Equisys technical notes

Technical guidance, explanations and fixes for our products

HOWTO: Use Zetadocs PDF to send quotations as PDFs by email with Act! 2005



ID: ZTN3515

This Zetadocs technical note applies to:

  • Zetadocs PDF version 1.0 and later
  • Act! 7.0 (2005) and Act! 8.0 (2006)


Act! offers support for mail merge using Microsoft Word.  Using Mail Merge, Act! templates can be created that enable users to send Act! documents as PDF files, which can be merged with other PDF documents such as product brochures.  Using Zetadocs in this way, users can save time in document production costs and reduce printing costs, while offering customers a better customer service. Now with Zetadocs PDF v2.0 and later, you can also automatically store the sent letters as contact history items in the Act! database.

This document will explain the following: 

  • How to embed Zetadocs PDF commands to a template within Act!
  • How to send quotations directly from within Act! that creates a personalised PDF and merges other documents at send time.
  • How to automatically store the sent quotation as a contact history item in the Act! database.

An example quote template with pre-configured embedded commands can be downloaded from here.  Alternatively to modify your own quotation template, follow the instructions below. 

More information

How to embed Zetadocs PDF commands to an Act! quote template

Documents sent using mail merge from Act! are a combination of two elements, the content of the document itself and the contact data from the database.

When sending documents to Zetadocs PDF, it is possible to include commands that determine how the document is delivered to the recipient and what information it should contain. Referred to as Embedded Addressing commands, these specify the email address, subject line, message body and merged documents. These commands will be invisible to the recipient.

The following example modifies an existing template and uses basic commands to send PDFs by email to single and multiple recipients.  Please note, that this feature is currently supported using Microsoft Word only.

  1. Open the Act! application.
  2. Select Write | Edit Template from Act! Menu bar.
  3. Select the template called Quote.adt from the list as shown in the screen shot below. Doing so will launch the Template within Word.

  1. On a new line in the Quote template, insert the following command:

%%[email:< E-mail> ]

The Zetadocs commands can be inserted simply using the Word add in which is visible in the toolbar as shown in the screenshot below.

The < E-mail> field is the Act! field that corresponds to the email address of the recipient. To insert these fields, open the Act! Mail Merge Fields dialogue box, by selecting Show Field List from the ACT! menu.  Select E-mail from the list and click Insert. Without these fields, it would be necessary to manually enter the email address for each recipient. 

  1. Open Zetadocs PDF and open the accessories Window by selecting View | Accessories Window.  Select Stationery from the Type drop down box as in the diagram below, and choose the stationery you wish to merge this document to.

  1. With the stationery you wish to use highlighted, right-click and select Copy Automation Command as in the screen below.

The following dialog will appear.

  1. Return to the Act! Word processor, and Paste from the Edit menu to paste the command into the document adjacent to the other commands.

Your document should now look similar to the document shown in the screen below.


You can repeat this process with other accessories, for example if you wanted to attach a product brochure or price list to your email, copy and paste the command to the template document.

  1. When you have added all of the accessories you wish to add to your document, highlight the Zetadocs fields i.e. all fields beginning %%[and select Format from the menu bar.  Select Font and from the Font Color drop down list and select the color white. This will make the fields invisible in the final document.
  2. Once the Embedded Addressing commands have been inserted, save the document.
  3. Zetadocs PDF Embedded Addressing offers much greater functionality than described above, such as customizable text in the body of the email. For further information, please refer to the online help within Zetadocs.

How to send quotations directly from within Act! as a PDF by email

  1. Quotations can be generated from opportunities you have created within Act!  To view opportunities or to create a new one, select Opportunity List from the View menu. 
  2. To create a new opportunity, click the new opportunity button   (second from the left in the toolbar).
  3. Complete the relevant information in the Opportunity dialog as shown in the screen below. When you are ready to generate the quote, click the Quote button.  This will launch the Quote Template you edited earlier within Word. All Act! merge fields will have already been filled with the relevant details of the selected contact.

  1. Print the Quotation to the Zetadocs PDF Printer.  If you have selected Hold for Preview in the Tools | Options dialog within Zetadocs, it will allow you to preview your Quotation before releasing it as shown in the screen below.  Other attachments, such as PDF documents can be added to your letter at this point.  When you are ready to send the document, select Send from the Zetadocs PDF toolbar.

  1. After you have printed the document, the Act! Create History dialogue box will appear. If you want Zetadocs PDF 2.0 and above to automatically create the history for you, skip the following steps and go to the next section.

  1. Type in the Regarding field, the subject of the Quote you have just sent.
  2. Click OK. This will insert information about the sent document in the Notes/History field of the contact to whom the document was sent.
  3. To save it and attach your Quote to the customer record.  Choose Attach to Act! from the ACT! menu in Microsoft Word.  A Select Contacts dialogue box will appear where you can choose where you wish to store the document.

  1. Click OK when you have selected the recipient. This will insert the document in the 'Document' tab of the contact to whom the Quote was sent.

How to automatically store the letter as a contact history item in Act! (Zetadocs PDF v2.0 and above only)

  1. Reopen the Quotation template and add an extra embedded command by selecting Act! | Add a contact history from the menu on the Zetadocs PDF toolbar.

This will automatically add the following command:

%%[ActContactHistory: < MY:Company> , < Contact> , < Email> ]

Where MY:Company, Contact, and Email are Act! fields representing your company name, the name of the contact that the letter is being sent to, and the email address of the contact that the letter is being sent to respectively.

  1. You can also select which information is stored in the contact history using the %%[ActHistoryOptions] command. Please see the Zetadocs PDF help for details.
  2. Set up your Act! database in Zetadocs PDF by opening the Zetadocs PDF program and selecting Tools | Options from the menu.
  3. Select the Act! tab in the Options dialog.
  4. Select the Add button.
  5. Select the browse button ... and browse to the location of your Act! database file (.PAD extension).
  6. Enter a username and password if you are required to log in to the database, otherwise leave these fields blank.
  7. Select OK. If the database link is working, the database will appear in the list of Configured Act! Databases as shown in the screen below Note that you can add multiple databases. The correct database is chosen based on the < MY:Company> embedded command value.

  1. Now each time you send a Quote using Zetadocs PDF using the Quote template you modified, a copy of the quote will be archived against the history of the contact. This will happen just after the email has been successfully sent.

Note: that if you print to Zetadocs PDF using the Zetadocs PDF toolbar, you will not be prompted with the Act! Create History dialogue and will not have to select Cancel each time.

Last updated: 30th November 2005 (SD/PC/EB/NL/GC)

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