SymphonyThursday: A LotusScript Mail Merge API Tip

April 15 2010

Here is a great tip for anyone working with mail merge in Lotus Symphony Documents 1.3 using the LotusScript API.

One of the first things people want to do with automating mail merge is to automate just enough so the user can write a form letter without having to automate the whole process. Just get the selected documents, map the fields, and open the mail merge wizard/process. We do this pretty easily with Microsoft Word Mail Merge and the Mail Merge Wizard. Until now, this was not possible with Lotus Symphony Documents.

The key is the ShowMailMergeSideBar function on the Mail Merge object. We (PSC) was using the document text as stated, and it was causing issues. The Sidebar would come up in strange ways and the completed merge would not have the field data. Totally strange.

So before I reveal the solution, let's look at the documentation for the method:

Method ShowMailMergeSideBar

This method opens mail merge sidebar in Lotus Symphony. Be sure that the document is visible, otherwise mail merge sidebar can't be opened.

Defined in



Call mailmerge.ShowMailMergeSideBar( True)



Booelan. Specifies whether to show preview panel directly when opening mail merge sidebar. Specifying True shows the preview panel and specifying False does not display the preview panel.

See examples

Show MailMerge Sidebar

So the key here is the ShowPreview parameter. Why? Because if you set it to False, the preview does not come up, and everything works! The Sidebar displays fine and the completed merge works! The interesting point is that you will not find a single reference of the ShowMailMergeSideBar anywhere in the LotusScript documentation where the parameter is not True.

Using the OpenNTF Contacts Experience (8.5.1) application, you can see this in action.

Thanks to Paul Bastide for helping figure this out!