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WebMerge - Publish your database to the Web  WebMerge FAQ

Below is a list of frequently-asked questions about Fourth World's WebMerge (with answers, of course). If you have a question that isn't addressed here, please drop us a note at and we'll get you an answer as quickly as possible.

Frequently-Asked Questions about WebMerge:

  1. What is WebMerge?
  2. How much does it cost?
  3. What do I get when I register?
  4. A friend offered to let me use his reg code - why should I pay you?
  5. How do I contact Technical Support?
  6. How do I add Search to my pages?
  7. How do I avoid having WebMerge insert <BR> tags?
  8. Can I include images in my pages?
  9. How can I generate one large table rather than separate pages?
  10. What is your upgrade policy?
  11. How often does WebMerge get updated?
  12. Will there be a Universal Binary version for Intel Macs?
  13. Is the "Generated by WebMerge" link optional?
  14. Can I use conditional tags in my templates?
  15. Can I create password-protected pages with WebMerge?
  16. How do I create three-level hierarchies?
  17. How can I prevent WM from generating blank lines between my tags?
  18. What can I expect in future versions of WebMerge?
  19. Version history

1. What is WebMerge?

WebMerge is an application for both Mac OS, Windows, and Linux which generates static HTML pages from data exported from nearly any database or spreadsheet. Using simple placeholder tags in template pages you can create with any HTML authoring tool, WebMerge makes a copy of your template for each record in your database.

WebMerge can use files exported in Merge, tab-delimited, and other popular formats supported by most database tools, including FileMaker Pro, Microsoft Access, and more. The HTML pages it generates can be uploaded on any server without the need for expensive live database hosting.

For details on how to use WebMerge, see our page "WebMerge Workflow".


2. How much does it cost?

WebMerge is free for generating up to 20 HTML pages from your database records.

If you need to generate more pages you can pay the registration fee of US$99 at our secure online store.


3. What do I get when I register?

When you register WebMerge, you get:

  • A registration code in your confirmation email.

    Once you get that, simply launch WebMerge and select "Register" from the Help menu to open the Registration tab of the Help window. When filling in the registration info, please remember to fill in all three fields (Name, Organization, and Registration Code) or the registration may not take effect.

  • Unlimited numbers of pages can be generated. Prior to registering, WebMerge will generate only 20 pages from a given database file. Once you've registered, there is no limit to the number of pages WebMerge can generate.

  • Unlimited technical support for one year. Please send any support inquiries to If you have an emergency (we recognize that sometimes getting data on a Web site can be an emergency), feel free to use our toll-free number, 800-288-5825.

  • Free updates! We update WebMerge often, delivering bug fixes and adding new features to our customers as quickly as possible. We take your suggestions seriously, act on them quickly, and release frequently. And we have a very liberal upgrade policy which gives you lots of updates for free.


4. A friend offered to let me use his registration code - why should I pay you?

When it comes to software piracy, a lot of companies will go on about the ethical implictions of starting a life of crime. But frankly, if you'll use software registration codes that were obtained by credit card fraud or other serious crimes (where most stolen "warez" and "cracks" come from), ethical considerations are probably not a high priority.

So getting down to brass tacks: Why should you purchase the software you use? In the case of WebMerge, because it's in your interest to do so. Here's why:

WebMerge is so modestly priced that even if you value your time as low as US minimum wage it'll likely pay for itself on the first project.

But there's a lot more WebMerge can do for you. We have a "wish list" of features a mile long, things we can add that can save you serious time, truly change the way you work. The more sales we get, the more resources we can devote to delivering those features to you faster. Why spend another month doing something tedious if we can automate it for you?

Our registered customers will tell you that supporting our efforts provides immediate benefit with some of the most responsive support you're likely to find. Find a bug? Most bugs are fixed and delivered within twenty-four hours. Need a specific feature for an upcoming project? Chances are we can put that in for you in time.

Paying for WebMerge is not just getting a registration code. It's taking on a valuable ally for your work, almost like having your own custom development shop - for just $99.

