VSys One: Volunteer Management Software

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Letter Template Editor (RTF)

Letter template editor screen

Click on any template in the Letter template editor and you have what looks and works just like a standard word processor. Most of the formatting, editing, and table controls (buttons) should look familiar such as drop-down menus for font and size, bold/italic/underline and text alignment. There are a few special controls:

Insert hyperlnk button

Inserts a hyperlink (web link).

Insert table button

Inserts a table.

Insert row button

Inserts a new row into an existing table.

Delete row button

Deletes the current row from a table.

Insert column button

Inserts a new column into an existing table.

Delete column button

Deletes the current column from a table.

Turns off borders on the selected cells in the table.

Turns on all borders on the selected cells in the table.

Turns on just the left borders on the selected cells in the table.

Turns on just the right borders on the selected cells in the table.

Turns on just the top borders on the selected cells in the table.

Turns on just the bottom borders on the selected cells in the table.

Page properties definition button

Defines the page properties - paper type, margins, header, and orientation.

Paragraph properties definition button

Defines paragraph properties - alignment, outline levels, indents and spacing.

Show/hide special characters button

Shows/hides "special" and editing characters.


Template properties

Brings up the Letter template properties dialog, which lets you name the letter, define its type, and set other values.


Lets you include data fields, Sub-letters and images into the document.

Edit sub-letters

Defines Sub-letters for this template.


Clicking this will allow you to select a person to see what a sample letter would look like merged.

Define e-mail attachments

Use this to define the attachment files available in letter templates which will be sent with these e-mails.

Merge fields and sub-letters

In the previous example you'll see two odd looking bits of text:

Linked Graphic

This is a merged field, added by clicking on Insert.... When the letter template is merged, this text will be replaced by the value in the field Current date.

Note: Don't try to edit these fields: it won't work. If you've added the wrong field by mistake, delete it and then add the correct one.

Linked Graphic

This is a sub-letter, which is much like a detail report. In this example, it will be replaced by zero or more training records, with an optional header and footer, as defined in the sub-letter you've called "Training details". Sub-letter fields can be identified by the "&" at the beginning.

Field content formatting

For merge fields such as dates and numbers, VSys by default chooses how the field's content is formatted. For example, a date value will be displayed in "m/dd/yyyy" or "d/m/yyyy" formats depending on how you've configured Windows. To override this, edit the text that's within the red brackets:

By your putting two colons ("::") and then the preferred display format after the field's name, VSys will use your format string when putting the field's content into the letter. See display formats for a list of options that you can use here.


VSys lets you drag-and-drop images from other programs. Just take the image you want to include and drag it from your hard drive right into the editor. You can also paste pictures directly into your letter templates. To insert a picture, first copy it to the clipboard from a program that understands that image type, such as Photoshop, the Windows Picture and Fax Viewer, etc. Paste it into the body of your letter template by putting the cursor where you want the image to appear, then clicking on the Paste icon image on the toolbar. You can then use the resizing handles around the picture to change its size.

Using the resize handles at the corners of the image will keep its proportions correct. The handles on the top, bottom and sides will let you stretch the image out of shape.

When including a person's photo in a mail merge, editing the field name to include, for example, /123 at the end of the field's name, will resize the photo to be no more than 123 pixels across.

Try to keep your image size reasonably small. Images directly from your digital camera are huge and will take up a tremendous amount of disk space not only in the letter template but also in each saved letter and e-mail sent. A good rule of thumb is to keep the image below one million pixels, or generally smaller than 1,000 pixels on its longest side.

See Also

Letter Templates

Letter Template Editor (HTML)


Letter Template Properties

Letter Template Groups

Alternate Language Variants

Rendered Barcodes

E-mail Robot Throttling