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Mach5 Mailer Help Docs -- Comma Separated Value (CSV) Databases

Comma Separated Value and Text-based Databases

Mailer provides its own integrated email database management tool that appears somewhat like a spreadsheet, though with not nearly the flexibility of a spreadsheet application.

Oftentimes however, for simple mailings, all the information you need is a table of names, email addresses, and possibly some other supplemental information. You can create a text-based database to manage this information. Text based databases are commonly transferable between different database and spreadsheet programs, and usually appear in Comma Separated Value "CSV" format.

You can follow the quick start guide for instructions on how to set up a CSV database. Once you have the database set up, you can edit the data directly within Mailer. The CSV data format is the only data format that you can edit inside Mailer itself. While the editing operations are limited, they are extensive enough to allow quick changes of your database content, including adding or removing rows and columns and changing values.

When you set up a text-based database, you may want to specify the field types. The type of a field indicates to Mailer what kind of data it contains, and also determines what kinds of comparisons can be done with that data. It may also affect how the data appears in your mailing.

Saving your Work

When you have made changes to your data in a text-based database, saving the mail merge will also save any changes that you’ve made to your data.

Delimitters

Delimiters separate fields in each row of your data. Mailer can use commas, semicolons, or tab characters as delimiters to separate the fields. Tab separated field databases are usually called "Tab Delimited Data" (TDT) files.

Header Row

The first row of your database can be a header, to label the fields. You don't have to have a header for your data though.

Editing with Other Apps

You don’t have to build your table within Mach5 Mailer. Simply open a notepad file and fill the first line (before you hit enter) with tab-separated field names. Then make the following lines your data. Create a new mail merge as before, except this time open the existing "CSV" file you just made (using the TAB separator). Your data will appear in the Mach5 editor, and as before, when you save it, the file you started will be updated with any changes you make.

Note that you can edit your CSV file in any text editor, including notepad. You may have an application already configured for editing CSV files, but if not, you will have to start your text editor first and from there open your file.

 

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