Create your own Christmas e-card with MultiMailer

MultiMailerChristmas is fast approaching and it’s time to send Christmas cards to friends, acquaintances, customers and other contacts. With the e-mail newsletter tool MultiMailer, you can both create your own Christmas e-cards and send them easily as e-mails. You can create your Christmas e-card either by using ready-to use e-card templates/examples or by using MultiMailer’s built-in visual e-card wizard.

Ready-to-use templates
Below is some examples of templates that can be used for your own Christmas e-cards:

Template 1
Template 1

Template 2
Template 2

Template 3
Template 3

The e-cards can be personalized. You can for example include the receiver’s personal name and company name, and other unique information, in the e-card text.

You can open a Christmas e-card template by choosing the menu option Help – Open Example in MultiMailer and choosing a HTML file that starts with “Christmas Card” in the filename.

How to know how many contacts that opens a newsletter

When you send a newsletter, it is always useful to know how many have opened the newsletter. This is a way to see if the newsletter reach the receivers inboxes or if it is filtered out by spam filters. You can also compare the open rate between mailings and see which newsletter that has been the most popular.

In our newsletter tool MultiMailer you can obtain open rate statistics for each unique mailing. You can also get information about how many contacts have clicked on links in the newsletter.

MultiMailer - Open rate

We have published a tip on our website that explain how to get this information:

> How to see the number of contacts who opened a newsletter

How to use a product gallery in MultiMailer

In this blog post we informed how to insert and update a table in a newsletter in MultiMailer. There is another function available in MultiMailer that reminds of the table function, but is much more powerful. It is the Product Gallery function.

Product Gallery in MultiMailer

With the Product Gallery function you can create a database with products, images, hyperlinks, prices, buttons mm. And you can insert this information whereever you want in your newsletter. It is also easy to update a product gallery afterwards. You can easily add and remove articles, or update images, texts and links etc.

We have published a tip on our website that shows how to create, insert and edit a Product Gallery in a newsletter:

> How to insert a product gallery in a newsletter

How to insert and edit a table in MultiMailer

Our e-mail/newsletter application MultiMailer can be used to create and send all kind of emails and newsletters. MultiMailer have many powerful built-in functions and one such a function is the table function in MultiMailer. With the table function in MultiMailer it is easy to insert, edit and format tables in e-mails/newsletters.

We have published detailed tip pages on our website that show how to use MultiMailer to insert a table in a newsletter and how you change the look and properties for the table after it has been created (for example if you want to extend the table with more rows and columns, or change colors, text alignment etc.)

Table in MultiMailer

Click on the links below to open the tips pages:

> How to insert a table in MultiMailer
> How to edit a table in MultiMailer
> How to change width for a column in a table

Visual Installer 2022 / Enterprise supports batch files & build servers

In the Enterprise version of Visual Installer 2022 it is possible to build a setup package without any interaction with a graphical user interface. The build process is invisible, and you use command line parameters and switches to handle the build operations. And errors that occur (if there are any) are returned via a log file that contain detailed error descriptions and error codes etc.

Build servers
The silent build processes via command line parameters / switches makes it easy to call Visual Installer from build servers. A build server is useful if you work in a team and your team want to, for example, compile applications or build setup packages in one operation.

Batch files
You can also utilize this function from local batch files (for example from traditional .BAT files). You can add one line of code for each setup package that you want to build, in the batch file. For example:

VI.exe C:\MyProjects\MySetup.vip /BUILD /BUILDFOLDER:C:\MyCreatedSetups\Setup1

More information
In the following tip on our website you can read how to use this function in Visual Installer:

> Tip: Visual Installer’s command line parameters

How to use MultiMailer with a Google Gmail server

If you only send small amounts of e-mail, it is possible to use a Google Gmail server for your mailings when you use our e-mail delivery application MultiMailer. However, some functions in MultiMailer are disabled because they require our built-in e-mail server to work, but using a Google Gmail server is in any case possible and may be suitable for small mailing lists. We will show below step-by-step how to do that:

1. Activate two-step verification in your Google account
The first thing you need to do is enable two-step verification in your Google account, if you haven’t already. It’s a relatively simple process, and below you’ll see what the steps are:

Show steps

1. Open your Google account. For example, by opening the website google.com and then clicking on the round symbol at the top right. If you are not logged in, you must log in first. After you’ve logged in, you can click on the round symbol on the top right.

