF form 
  • Create a single compound PDF document 
  • Use MS Excel, MS Access, ODBC, CSV, Tab-delimited text files and more
  • Advanced data selection capabilities
  • Optionally make output PDF forms non-editable
  • Add custom watermarks
  • Name output files using text from data records
  • Optionally print output documents
  • Optionally email output documents
  • Secure output PDF files with passwords
  • Advanced customization with Acrobat JavaScript
  • Save and load processing settings into configuration files or PDF form itself
  • Supports Adobe Acrobat batch processing (Action Wizard)
Features Description
Create Multiple PDF Documents
Create multiple PDF documents by filling a single PDF form with data from variety of data sources such as comma and tab-delimited ASCII text files, XML documents, MS Access database, spreadsheets and any ODBC-compliant database such as MS SQL Server or Oracle. The software allows you to define correspondence between data source fields and PDF form fields.
Create Single Output PDF Document
The plug-in provides an option to generate a single compound document that will contain all filled PDF forms. The compound document can be created in addition or in place of separate PDF documents per single data record. 
Data Selection
Select all or just a few individual data records to run a mail merge operation on. Select multiple records by text search or by record numbers. Advanced users may use SQL selection capabilities to select a desired subset of records out of a large database or table. The plug-in provides a simple SQL expression builder and easy-to-use interface for creating and maintaining a library of frequently used queries.
Fill PDF Forms
Fill PDF form fields with data from a single or multiple data fields. Data from multiple data source fields can be combine with custom static text to fill a single PDF form field. This functionality provides an important flexibility when filling existing PDF forms that cannot be modified to accommodate a particular data source structure. Most PDF form fields can be populated: checkboxes, radio-buttons, text fields, combo and list boxes and etc.
Inspect Form Fields
Sometimes, it is necessary to quickly inspect field names and properties without a lot of mouse-clicking and dialog opening. If a PDF form has security restrictions, then you may have trouble figuring out field names since Acrobat’s “Select Object” tool is not going to work with it. This is why the plug-in features an extremely easy-to-use “Inspect Form Fields” tool that displays basic properties of the form field just by hovering a mouse pointer over it.
Secure Output Documents
You can limit access to output PDF files by setting passwords ("Open file" and "Permissions" passwords) and by restricting certain features, such as printing and editing. The plug-in provides a unique ability to use either the same password for all output documents or assign an individual password for every output file. Passwords for each document can be read from a corresponding data record.
Custom File Naming
Create human readable and highly customized file names for output files by combining multiple field values with a static text. This functionality allows creation of file names such as "Account - 34565672.pdf" or "John A Doe.pdf".
Flatten Form Fields
Optionally flatten form fields in output PDF files to reduce file size and make document content permanent.
The plug-in adds a special menu for flattening form fields on one or more pages in the currently opened document. Use this functionality to make information on a PDF form permanent.
Make Form Fields Read-Only
The plug-in provides an option to make all form fields in output documents read-only. Users will not be able to directly modify field values or click on any buttons. Text fields will appear as regular text without any borders or input areas. This operation is different from form flattening (although similar in visual appearance), because it preserves form fields in the PDF documents.
Making Only Selected Fields Read-Only
The plug-in provides a simple way to make certain form fields read-only in output documents. Simply select fields from the list and the software will do the rest. The plug-in is also able to fill-in read-only fields with data while maintaing their read-only status in output files.
Hide Empty Fields
The plug-in provides an option to hide all empty text fields in output documents. If this option is turned on, then all text fields that do not have any characters will be invisible to the user.
Export Data to FDF Files
Optionally save a copy of the form data in FDF (Acrobat Forms Data Format) files. FDF is a text file format used for data exported from PDF form fields; it is smaller than a PDF file, because it only contains form field data, not the entire form.
Print Output Files
Automatically print each output document to a default printer.
Add Custom Watermarks
The plug-in provides options for adding dynamic watermarks to each output document. Text from a data source can be combined with a fixed text to create custom watermarks. Use this functionality to uniquely label each output document.
