New features to power up Zoho Writer's merge templates, Part 1: Data visualization, summarization, transformation, and more

Display data exactly the way you want and highlight key insights with Zoho Writer's enhanced merge templates.

We've supercharged Zoho Writer's merge templates with the capability to dynamically group, aggregate, and repeat data as blocks. You can now fetch data from any data source, including Zoho CRM, Bigin, and Creator, and present them in an easily understandable form in just a few clicks.

Here's how you can enhance data presentation using group by, aggregation, repeating regions, and data transformation.

Let's understand these new capabilities and how to use them in detail. To make this easier, let's take a look at how Zylker Automobiles, an imaginary car manufacturer, uses the new group and loop options to easily present their data in different ways.

1. Visualize data with group by for easy and quick understanding.

Business case: Generate a master pricelist with the state-wise price of all car models.

Zylker Automobiles' sales admin uses group by and repeating regions to display the price list for all car models separately for each state whenever the prices of their cars are changed.

Group by helps you to group data based on a specific field or value. With repeating regions, you can configure the layout/table/row only once and dynamically expand it based on the volume of data, instead of manually expanding it.

Here's how they do it:

  • Zylker Automobiles' sales administrator created a merge template and configured their price sheet as the data source.

  • They've also inserted a table in their merge template in the desired structure.

  • They first group the data based on the State field, and then group the resultant data set again based on the Car Type field. You can add a group by function within other grouped data (nested group by) based on your requirements. Click here for the detailed steps to apply the group by function.

  • When the merge is automatically initiated on the scheduled date every month or on demand, all of the data from the price sheet will be grouped based on the State field's value first. This grouped data will again be grouped based on the Car Type (a multi-level group by).

  • The grouped area of the table is set as a repeating region.

  • In the post-merge action, the sales admin configures the sales team's group email ID and chooses the send as URL option. This will email the neatly grouped and categorized price list's URL to the specified email address.

  • The sales team members simply click the link to view, print, and use the updated price list.

Watch this video to learn how to use the group by, aggregation, and data transformation capabilities in your mail merge templates.

2. Summarize data to highlight key aspects and insights.

Business case: Generate the monthly revenue report with country-wide and region-specific revenue summaries and breakdowns.

You can use the aggregation functions to summarize a large chunk of data to glean important insights like maximum, minimum, count, average, and sum.

Zylker Automobiles' sales admin combines the power of the built-in group by, aggregation, and repeating regions to highlight the:

  • Total revenue generated in a month.

  • State-wise total revenue with a breakdown of revenue from each category.

  • Granular, item-wise breakdown of revenue for each category for every state.

Let's take a look at how they get the breakdown of state-wise total revenue:

  • Zylker Automobiles' sales administrator creates a merge template and configures their sales sheet as the data source.

  • For the state-wise revenue by category:

    • They insert a table with State, Revenue Type, and Revenue fields.
    • They group the data based on the State field's value first, and group the resultant data again based on the Revenue Type field's value (i.e., Car Sales/Sales and repairs).
    • They set the aggregation (sum) of the Revenue field for each Revenue Type group, and display the total against the corresponding group. Click here to learn how to use the aggregation functions.
    • The grouped area of the table is set as a repeating region.
  • The sales admin sets this report to be saved in a specific folder with an email notification to inform their sales team about report generation, in the post-merge workflow.

  • Once the merge is triggered either manually or automatically, the document is generated with the revenue report and saved in the specified folder. The sales heads will be notified via email that the monthly report has been generated and saved in the folder.

3. Transform data to create and populate sub-forms.

Business case: Generate and save the detailed revenue report of each state as a separate file in a specific folder.

Zylker Automobiles uses data transformation to map the desired fields in the data source as main and sub-form fields. This allows them to extract and process the raw, unordered transactional data to generate the revenue report for each state separately.

Here's how they do it:

  • Zylker Automobiles' sales administrator creates a merge template and configures their sales sheet as the data source.

  • Because the report is generated separately for each state, they map State as the main field using the Transform Data Source option.

  • Then they add the required tables to display the Revenue by category and Revenue by sales rep.

  • For the Revenue by category report, they set the revenue type as group by and aggregate (sum) the Units Sold and Revenue fields.

  • For the Revenue by SDR report, they set the SDR, Category, and Revenue Type field for group by, and aggregate (sum) the Units Sold and Revenue fields.

  • Once the merge is triggered:

    • The data from the sales sheet is grouped and aggregated to show the revenue by category and revenue by SDR in the corresponding tables.

    • For the output, because the merge and save as individual files option was selected, the report for each state is generated separately and saved in the specified folder.

4. Format data with the new number-formatting options.

Business case: Send an email to each SDR at the beginning of every month with their total revenue from the previous month in words, along with a summary of their performance.

Zoho Writer has added new formatting options exclusively for numbers. With these, you can now convert a number to text, ordinal number, ordinal text, and ordinal year.

The Zylker Automobiles sales admin uses the new Number to Text formatting option to convert and display numbers as texts in email that they send to their SDR every month.

Try the group by and aggregation functions in Writer's mail merge templates, and let us know your feedback. You can also watch this video to understand how to use these features to elevate your documents.

If you need any assistance or have any questions in configuring the group by, aggregation, or data transformation operations, please write to us at

The next part of this blog will focus on the nifty, new capabilities that we've added to mail merge templates, including payment field support, conditional attachments, image field support, adding conditional signers, and more.

See you all soon with Part 2 of this blog.

Until then,

Happy merging and data visualizing!


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