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Modifying Quote Templates in CRM 2011

Since we all don’t work for Adventure Works, Inc., organizations that use the quote entity to send quotes to customers will ask their administrators to modify the out-of-the-box quote template. It’s not as straight-forward as it seems and you could easily corrupt the original mail merge template so I wanted to give instructions to help you along.

Standard instructions will probably tell you to click on ‘Settings’, ‘Templates’, ‘Mail Merge Templates’, then change the view to see all templates and double-click the template you wish to modify.

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Yes, you can go about it this way, but editing the mail merge template is certainly an iterative process so I’m going to suggest go to another location to modify your templates. By going to the quote entity and opening a quote, you save some steps as you save your changes and then run through the mail merge of the quote to see how they look. So with a quote open, do the following:

1. Click on the ‘Print Quote for Customer’ button.

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2. Select the type of mail merge template document and click the lookup icon. (I suggest using one ‘Organizational mail merge template’ to insure uniformity in the documents you send out to your customers.)

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3. Select the out-of-the-box template named, “Quote for Customer”, and click ‘Properties’.

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4. The following window will pop up. Click ‘Edit Template in Word’.

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5. Next, click ‘Open’.

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6. Microsoft Word will open.

a. If you are using Word 2010 it is very likely you will see the following across the top of the screen. Click ‘Enable Editing’.

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b. Next, you may get prompted by another similar message. Click ‘Enable Content’.

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7. The document tells you, “To start the mail merge, click CRM.” However, you actually need to click on the ‘Add-Ins’ menu item and click ‘CRM’. Note: Depending on the version of Word you have, you may have to click ‘Mailings’ or ‘Add-Ins’ to get to the ‘CRM’ button.

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8. Next, the following screen will pop up. Click ‘OK’.

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9. Now you can begin to edit your template.  If it looks like the screenshot below, hit ‘Alt+F9’.

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It will display more of the editable areas of the template.

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Below, outlined in green, are changes I made to the logo, the address tables and at the bottom of the template. Along with the ability to remove merge fields using the delete button, you can add merge fields by clicking the ‘Insert Merge Field’ button on the ribbon, outlined in blue with the arrow pointing to it. Lastly, I suggest avoiding making changes in the section outlined in red unless you absolutely must. This is where the quote product data is entered and calculations take place. I don’t see a need to edit this section.

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10. Upon completing your changes, click on ‘File’, ‘Save As’.

IT IS OF THE UTMOST IMPORTANCE THAT YOU CHOOSE ‘SAVE AS’ INSTEAD OF ‘SAVE’ TO AVOID OVERWRITING AND CORRUPTING YOUR ORIGINAL MAIL MERGE TEMPLATE!!! You may ask why we don’t save a copy of the template before we start any of this. The problem with that is the original file is a “.doc” file and if you make a copy of it, all of the back-end functionality of the mail merge is lost.

You’ll notice that it will save the file as “.xml” instead of a “.doc” file, which is the type of your original template. Be sure to save it as an XML file.

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11. Now go back and repeat steps 1 & 2 to get to the screen below where you can choose your template except this time click on ‘New’.

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12. The following window will pop up. Fill in the information outlined in red. Then browse for your newly saved template and click ‘Attach’.

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13. Once the screen refreshes, you’ll notice your file name changed to blue. You will also have a new button called ‘Actions’ on the menu bar. In that menu, select ‘Make Available to Organization’ to make your template viewable by everyone. And fear not, once you make it available to the organization, you can always go back to ‘Actions’ and click the ‘Make Personal’ menu item to make it just yours again.

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14. You’ll end up back at this screen. Choose your new mail merge template and click ‘OK’.

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15. Click ‘OK’ at the next screen.

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16. Microsoft Word will open.

a. If you are using Word 2010 it is very likely you will see the following across the top of the screen. Click ‘Enable Editing’.

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b. Next, you may get prompted by another similar message. Click ‘Enable Content’.

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17. The document tells you, “To start the mail merge, click CRM.” However, you actually need to click on the ‘Add-Ins’ menu item and click ‘CRM’. Note: Depending on the version of Word you have, you may have to click ‘Mailings’ or to get to the ‘CRM’ button.

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18. Next, the following screen will pop up. Click ‘OK’.

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19. Click on ‘Next: Preview Your Directory’ in the lo
wer, right corner of the Word window.

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20. Click on ‘Next: Complete the merge’ in the lower, right corner of the Word window.

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21. Click on ‘To New Document…’ in the top, right of the screen.

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22. Click ‘OK’ at the next pop up screen.

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23. And behold the culmination of your hard work!

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Don’t be surprised if you don’t get everything looking right the first time. In that case, go back and repeat steps 1 – 10, but this time be sure to edit the new mail merge template you created instead of the original. Next, repeat steps 1 – 3. In step 4, remove the old file from the bottom and attach the new file you just created. I name my files with an incremental number after each one as I develop the quote in case one of my attempts ends up rendering the template inoperable. So in this case, I would replace the file “CustEffective Quote.xml” with “CustEffective Quote1.xml”. Repeat this last paragraph as many times as needed to get your quote looking beautiful.