If you wind up wasting several hundred dollars worth of your time on something we could have automated for you, was it really worth saving $99? Paying for the software you use doesn't just clear your conscience, it creates a healthy exchange that enables you to do more and better work. If you're serious about what you do, you'll recognize what's being offered here.


5. How do I contact Technical Support?

Please send support inquiries to

When submitting a technical support question, please note the following information in your email:

  • WebMerge version
  • Operating system version
  • Make and model of computer
  • Total amount of RAM installed
  • A complete description of the problem
  • Your registration number

We know it's a drag having to submit this technical information, but the more complete your information the better we are able to address your question quickly and completely.


6. How do I add Search to my pages?

There are a lot of interesting things that can be done to add Search capabilities to your pages, but since WebMerge only generates HTML pages and not CGIs, the best it could do is add an inefficient JavaScript solution. Bleh -- slow, with a cumbersome index download with it.

Far better would be to use a CGI. There are many available, some as Perl scripts you can drop in your cgi-bin, and others as free and commercial offsite services you can link to.

We use, because it provides a great free service, allows us the flexibility to integrate the Search and Results page well with the rest of our site, and can be upgraded to a commercial account if your needs outgrow the very generous free service. Atomz is fully scalable and is used by WebMonkey, Adobe, Fujitsu, O' Reilly and Associates, and hundreds fo small business sites.


7. How do I avoid having WebMerge insert <br /> tags?

The only times WebMerge will insert <br /> tags in your data is when your data already contains carriage return characters. Since carriage returns are not displayed in browsers as they are displayed in programs like FileMaker, WebMerge assumes that any returns in your data are there intentionally to affect display, and will dutifully replace them all with a browser-displayable line break (the <br /> tag).

If you don't want <br /> tags in your data, the best place to clean up the data is not in the resulting HTML, but directly in the source, within your database file. Most databases contain a Replace function, which you could use to replace all return characters with spaces, which will be the appropriate solution in most cases.


8. Can I include images in my pages?

Yes. WebMerge-generated pages are simple HTML, so images are referenced by paths in IMG tags. If your database has a field containing the path to an image, you can merge that data into an IMG tag in either of two ways:

Using the WM-ImagePath tag

From the Help page titled "WM-ImagePath":

The [WM-ImagePath] tag is replaced by an <img> tag in the generated page, using the file path in the data of the field specified in fieldName as the src attribute.

If your database includes a field named "ImageFile", you can include the path to an image file in that field. Using this tag, WebMerge will build an <img> tag, using the data in the database field as its source, so that this:

[WM-ImagePath: ImagePathField] generated like this:

<img src="images/mypicture.jpg">

When used in an index template, by default WebMerge generates all tags as links to the corresponding detail page. The optional nolink attribute is used in index pages to tell WebMerge to write the <img> tag without linking it to that detail page. If used in an detail page template, the nolink attribute is ignored.

Using the WM-Field tag

If you need more control over how the <img> tag is generated, rather than have WebMerge create the entire tag you can have it just insert the field data into the src attribute:

<img src="[WM-Field: ImagePathField raw nolink]">

...generates this:

<img src="images/mypicture.jpg">

So why the raw and nolink attributes?

From the Help page titled "WM-Field":

Using the raw attribute
By default, WebMerge converts field data to HTML. The conversion changes all non-ASCII characters to their corresponding character entity according to the ISO 8859-1 standard. For example, the character "<" becomes "&lt;". This attribute is useful if your database contains some fields whose data is already in HTML format, to prevent WebMerge from altering it for Web display. If your field already contains HTML, you can tell WebMerge not to perform this conversion by using the raw attribute.

Using the nolink attribute
When used in an index template, by default WebMerge generates all WM-Field tags as links to the corresponding detail page. The optional nolink attribute is used in index pages to tell WebMerge to write the tag without linking it to that detail page. If used in an detail page template, the nolink attribute is ignored.

