PersoNum requires a records file for personifying documents. This file has to be formatted in the ASCII Delimited format. That is: data record fields have to be quoted by ASCII double "quotation marks" and be separated by commas. Each records has its own text line.
"1. field in 1. record","2. field ...","3. field", ...,"n. field in 1. record"
"1. field in 2. record","2. field ...","3. field", ...,"n. field in 2. record"
This format is basically supported as an export format by all database applications. Some database applications write a data header in front of the real records as the first line. This principally is also a record, but it usually contains e.g. the data field names as content. PersoNum can handle this data records header on printing (see below).
Or in other words:
If you want to send personalized letters to 500 persons, you
require to have distinct data for each single person, e.g.
Town. We call these data data
fields – and all data fields of one person make a data
record. Each data record has to be output in a single text line of
your records file which means that your file has to contain at least
500 lines in our example.
Please note that some text editor applications have difficulties with long text lines. You should usually forget such programs for editing data records files. Better directly use the export functions of your database program which you use for managing your data. Don't forget to quote the data fields in "quotation marks" and separate them with comma. You also have to ensure that no data field contains such a quotation mark itself, but commas in data fields are allowed.
This screen shot shows that such a records file has just been selected in Calamus. PersoNum basically supports four different file extensions for records files which makes selecting the correct file much easier. Your files can use other extensions, of course, as long as the data format is as described above. (Don't worry about the obviously wrong encoding in some data fields of this screen shot. Encodings in PersoNum are described in a following section.)