Wanting to copy stuff into a template in Microsoft Word, help?

I’m a teacher. I have a few times a year a need to copy a students goals as determined by a meeting and make a goal sheet to track data. Any way to help automate this would be appreciated, thoughts?

Making an assumption – do you want each student’s goals to be tracked on a goals sheet specifically for that student? (Twelve students would result in twelve tracker sheets.)

If that’s the case, then it might sound strange but a good way to set up forms like this is to use Microsoft Word’s “mail merge” feature. I won’t go into all the details here, but what you do is put the unique data for form you want to create into a table in Excel. You create the “tracking form” in Word. Then you use “mail merge” to grab the data for each student’s from from Excel and insert it into the form for that student. You can print the forms, of course, or print to PDF for electronic tracking.

Katie V.

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Textexpander for the form data with fill in fields for the student name etc. may be a good option? Also makes it useable on iOS

@KVZ Love it! Do you have a good link all about mail merge and what you discuss?

Here’s some info – looks like a long recipe, but I think once you get the hang of it you’ll figure it out quickly.

Interesting, I’ll play with it more this weekend. There has to be some forums or something of people really into Excel and Microsoft Office I can post to for further help.

I frequently have to make contracts that are based off a template. I actually created the template in Google docs and have Zapier fill in the information for me. I used to send it all the information needed through web hooks/Siri Shortcuts, but now I have it pulling information from a combination of Shortcuts and an Airtable record. Since I ultimately want all the information to be a PDF, I have Zapier upload it to my Dropbox. Hazel then turns it into a PDF, OCRs it, and organizes it for me.

Its a bit overly complicated, but its really nice to just have a Shortcut on my home screen and the needed (and complete) PDF just appears in the proper folder.


Very cool, any further insight into this workflow? I’m intrigued!

Alrighty! Here’s the nifty-gritty of how this works! I work for a professional orchestra and manage the musicians. So I have an Airtable database with all their information (approximately 250 people).

It starts in Siri Shortcuts. The script asks “Which musician?” I do have to make sure I spell the name exactly as I have it in my Airtable database. A menu asks me to choose which concert I need to make a contract for. From there, I have text fields depending on which menu option is chosen that fill in variables “season”, “concert date”, and “concert information”.

Following the menu, I have variables filled in for current date and the contract “due date” (today plus one month). There are then OmniFocus tasks created for the various tasks I need to do regarding each contract (send it out, add musician to roster, receive the concert, send out completed contract) along with appropriate tags, projects, and a note reminding me of the due date I set.

Then I put a “url” block in Shortcuts with my Zapier webhook link (we’ll find this in a bit, there’s a bit of back and forth with Zapier when setting this part up). A “get contents of url” block follows that. Use the “Post” option and “request body.” Here is where I fill in my information that I want sent to Zapier. I name and link all my variables.

When I trigger this, the webhook sends all my variables into Zapier. Zapier takes the “musician” variable and finds the Airtable record that matches it (spelling must be the same or it’s going to result in an error!). That Airtable record is going to have all the necessary information on that musician including address, phone number, etc.

Now, Zapier has all the concert information that I sent it from Siri Shortcuts and the musician information that was saved in Airtable. I created a template in Google Drive with {{variableNameHere}} looking things. When you follow the Zapier instructions, those will show up and give you options to link {{theseVariableThings}} to the information found in Airtable and Siri Shortcuts. When the information is combined with the template, Zapier saves it as a new file in a specific Google Drive folder.

Because I have multiple Zaps that include this folder, I use a separate Zap for the next part. This could likely all be combined.

Zapier watches that specific folder and saves anything new that appears to Dropbox. Since Dropbox automatically downloads to my computer, its easy to use Hazel rules.

I have a Hazel rule that converts PDFs to word and OCRs anything in my Zapier downloads folder (what programs you use for PDFs, word vs. pages, etc. determines what kind of script to use for this). From there, Hazel moves the PDF to whatever folder I keep contracts for that specific concert.

While this is rather… complicated, it really helps out. This probably saves me five minutes every day, and a LOT of time on the days when I have to make 50+ contracts.

If you want to try this, let me know! I’ll happily help you with any of the scripts.

Hope this is helpful!


That’s fantastic I think I’ll try to explore this during the weekend when I have some more time. Would certainly help my workflow versus copying and pasting .

Also in @MacSparky’s Keyboard Maestro he has a method as well that can work using Find and Replace. I’ll check that out too.