Other link attributes
HTML supports a variety of attributes for links, such as specifying a target frame in which to open linked pages. In addition to the WebMerge attributes noted above, you can also include any number of standard link attributes in your index templates, and these will simply be copied into the generated link code. Just include any attributes you want included in your link after any WebMerge attributes.

For example, if your template reads:

[WM-FIELD: FieldName target="Frame"]

Then the resulting link will read:

<a href="detail.html" target="Frame">FieldData</a>


9. How can I generate one large table rather than separate pages?

WebMerge lets you use your own custom HTML page as a template for the Index page WebMerge generates. With the use of placeholder tags, and support for a special tag to designate a section of your page to be replicated in your layout for each database record, you can pretty much make any layout you like now.

The WM-Record tag governs which section of your page will be replicated for each record, and you can use the optional cols attribute for that tag to specify the number of columns if you want your records generated in a table.

WebMerge also provides a nolink attribute which can be added to the WM-Field tags in your index template, so you can selective choose which fields will be linked and which will merely display your text.

See the Help window in WebMerge for details on generating Index pages.


10. What is your upgrade policy?

We believe in short development cycles which incorporate as much user feedback as possible. We can't guarantee we'll be able to add every feature suggestion, and not always in the next build, but the many releases of WebMerge we've delivered since its initial release in December 2001 show that we're serious about developing this way.

Our basic upgrade policy grants all registered users a license to the current version and all upgrades released within at least a year of purchase.

Besides saving money on upgrades, this policy has a more important benefit: we want to create a sense of partnership with our customers.

Your registration supports our work, and the goal of our work is supporting your work. If WebMerge saves you time and you tell a friend, that helps both of us in the long term.

Of course we're obligated to remind you that we can't guarantee that we can develop WebMerge as a commercial product until the end of time. But as long as WebMerge is profitably contributing to your work we intend to keep exhancing it.


11. How often does WebMerge get updated?

WebMerge has has a new release every year, sometimes several times a year. Upgrades with new features are released at least annualy, sometimes more frequently, depending on the number and scope of feature requests we get.

When you're doing Web work, you're working on Internet time. If you need to wait several months for a critical feature you'll have to find some other way to solve the problem.

We know how important it is to get the right tool in your hands at the right time, so we like to keep the time between upgrades as short as we can. We address bug reports almost immediately, and address as many new feature requests as we can along the way.

Some companies like to hold off on bug fix releases until they can make their installed base pay for new features as well. We value your time more than that. And with our policy of providing several feature upgrades for free, it's almost like getting a free subscription for custom programming services.


12. Will there be a Universal Binary version for Intel Macs?

It's here now: WebMerge is available in Universal Binary format for optimized performance on both Intel-based Macs and older models. You can download it here.


13. Is the "Generated by WebMerge" link optional?

WebMerge provides a checkbox in the Generation tab to include a link at the bottom of the pages it generates labeled "Generated by WebMerge".

When you're using the free demo version this tag will always be present in generated pages, but once you register your copy of WebMerge that option is off by default, leaving it entirely up to you.


14. Can I use conditional tags in my templates?

Yes. Conditional tags let you incorporate IF-THEN expressions into your templates. For example, you could use a conditional tag to tell WebMerge to only generate pages for records where a specified field is not empty, or if the value of a field matches specific criteria.


15. Can I create password-protected pages with WebMerge?

As a page generator, WebMerge does not provide a means for user authentication. If you also need the user to modify content, both can probably best be served with a live database hosting solution.

But if non-dynamic Web pages are what you're looking for, then the only missing piece is user authentication. Most hosting services provide a convenient way to do this on the server side for free. Fourth World has a private Web page for each of our clients using this method. We've used Verio, XO, Earthlink, and TierraNet, and all of these (and most others) provide an easy Web interface for password-protecting directories.


16. How do I create three-level hierarchies?

The basic rule is that a given WebMerge settings file will be well suited for one pair of hierarchical elements, such as index pages and detail pages. If you need multiple hierarchies then you would create a separate settings file for each.