2. A menu will now appear. Click there on the Manage your Google Account option.

3. A web page with options should now appear. There, click on the Security option.

4. At the Signing in to Google section, click on the 2-Step Verification option.

5. Click the Get Started button.

6. Enter the password for your Google account.

7. Enter a phone number to which Google will send a verification code (via SMS).

8. Click Next.

9. A verification code will now be sent via SMS to your phone. Enter it at Enter the code.

10. Click Next. Then click Turn On to activate the function.

You have now activated two-step verification for your Google account (e.g. your Gmail account). In the next section, we will show you how to retrieve a username and password for MultiMailer.

2. Get username and password from Google
Now you will get your username and a password for MultiMailer. The password is not the same one you use when you sign in to your Google account, but a different password that is created by Google at request. We will show below how to retrieve this password. The username for MultiMailer is the same as when you log in to your Google account.

Show steps

1. If you have the <-- 2-Step Verification option visible on the web page, click on it.

2. The Security page should now appear. If not, open it.

3. Click on App passwords at Signing in to Google.

4. Enter your Google Account password again.

5. Click Select app.

6. Select Other (custom name).

7. Enter MultiMailer.
Name of app (in Google)
8. Click the Generate button.

9. A password will now appear in a window. Copy it off. Paste it into Notepad.
Password for app (in Google)
10. Click on Done when you have done it.

3. Specify username and password in MultiMailer
Now you must enter the correct username and password in MultiMailer. To do that, do the following:

Show steps

1. Start MultiMailer if you haven’t already.

2. Select the menu item Options – E-mail Account Settings.

3. Check the option Use e-mail server from my ISP or company.
Choose E-mail Server
4. Click the Settings button.

5. The Email Account Settings dialog box will now appear.

6. In the dialog box, click on the Server List button.

7. Select the option Google: smtp.gmail.com (port 587).

8. At Username, enter the username/email address for your Google account.

9. At Password, paste the password you received in the previous section (see point 9).
E-Mail Account Settings
10. Click OK to close the dialog box. Click OK again.

Now you can use MultiMailer to send emails via your Google Gmail account. Note that Google has a limit on how many emails you can send per day. What the limit is depends on what kind of Google account you have.

How to test if a specific version of Access is installed

Logotype - Microsoft AccessIn this blog post we described how to check if Microsoft Access is installed in a computer by using script code in Visual Installer. But if you want to check if a specific version of Access is installed. Is it possible?

Yes. It is. It is possible to check if a specific version of Access is installed in a computer. To achieve this, you can extend this conditional test:

IF ACCESS_INSTALLED

with a version number, like this:

IF ACCESS(15)_INSTALLED

In the example above, Visual Installer will check if Access version 15 (Access 2013) is installed. The conditional test gives True if Access version 15 is installed and False if it is not.

How to check for a specific bitness of Access
Symbolic image: 32 / 64 bitIt is also possible to check if a specific bitness (32 or 64 bit) of Microsoft Access is installed in a computer – in addition to the version number. For example, to check if a 64 bit version of Access 2013 (version 15) is installed, you can use the following script:

IF ACCESS(15)_64BIT_INSTALLED

If you instead want to check if a 32 bit version of Access 2013 is installed, you can use the following script line:

IF ACCESS(15)_32BIT_INSTALLED

If you want to check which bitness of Access that is installed, regardless of the version number, there is another conditional test than you can use. For example, to check if any 64 bit Access is installed in the computer, you can use the following conditional test:

IF ACCESSBIT=64

In the same way you can check if any 32 bit Access is installed in the computer, by using this conditional test:

IF ACCESSBIT=32

Examples
Below are some script examples that shows how to use the conditional tests:

// Example 1 – Tests if Microsoft Access 2013 is installed in the system
IF ACCESS(15)_INSTALLED
  RUN %DESTDIR\Install-Access2013-Tools.exe
END IF
 
// Example 2 – Tests if a 32 bit version of Microsoft Access 2013 is installed in the system
IF ACCESS(15)_32BIT_INSTALLED
  RUN %DESTDIR\Install-Access2013-32bit-Tools.exe
END IF
 
// Example 3 – Tests if any 32 bit version of Microsoft Access is installed in the system
IF ACCESSBIT=32
  RUN %DESTDIR\Install-Access-32bit-Tools.exe
END IF

  
Access version numbers
In this blog post you will find a list with available version numbers for some of the conditional tests described above.