Creating and Printing Multiple Labels / Business Cards Per Sheet
It is simple to use the plug-in to prepare and print multiple mailing labels or business cards. Click here to download a detailed step-by-step guide (PDF format, 125KB).
E-mail Output Documents
The plug-in allows e-mailing of output PDF documents to recipients using e-mail addresses stored in the data records. Email message text can be customized using data field values. PDF files are sent as attachments. The software offers two different ways of sending e-mails: using your existing MAPI-enabled email application (such as Microsoft Outlook) or via Internet mail server (SMTP). 
Attach Different Files To Each Email Recipient
The plug-in provides the ability to attach one or more extra files (of any type) to each outgoing email based on content of a data source field. Data source field should contain one or more full paths to the attachments.
Use Gmail To Send Documents
You can configure the plug-in to use the free SMTP server provided by Gmail to send out documents.
Supported Data Sources
The software provides support for the following data source types:
• Tab-delimited ASCII text file (*.txt)
• Comma-separated ASCII text file (*.csv)
• Microsoft Access Database (*.mdb)
• Microsoft Access 2007/2010 Database (*.accdb)
• Microsoft Excel Worksheet (*.xls)
• Microsoft Excel 2007/2010 Worksheet (*.xlsx, *.xlsb, *.xlsm)
• dBase 5 Table (*.dbf)
• Paradox Table (*.db)
• XML Document (*.xml)
• ODBC Data Source File (*.dsn)
• Any ODBC Data Source (via ODBC drivers)  
Download a latest set of drivers that support Microsoft Office files (Access, Excel) from Microsoft Download Center:
Drivers for Microsoft Office 2007
Drivers for Microsoft Office 2010
Advanced Customization with Scripting
The plug-in provides the ability to execute a custom Acrobat JavaScript code before and after generation of each PDF document (for extra customization). Use this option to change or merge content of the form fields or to create new composite fields. Another typical use of this feature is to make certain form fields "read-only".
Save Settings
Save and load mail merge settings to/from settings file for reuse. It is also possible to embedd mail merge settings right into PDF form itself.
Processing Log
The plug-in maintains a detailed log that records all details about what forms have been filled with what data, records date and time when and where emails have been sent. This is a great tool for electronic record keeping of all your mail merge activities.
Batch Processing Support
Users of Adobe® Acrobat Professional® can use batch processing framework to automate mail merging operation. The plug-in adds "Mail Merge" command to the Acrobat's batch processing (Action Wizard).
Export Form Field Properties
The plug-in provides menu selection for exporting detailed form field properties into spreadsheet-ready format (either Excel XML format or plain text CSV). The output spreadsheet lists every field in the PDF form along with the following information: field name and type, value, default value, tooltip text, read-only status, required status, locked status, button type, maximum allowed text length.
Supported Form Types
The current version of the plug-in supports static PDF forms created using either "Tools > Forms" menu or using Adobe® LiveCycle® Designer. Dynamic XML forms (introduced in Acrobat 7) are not currently supported. The plug-in provides advanced scripting capabilities that allow hiding or modifying form content and therefore offering a functionality that is similar to dynamic forms. Support for dynamic XML forms will be added in future versions of the software.
Installing Software
Download a free trial version of the plug-in to your computer. Double-click on an installation file and follow the on-screen instructions. Select "File > Open..." to open a PDF form that you want to use as a template for a mail merge. Select "Plug-ins > Mail Merge..." menu to access AutoMailMerge™ plug-in functionality.
Trial Version Limitations
30-days Trial
The trial version is a fully-featured software that is limited to 30 days and adds "DEMO" watermarks to output documents.
Using Reader-enabled PDF forms
If you are using a PDF form that has enabled extended features in Adobe Reader, then trial output documents will not preserve this functionality. This is due to the fact that the trial version adds "DEMO" watermarks to output documents and invalidates extended functionality. Use full version of the software to fill this kind of PDF forms.
System Requirements
Platforms:
 Microsoft® Windows Vista/XP/2003/Windows 7/Windows 8.
Software:
Adobe Acrobat XI, Adobe Acrobat X, Adobe Acrobat 9: Standard, Pro, or Pro Extended.
Adobe Acrobat Professional 6,7,8.
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