Skip to content

Instantly share code, notes, and snippets.

Embed
What would you like to do?
Google Apps Script to use mail merge the old fashioned way - to output merged Documents!
/**
* This script will output a mailmerge of documents.
* All document variables are of the form <<var_name>> (spaces are ok)
* Requires a spreadsheet with two sheets
* The first is the data table, the second has the template url in A1
* and the merged document's title in A2 (optional and can use data variables)
*
* With thanks to:
* drzaus: http://webapps.stackexchange.com/a/47255
* Google Apps Script Tutorial: Simple Mail Merge
**/
var variable_re = new RegExp('<<[^>]+>>', 'g');
/** run this to test
* uses Document with id: 1SgBK3mpK4WcPH2zeHjo31pXCKo3gzF_dr1updQNiHx4
* and sheet with id: 0Au17ekRhm0HjdHZ6QkJFTlNXSFFhZUpJOVJKWU1kbmc
**/
function testMergeToDocument(){
test_sheet = SpreadsheetApp.openById("0Au17ekRhm0HjdHZ6QkJFTlNXSFFhZUpJOVJKWU1kbmc")
SpreadsheetApp.setActiveSpreadsheet(test_sheet)
mergeToDocument();
}
/**
* This is the main entry point for the script
*/
function mergeToDocument() {
var mergedDoc, bodyContent, templateText, newTitle;
var ss = SpreadsheetApp.getActiveSpreadsheet();
// Get the data
var dataSheet = ss.getSheets()[0];
var dataRange = dataSheet.getRange(2, 1, dataSheet.getMaxRows() - 1, 4);
// Get the template information
var templateSheet = ss.getSheets()[1];
var templateString = templateSheet.getRange("A1").getValue();
var titleString = templateSheet.getRange("A2").getValue();
//Identify if template is a string or a document
if(isUsingTemplateFile(templateString)) {
var doc = DocumentApp.openByUrl(templateString)
templateText = doc.getBody();
} else {
templateText = templateString
}
// Create one JavaScript object per row of data.
var objects = getRowsData(dataSheet, dataRange);
// For every row object, create a personalized email from a template and send
// it to the appropriate person.
for (var i = 0; i < objects.length; ++i) {
// Get a row object
var rowData = objects[i];
// Generate a personalized document.
// Generate the title
if(isUsingVarInTitle(titleString)) {
newTitle = fillInTemplateStringFromObject(titleString, rowData);
} else {
newTitle = doc.getName() + '_' + i
}
// Given a template string, replace markers (for instance ${"First Name"}) with
// the corresponding value in a row object (for instance rowData.firstName).
if(isUsingTemplateFile(templateString)) {
mergedDoc = copyDocument(doc, newTitle)
bodyContent = mergedDoc.getBody();
} else {
mergedDoc = DocumentApp.create(newTitle);
bodyContent = mergedDoc.getBody();
bodyContent.setText(templateText);
}
output_doc = fillInTemplateDocFromObject(bodyContent, rowData);
Logger.log(newTitle)
mergedDoc.saveAndClose()
}
}
/**
* This will return a copy of the given document with the given name
*
* @param {Document} originalDoc The document to copy
* @param {string} newName The name of the document
* @return {Document} The new document
*/
function copyDocument(originalDoc, newName) {
// file has to be at least readable by the person running the script
var fileId = originalDoc.getId()
// need to open as a File to make a copy
var newFileId = DocsList.getFileById(fileId).makeCopy(newName).getId()
// reopen as a document and return
return DocumentApp.openById(newFileId)
}
/**
* Checks if the template string matches a document URL
* @param {string} templateString
* @return {Boolean} True if is a document URL
*/
function isUsingTemplateFile(templateString){
var re = new RegExp('/document/d/.+');
if (re.test(templateString)){
return true;
} else {
return false;
}
}
/**
* Checks if the title contains a template variable
* @param {string} titleString
* @return {Boolean} True if it contains a template variable
*/
function isUsingVarInTitle(titleString){
if(variable_re.test(titleString)){
return true;
} else {
return false;
}
}
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//
// The two functions below is adapted from:
// https://developers.google.com/apps-script/articles/mail_merge
//
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
/**
* Replaces markers in a template document with values defined
* in a JavaScript data object. The replacement is done in place,
* so nothing is returned.
* @param {Document} template document containing markers, eg <<Column name>>
* @param {JavaScript object} data data.columnName will replace marker <<Column name>>
*/
function fillInTemplateDocFromObject(template, data) {
var templateVars, matchable, output;
output = template;
// Search for all the variables to be replaced, for instance <<Column name>>
matchable = template.getText();
templateVars = matchable.match(variable_re);
// Replace variables from the template with the actual values from the data object.
