Creating a Pleading Template in Microsoft Office


 
 
One of the more challenging aspects of MerusCase is creating form templates. It is also one of the most powerful. A little patience in template creation today can save time forever. Indeed, with MerusCase, you should never have to cut and paste again. Enter a name and address once, and generate a thousand letters without ever thinking about that contact information.
 
We decided a long time ago that the very mature word processing software packages out there offer a superior experience than anything we could build ourselves. As such, we chose to directly support Microsoft Word 2007 in MerusCase. Merging data into Word 2007 requires using some relatively advanced features. Between merge fields and layout margins, it's easy to get overwhelmed. This means that any product that can open a Word 2007 file works flawlessly with MerusCase -- including Word 2000 and later (with compatibility packs for pre-2007 versions), Wordperfect X4 and later, OpenOffice, and Google Docs.
 
We nevertheless recommend using Microsoft Word 2007 on a Windows (not Mac) or higher as this will provide the best user experience.
 

Figure 1: You can get to templates from the templates tab on the menu on the left side
 
Here's a step-by-step guide to creating a template:
  1. Open the existing template by clicking the Word icon in the forms list. Don't merge the form. Chances are it has a number of "fill-in" areas and/or filler content that is designed to be replaced when re-purposed for a new client. (If there are major formatting issues, start with an existing built-in template from MerusCase. Those all line up correctly and likely already have much of the data needed.)

Figure 2: Click on the Word icon

2. Copy and paste the content from your custom template into the built-in MerusCase template you have just downloaded. (For pleadings, download the template here.)
    3. To locate the desired Merge field, you can use the MerusCase Merge Field Reference Guide (it's a built in template within MerusCase itself) or the Template Creator, which utilizes Word macros to generate the codes for you from a menu-driven interface. Note that the Template Creator is only available in Word for Windows.
 
    4. Insert merge fields throughout the document and format it as you see fit. You may also take advantage of native Word tools, like a date picker or table of contents. MerusCase leaves these alone during the merge process. You may need to turn on the  to see the full complement of tools available. 
Figure 3: MerusCase Template Creator has many options for merge fields that you could add

5.  Once you've completed your template, save it and upload into MerusCase by going to documents and using the upload tool in the drop down for upload type choose  an Office (MS Word) Template  (Administrative Users only).
Figure 4: Go to the upload tool and choose office (MS Word) template
6. Open a sample case and attempt to merge the document to verify your work. Voila!
     
     
     
    Figure 5: Once your template is uploaded click on Merge

    7. Once you click on Merge a new window will appear in that window select the data to Merge and click on Merge.
     
    Figure 6: Select the data to be merged and click on Merge

    For more information about forms please refer to Using Meruscase to automatically fill out forms.