Sorting the data - The data can be sorted
alphabetically or numerically, and multiple sorts of the data are
possible. The following example came from the database I used in my
science classroom. To remind you what fields were available
go see a
copy of the data window of that database.
When you have seen the fields, click on the Back button to return
Step 1 - From the View menu select List
Step 2 - From the Edit menu select Select
Step 3 - From the Tools menu select Sort
Step 4 - From the Sort Records choose the
fields to be used for sorting. I selected class period first, then
for the second field I selected last name. The resulting data is
in the form of a class roster. I highlighted all names in a class
period and pasted that into a spreadsheet. Result?
One important observation needs to be made
here. If I had named a field Student Name, the resulting sort
would produce a list of students alphabetized by their first name.
Not much use as a grade book!
Using mail merge - You have gotten the
letter, perhaps you have even believed the letter. You know, the
sweepstakes letter that promised "William Byles will be a winner in
our next giveaway." No one at the office typed individual letters to
each of the tens of thousands of people who got the letter. They
typed one letter and the name field was filled into the letter from a
large database. This technique can be used to generate a letter to
parents or students, or a certificate to each person in a
Step 1 - Create the database, save it
and leave it open.
Step 2 - Create a word processor
document. For my example I am going to create a certificate and I
will insert only the first and last name of the
Step 3 - When you get to the point on
your document where data from the database will be used, go to the
Insert menu and choose Insert Database Field.
Step 4 - Select the fields you want to
merge into your document. I wanted a persons name so the steps I
Select first name
Select last name
Complete the document. The one I created can
be seen below:
A name is filled in on the certificate, but
only because the database containing the name was open. If Print
was selected the number of certificates printed would be equal to
the number of names in the database. If Print Preview was selected
you can verify that a certificate would be printed for each
With careful planning of the database and the word
processor document you can produce a letter like the one that the
sweepstakes office keeps sending.