// If no value is available, replace with the empty string.
for (var i = 0; i < templateVars.length; ++i) {
// normalizeHeader ignores ${"} so we can call it directly here.
var variableData = data[normalizeHeader(templateVars[i])];
output.replaceText(templateVars[i], variableData || "");
}
}
/**
* Replaces markers in a template string with values defined
* in a JavaScript data object.
* @param {string} template string containing markers, eg <<Column name>>
* @param {JavaScript object} data data.columnName will replace marker <<Column name>>
*
* @return {string} The merged string
*/
function fillInTemplateStringFromObject(template, data) {
var templateVars, matchable, output;
output = template;
// Search for all the variables to be replaced, for instance ${"Column name"}
matchable = template;
templateVars = matchable.match(variable_re);
// Replace variables from the template with the actual values from the data object.
// If no value is available, replace with the empty string.
for (var i = 0; i < templateVars.length; ++i) {
// normalizeHeader ignores ${"} so we can call it directly here.
var variableData = data[normalizeHeader(templateVars[i])];
output = output.replace(templateVars[i], variableData || "");
}
return output;
}
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
//
// The code below is reused from the 'Reading Spreadsheet data using JavaScript Objects'
// tutorial.
//
//////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
// getRowsData iterates row by row in the input range and returns an array of objects.
// Each object contains all the data for a given row, indexed by its normalized column name.
// Arguments:
// - sheet: the sheet object that contains the data to be processed
// - range: the exact range of cells where the data is stored
// - columnHeadersRowIndex: specifies the row number where the column names are stored.
// This argument is optional and it defaults to the row immediately above range;
// Returns an Array of objects.
function getRowsData(sheet, range, columnHeadersRowIndex) {
columnHeadersRowIndex = columnHeadersRowIndex || range.getRowIndex() - 1;
var numColumns = range.getEndColumn() - range.getColumn() + 1;
var headersRange = sheet.getRange(columnHeadersRowIndex, range.getColumn(), 1, numColumns);
var headers = headersRange.getValues()[0];
return getObjects(range.getValues(), normalizeHeaders(headers));
}
// For every row of data in data, generates an object that contains the data. Names of
// object fields are defined in keys.
// Arguments:
// - data: JavaScript 2d array
// - keys: Array of Strings that define the property names for the objects to create
function getObjects(data, keys) {
var objects = [];
for (var i = 0; i < data.length; ++i) {
var object = {};
var hasData = false;
for (var j = 0; j < data[i].length; ++j) {
var cellData = data[i][j];
if (isCellEmpty(cellData)) {
continue;
}
object[keys[j]] = cellData;
hasData = true;
}
if (hasData) {
objects.push(object);
}
}
return objects;
}
// Returns an Array of normalized Strings.
// Arguments:
// - headers: Array of Strings to normalize
function normalizeHeaders(headers) {
var keys = [];
for (var i = 0; i < headers.length; ++i) {
var key = normalizeHeader(headers[i]);
if (key.length > 0) {
keys.push(key);
}
}
return keys;
}
// Normalizes a string, by removing all alphanumeric characters and using mixed case
// to separate words. The output will always start with a lower case letter.
// This function is designed to produce JavaScript object property names.
// Arguments:
// - header: string to normalize
// Examples:
// "First Name" -> "firstName"
// "Market Cap (millions) -> "marketCapMillions
// "1 number at the beginning is ignored" -> "numberAtTheBeginningIsIgnored"
function normalizeHeader(header) {
var key = "";
var upperCase = false;
for (var i = 0; i < header.length; ++i) {
var letter = header[i];
if (letter == " " && key.length > 0) {
upperCase = true;
continue;
}
if (!isAlnum(letter)) {
continue;
}
if (key.length == 0 && isDigit(letter)) {
continue; // first character must be a letter
}
if (upperCase) {
upperCase = false;
key += letter.toUpperCase();
} else {
key += letter.toLowerCase();
}
}
return key;
}
// Returns true if the cell where cellData was read from is empty.
// Arguments:
// - cellData: string
function isCellEmpty(cellData) {
return typeof(cellData) == "string" && cellData == "";
}
// Returns true if the character char is alphabetical, false otherwise.
function isAlnum(char) {
return char >= 'A' && char <= 'Z' ||
char >= 'a' && char <= 'z' ||
isDigit(char);
}
// Returns true if the character char is a digit, false otherwise.
function isDigit(char) {
return char >= '0' && char <= '9';
}
Sign up for free to join this conversation on GitHub. Already have an account? Sign in to comment