The trick is to make sure that your pages at each level of the hierarchy are generated using the same naming method. For example, if you want a three-level set of pages, your first settings file creates a list of categories as the index page, linking to a set of empty detail pages. In the second sttings file, your index pages will overwrite the empty pges from the first settings file, with detail pages providing the actual product info.

Keep in mind that you can queue up multiple settings files to run in a batch (see the Generation tab), so once you're set up you can generate all yur pages with one click.

For detailed help on setting up multi-tier sites, see the links to two great third-party tutorials on our Support page.


17. How can I prevent WebMerge from generating blank lines between my tags?

WebMerge will alter only its own tags, such as [WM-Field], but will never alter anything outside of its tags. This leaves you in control of the appearance of your page and formatting of your HTML as much as possible

But since you're in control, you may need to be mindful of the implications of adding white space (space or return characters) between your tags, esp. with tags like WM-Record and WM-IndexLabel which will replicate a portion of your template for many records.

For example, this arrangement will cause WebMerge to generate blank lines:

  [WM-IndexLabel: MyField]
    [WM-Field: MyProductName]

To avoid generating blank lines, remove the returns from your tags like this:

   [WM-IndexLabel: MyField][WM-Field: MyProductName][/WM-IndexLabel]


18. What can I expect in future version of WebMerge?

That's up to you. Most of the features we've added to the many versions of WebMerge we've released have come from customers just like you. If you see an opportunity for ways we can make WebMerge even more valuable for your work, please call or write and let's discuss it.

Research and development for the next two versions of WebMerge is in progress now, as well as plans for companion products which will enhance WebMerge's capabilities in new ways we think you'll find exciting.

Version 2.7 will include optimizations for all three supported platforms (Mac, Windows, and Linux), as well as a couple of new and useful features.

Version 3.0 will be the most dramarically enhanced upgrade in the product's history, with a complete rewrite of the core generation engine along with a new user interface which makes the many new options even easier to work with than any previous version.

Both of those releases are in development now. We'll post test versions on the Download page as as soon as they become available.

If you'd like to help test early releases before they're made public, please send an email to and we'll send you an email on how to download those versions as soon as they're ready for testing.


19. Version History

Version 2.6.1 Released 15 February 2011

  • Fixed issue in which the Help button didn't open the Help pages on some systems.

  • Improved the accuracy of automated table generation across multiple index pages.

  • Various other enhancements and bug fixes.

Version 2.6 Released 4 April 2010

  • CSS support has been added to tables. You can now specify CSS classes for the table, row, and cells with the TableClass, RowClass, and Cell class tags, respectively.

  • The new WM-BBCode tag allows you very simple BBCode syntax in your database fields to describe web content.

  • Improved performance of the modulo operator for the WM-If tag.

  • WebMerge now handles pagination of index files more robustly with some combinations of settings.

  • Improved FTP Settings window in both appearance and functionality.

  • Fixed bug in which index number serial numbers weren't padding correctly if the padding options were chosen.

  • Added better error-checking in the Sources tab setting delimiters.

  • Various other enhancements and bug fixes. All reproducible issues have been addressed for this release.

Version 2.5.3 Released 4 November, 2009

  • Fixed minro bug which had affected registration status in some upgrade installations.

  • Updated the link to the WebMerge forum in the Help files.

Version 2.5.2 Released 30 May, 2009

  • Fixed bug in which some line ending settings in Preferences would cause pages to be generated with extra line endings in some platforms.

  • Fixed a bug which had caused some Preferences settings, such as FTP settings, to not be stored properly.

Version 2.5.1 Released 14 April, 2009

  • Fixed bug which prevents source files from being parsed correctly when the delimiter was the pipe character ("|") and text fields have quotes surrounding the data. In such cases empty fields would not be recognized as such, now fixed. This did not affect any files which used commas as the delimiter.

