Letter Merge

Open Dental has a built-in letter merge functionality for single patients only. Mass letter merges must happen outside of Open Dental. It only works with Microsoft Word 2002 or later.

Consider using the internal Sheets function for a more updated option for patient letters. Sheets can be used for any patient letter or form and can be customized within Open Dental.

To create a new patient letter using Letter Merge follow the steps below:

  1. Select a patient.
  2. From the Main Toolbar, select the dropdown menu on the Letter button then Merge.

    Edit Categories: Open Definitions: Letter Merge Cats to create letter categories and set the category order.

  3. Highlight a category to place the letter into and click Add.
  4. Enter template information:
    • Description: Enter the letter name.
    • Letter Merge Path: Displays the path where letters are stored. Click Edit Paths to change the location. A file location must already exist before one can be selected.
    • Template File Name: Enter the name of the file you are creating or editing.
      • Click Browse to copy an existing letter.
      • Click New to create a new letter.
    • Category: Select the category to show the letter in.
    • Save to Image Folder: Save copy of letter to patient's selected image folder.
    • Patient Fields: Select the patient fields to merge into the letter. (e.g. Patient Last Name, Address, Email, etc.).
    • Referred From: Select the referral information to merge into the letter.
    • Other: Select additional information to merge into the letter.
  5. Click OK to open Word.
  6. Close Word as it only created a blank template.
  7. In the main Letter Merge window, highlight your letter and click Edit Template. This opens your blank template, creates a data file with one row, and attaches the data file to the template as a data source.
  8. Open Word again.
    • In the main menu, click Mailings, then Start Mail Merge, Letters.
    • In the main menu, click Select Recipients, Use an Existing List.
    • Browse to your Letter Merge path. Select the Data Source you wish to use.
    • Type your letter. Any place where you want a merge field, click Insert Merge Fields.
      From here, you can insert fields, set up address fields using the Match Fields button, etc.
    • Save your template and return to Open Dental. You can return here anytime to further edit your template, add more fields, etc.
  9. In Open Dental, create the letter from the Letter Merge window. There are four options listed in the Create area.
    • Data File: Create a data file only.
    • View Data: View the data file only.
    • Print: Print the full letter.
    • Preview: Preview the full letter.
    • Image Folder: Informational only. View the image folder this letter will save to. Make changes to the default save folder by double clicking the letter to open the Edit Letter Merge window.
    Note: Keep in mind this is a merge letter for only one patient, so the data file will always have only one row of data.

Troubleshooting

If you ever see this error: "Word cannot start the converter mswrd632It is due to a recent Microsoft security update", the fix is located here: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/973904.