This guide will teach you the best practices, tips & tricks for creating and editing letters. Letters may be used for Special Education, Attendance, Discipline or Mail Merge Letters.
1. What are my options for adding the letter to OnCourse?
1. You can type the letter from scratch into Word with no formatting, or into the OnCourse editor.
2. You can copy/paste the letter from a Word document into Notepad (this removes all formatting) and then into a new non-formatted Word document.
3. Then, you will upload the Word document into OnCourse's editor.
*Tips: Align text in the Word document as it should appear in the final document in OnCourse. Google Chrome works best with the OnCourse Editor.
2. Accessing Your Letters
Depending on the letter type you are preparing to create you could be in a few different areas of your OnCourse Suite.
• Special Education Letters: Click on the Special Education Tab, then Form Letters
• Discipline Letters: System Manager Tab, School Folder, Discipline Settings, Letters and Rules, Letters can be added to all of the four sections: Demerit Counts, Discipline Code Counts, Disposition Code Counts, and Incident Letters, click on Add Form Letter
• Attendance Letters: System Manager Tab, School Folder, SIS Settings, Form Letters, Attendance Summaries, Click on Add Form Letter
• Mail Merge Letters: Mail Merge letters must be created specific to the search or Advanced Search. Click on the People Tab, Run Search or Run Advanced Search, Click on Mail Merge, New Template
3. Can I use a letterhead?
• A best practice is to create a letterhead to be copied and used for all non-formatted Word documents.
*Tip: Create a letterhead document with a table preset with the
recommended properties for quick use.
4. When should I use tables in my letter?
• Tables are great when the information for the letter needs to be contained within a border that may been seen or unseen.
• Tables work well if the information needs to be split into sections.
5. How do I add a table in Microsoft Word?
1. Click on Insert
2. Select Table
3. Select the number of columns/rows needed.
6. How do I set the width for the table?
1. Right-click on the table
2. Go down the list and select Table Properties
3. Table Tab: Check the box for Preferred width: 100 Measure in %
7. How do I set the table border?
1. Working in the Table Tools/Design tab
2. Choose from the drop down no border or the preferred border.
3. Then, choose the border width of 1 pt.
*Tip: The border width must be 1 pt or above.
8. Tips for Working With Tables
• If no borders is chosen, turn on view grid lines for ease of use.
• If borders are chosen it must be set to 1 pt or above, 1/2 points are not recognized.
• Tab will automatically add more rows to a table
• In the Table Tools Layout tab select Split Cells to add multiple split cells.
9. Can I add check boxes to the document?
• In the Word document remove the formatting of all check box areas using Notepad.
• Add [ ] in the checklist areas where users will need to check or mark with and x.
• Then, paste this text into Word.
10. Let's Look at How to Import to OnCourse!
11. How do I import a Discipline letter into OnCourse?
1. Go to the System Manager tab
2. Click on School
3. Click on Discipline Settings
4. Click on Letters and Rules
5. Select the area to add the letter (Demerit, Discipline, Disposition,or Incident)
6. Click Add Form Letter
7. Select Upload Word Document
8. Add File
9. Double-click document from the saved location on your computer
10. Click Upload File
12. How do I import an Attendance letter into OnCourse?
1. Go to the System Manager tab
2. Click on School
3. Click on SIS Settings
4. Click on Form Letters
5. Click Add Form Letter
6. Select Upload Word Document
7. Add File
8. Double-click document from the saved location on your computer
9. Click Upload File
13. How do I add my Mail Merge document into OnCourse?
1. Go to the People tab
2. Click on Run Search or Select the Appropriate Advanced Search
3. Select Mail Merge, then Merge All or Selected
4. Click on New Template
5. Copy the letter from Word
6. Paste the letter into OnCourse
14. How do I import a Special Education document into OnCourse?
1. Go to the Special Education tab
2. Click on Form Templates
3. Click on Import Form Content from Word Document
4. Click Add File
5. Double-click document from the saved location on your computer
6. Click Upload File
15. What is the difference between a Special Education Letter and Form?
• Letters typically have properties of being sent or not sent.
• Forms are typically documents that need to be completed, fill in the blanks.
16. Can I quickly adjust the font and size?
1. Press Control or Command A to select all of the text.
2. Change the font or font size as desired.
*Tip: Arial font at size 10 pt works best. If you'd like to set your letterhead apart, set District or School name to 12 pt and bold type. Set the letter title to bold type. Formatting should be done inside the OnCourse Editor. As stated earlier, to upload correctly, it must be a non-formatted Word document.
17. Odd characters were added to the document...
• Scan your document for any oddly placed characters such as ? or @.
• Simply delete and insert the correct symbol or character.
18. How do I add merge fields to automatically fill information?
1. Select the text or place the cursor in the area to add a merge field.
2. Click the field from the right hand side to add to the letter.
3. When this letter is printed for a student the merge field information will automatically populate.
*Tip: Four diamond symbols added/placed in the letter indicate
areas where information has to be manually entered.
19. What is the best way to add blank lines?
• Add a Horizontal Line, this allows for consistency and adjusts automatically for page size.
• Click the Horizontal Line icon
• Set to 100%
• Check the box for No Shadow
20. How do I set page breaks?
• Set the page breaks in the OnCourse editor, not in Word.
• Place the cursor on the line where the break should occur.
• Click the Insert Page Break Icon for Printing.
• A red line will appear indicating to location of the page break.
21. Print a letter with Student Information to Review Accuracy (SE)
1. Click on the People tab
2. Select a Student
3. Select the Special Education tab
4. Documents mid-tab
5. Add-Add Special Education Form
6. Choose a Template
*Tip: The OnCourse Editor allows you to print preview a
document prior to printing.