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Macros in the Email Editor

Whenever we view an email in the system, any macro appears with a yellow highlight. When we go into edit mode the highlight goes away and we only have the curly braces (as in {macro}) to indicate where the macros are.

However, if a database column has its header changed, all macros that refer to that column now fail quietly and the {incorrect_macro_name} and its curly braces are sent to the recipient. This looks very unprofessional and it would be good if we had a better way to detect the error.

How about: Wherever a text string surrounded by {curly braces} is found which is not a proper macro, instead of ignoring it, highlight it in red. You already highlight the macros in yellow, can you not highlight the {non_macros} in red?

I have over 70 emails in my membership levels and any help in managing them would be appreciated.

7 votes
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    GordonGordon shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    5 comments

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      • Walt BilofskyWalt Bilofsky commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        There are a lot of macro suggestions scattered around. This should be treated as one modification and looked at globally.

        Macros should be more generalized and available system-wide, not just in emails but in all text usage, including website pages.

        See https://forums.wildapricot.com/forums/308932-wishlist/suggestions/8843152-generalize-macros-to-all-text-and-allow-custom-mac .

      • GordonGordon commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        A scan for invalid macros would wonderful if we could do it at a high enough level. If there were a single button that invoked a scan of all emails and checked the validity of all macros, I'd say YES, even if it only scanned membership new/renewal related emails.

        However, if the scan is invoked as a by-product of the "Save" function after an email is edited, I'd prefer the color coding scheme I described initially.

        These broken macros are at the bottom of a cascade of design issues. Wild Apricot does not provide a way to name data fields in the member/event databases. When an membership entry form is being built we describe the data we need and that description is then used as the field name. For instance, I have a membership field "Family Member 1, do not include yourself (First and Last name) (and age if under 18)". This entire text string then becomes the field (or column) name. A year or so ago I added the comma to this description/name and in doing so broke the membership confirmation macro in twelve of my membership emails. Someone pointed it out to me last week.

        So, to be of value a scan for broken macros would have to be a high level, perhaps an additional option under Settings -> E-Mails.

        Of course it would simplify the field naming issue if we had the option of adding descriptive text to the data entry forms with a tool similar to the current Section Divider but without the limitations of the Section Divider.

      • Dmitry ButerinDmitry Buterin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Gordon, good point.

        I wonder if we should take it a step further: scan emails and and provide a warning if it contains unrecognized macro. What do you think?

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