Converting Excel information into a printable directory (preferably Word)

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by theabby, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. theabby macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    #1
    I have a huge file of contact information for our local elementary school that I need to convert into a printable directory for the PTA. I am no computer whiz and I can't figure out how to make it work without retyping it all! I am 20 hours in and on the letter "C". Please tell me there is a better way!:) I have tried importing to address book, but I can't get it back out to manipulate it in bulk.
    Many Thanks!
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    What exactly are you looking to do? Your original post is very vague. You have an .xls(x) file now and are trying to convert it...?
     
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    You do know that Excel allows printing, don't you? If you want to edit your contact list in a text editor prior printing it, then you may save your list in a variety of text formats. These include comma separated values (.csv), tab-delimited text (.txt), and space-delimited text (.prn).
     
  4. sushi Moderator emeritus

    sushi

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    Jul 19, 2002
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    #4
    OP I do similar type activities if I understand you correctly.

    You have directory information in Excel, and you want to distribute to others electronically so they can print out if they want but you don't want them to be able to edit the directory.

    If what I just said makes sense, then use the print to PDF conversion that is available when you go to print your Excel file via the PDF drop down button in the bottom left of the print dialog. There will be an option to "Save as PDF..." and you just need to give it a file name.

    What's nice about this method, is that you can have whatever information in your Excel file for your directory, then hide the columns that you don't want to show when you print your directory. For example, you could set up your Excel file with say Last Name, First Name, Home Address, Home Phone Number, Work Phone Number, and Spouses Name. Let's say you want to print out a directory that has only Last Name, First Name and Work Phone Number. You would hide the other columns when getting ready to print to PDF and the result would be only a printout with those columns.

    I hope that makes sense. It's easy to do and works well.
     
  5. theabby thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    #5
    More detail about my excel conversion problem

    I was given a huge binary text file that I exported to excel. I have 29 items of information for each contact/child. I need to take the information from the excel spreadsheet and format it to look like an address book entry for each contact. The Address book information part is about half of the information in the finished directory, so I can't print it from excel or put it into a pdf format to be printed. I have to be able to manipulate it in a word document so that I can submit it all to a printer in one file. Right now I am retyping each contact into the word document that I have formatted to look like my finished directory.
    Here is a very basic example of the format I need to put it in.

    John Doe Grade 2 Room 6
    address
    phone number
    parents
    parents contact info.
    etc.

    I have tried using the address book application which does format it nicely, but I can't export it into word. Is there an application that allows you to create an address book and export it into word?
    I know there is an easier way to do this than typing each of the 590 contacts into my word document.
    Please tell me if there are any details I need to provide to get the help I need.
    Thank YOU!!
     
  6. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    What you want to use is called a "regular expression." The UNIX utility grep for Generalized Regular Expression Parser will do what you want in one command after you convert your contact list to a text file. The freeware text editor Text Wrangler makes using grep relatively easy for the inexperienced Mac user.
     
  7. ergdegdeg Moderator emeritus

    ergdegdeg

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    #7
    Maybe try using the mail merge feature in Word? I'm not entirely sure if Word:Mac has this feature, but if not, Open Office does. It will let you create a template and then fill in all the information you included in the template for every record in the spreadsheet. It will print like one file for all records.
     
  8. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    Word:mac has had mail merge since forever. Mail merge would be a quick and painless way for the OP to format the contact list. IIRC, this can be done using the unconverted Excel file.
     
  9. theabby thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    #9
    MisterMe

    Thank you for suggesting Textwrangler I think it may solve my problem!
     

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