Microsoft Access – Version numbers

In this blog post we describe how to use a conditional check in Visual Installer’s scripting language to see which version of Microsoft Access that is installed in a computer. The conditional check uses the version number of Access as parameter. In the table below you can see which version number of Access that corresponds to a specific version name:

10 = Access 2002
11 = Access 2003
12 = Access 2007
14 = Access 2010
15 = Access 2013
16 = Access 2016, Access 2019, Access 2021

See this Wikipedia article for more details.

You can now choose which shortcut to feature in the Start menu

If you add more than one shortcut to the Start menu in Windows during an installation, and one of the shortcuts is used to open your main application and the other shortcuts are used to open extra tools (when needed), you can now let Visual Installer inform Windows which of the shortcuts that opens your main application.

The shortcut to the main application will be more visible in the Start menu and the other shortcuts will be toned down. By using this new function in Visual Installer you will also eliminate the risk that wrong program is featured in the Start menu. This is a risk if you let Windows itself decide which program(s) that are the most important in your installation. Sometimes Windows makes a wrong guess here.

This is a new function in Visual Installer 2022 and is located in the Program group / menu dialog box in Visual Installer’s editor. A combobox with a list of all program files with shortcuts in the current installation project will be available in the dialog box. From the combobox you can choose which program is your installation’s main program. See the picture below for an example:

The 'Program Group' dialog box

The picture above shows the settings in the installation project for installation of our product MultiMailer 2022. The program file MultMail.exe has been selected as the installation’s main program. The other program files are tools that are seldom used, but they will be in the Start menu in a program group folder, and used when needed.

This new function is especially useful in Windows 11, where recently added shortcuts are featured in an extra clear way. For an example, see below:

Windows 11 Start menu - With MultiMailer

The example above shows how MultiMailer 2022 is featured in the Start menu in Windows 11. The other shortcuts in the installation project are not visible here. Instead they are visible if you click on the All apps button (in the upper right) and opens the program group folder (named SamLogic MultiMailer).

This function will also be useful in older Windows. Recently added shortcuts are featured also there, but in a different way compared with Windows 11.

How to test if Microsoft Access or Microsoft Excel is installed

Logotypes - Access and ExcelIn this blog post we described how to check if Microsoft Office is installed in a computer during an installation. But what if Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint is installed, but not Microsoft Access, which is what you want? How to handle this situation in Visual Installer?

In the new Visual Installer 2022 the answer is to use a new script condition that we have added to the script language. The name of the new script condition is IF ACCESS_INSTALLED and with this script condition you can check if Microsoft Access specifically has been installed in the computer. So instead of trying to use the Microsoft Office condition check (as described in the earlier blog post) you can use the new Microsoft Access condition check instead.

Below we show two examples of how to use the new condition:

// Example 1 – Tests if Microsoft Access is installed in the system
IF ACCESS_INSTALLED
  RUN %DESTDIR\InstallAccessTools.exe
END IF
 
// Example 2 – Tests if Microsoft Access is not installed in the system
IF NOT ACCESS_INSTALLED
  MSGBOX “Information”, “Microsoft Access is not installed in this computer!”, 2
END IF

 
You can also test if Microsoft Excel has been installed or not in the same way. Below we show two examples of how to use the Excel condition:

// Example 1 – Tests if Microsoft Excel is installed in the system
IF EXCEL_INSTALLED
  RUN %DESTDIR\InstallExcelTools.exe
END IF
 
// Example 2 – Tests if Microsoft Excel is not installed in the system
IF NOT EXCEL_INSTALLED
  MSGBOX “Information”, “Microsoft Excel is not installed in this computer!”, 2
END IF

 
It is also useful to know if the user has installed a 32 bit or 64 bit version of the Office program. But here you can use the same condition in Visual Installer’s script language as before (see the second half of this blog post for details).