  • Fixed bug in which manually changing the line endings in Preferences on Windows to the Windows standard ("CRLF") would cause extra line endings to be written to generated HTML files.

  • Added support in the WM-Field tag for escaping closing brackets ("]") when used in find or replace strings.

  • Various minor bug fixes to the InfoCenter

Version 2.5 Released 4 April, 2009

  • The options for creating and naming Index pages have been completely revised to allow greater flexibility and control.

  • Enhanced compatibility with Windows Vista and Mac OX 10.5 (Leopard).

  • Optimized performance on Intel-based Macs.

  • This is the first version of WebMerge available for the Linux operating system.

  • Improved auto-discovery of source file formats: When loading a source file, WebMerge will examine the format of the file and attempt to set the delimiters in the Sources tab appropriately. For most common formats, this will automatically set them up correctly, but the user can still change them if needed.

  • Improved generation of tables on index pages. In earlier versions it was possible to use certain combinations of tags and settings which would cause WebMerge to fail to generate the closing </table> tag for generated tables. At this time all known issues with table generation have been resolved.

  • Generated files names now more flexible and standard-compliant. Earlier versions were too conservative in disallowing characters which cannot be used in valid files names on web servers. Version 2.5 now generates pages using the full range of allowable characters.
  • Fixed bug in which saving a file with no source would generate a "Cannot find source file" next time the file was opened in WebMerge.

  • Other minor bug fixes. All known issues have been addressed in this build.

Version 2.4.2 Released 29 January, 2007

  • Update for Mac users: The Mac version is now in Universal Binary format, for native performance on new Intel-based Macs as well as older PowerPC models.

Version 2.4.1 Released 4 April, 2006

  • WebMerge's ability to automatically generate tables with the optional cols attribute for the WM-Record tag has been significantly improved, now generating well-formed HTML under a broader range of tag combinations than in previous version.

  • An issue with OS X in which some files were not selectable in the standard GetFile dialog has been corrected.

  • The WM-Wiki tag has been enhanced for robustness and improved performance.

  • Using multiple conditions in the WM-If tag is now faster and more robust.

  • The WM-If tag now supports escaping for semicolons and parentheses, so these characters can be used as part of a literal string for evaluation.

  • The option to have URLs automatically written as link (see the Generation tab) has been significantly improved to handle a broader range of URLs formats in text more reliably.

  • Improved appearances on all supported platforms, including native controls on Windows XP and Mac OS X.

  • Various minor bug fixes. All reproducible issues have been addressed for this release.

Version 2.4 Released 16 February, 2005

  • WM-If tag has been extended to support multiple conditions, with AND and OR operators and nested parentheses to allow complex evaluations of data from multiple fields.

  • The new WM-Wiki tag allows you simple syntax in your database fields to generate web content.

  • The WM-ImagePath tag has been extended to allow standard HTML image attributes which will be included in the generated code.

  • Generated pages can now have file names up to 255 characters on Windows.

  • Much of the program has been highly optimized, resulting in performance that's often more than twice as fast as previous versions.

  • All paths to directories and other settings are now stored as relative to the settings file, making it easy to move WebMerge-based solutions from one computer to another.

  • Improved appearances on all supported platforms, including native controls on Windows XP and Mac OS X.

  • Various minor bug fixes. All reproducible issues have been addressed for this release.

Version 2.3 Released 11 December, 2003

  • WM-AccessLink tag builds links automatically from MS Access data fields of type Link.

  • New Replace attribute for the WM-Field tag lets you perform multiple search-and replace operations on field data before it's inserted into the page.

  • Debugger window lets you step through WebMerge's generation process to help diagnose errors in your templates.

  • TagMaker window lets you construct WebMerge tags with your field names quickly and easily with a point-and-click interface. Great for learning to write WebMerge tags, and fast enough to be valuable for experienced users. Tags can be easily copied for pasting into your favorite HTML authoring program.

  • Plug-In Tools architecture allows third parties to write custom utilities that run within WebMerge, and allows Fourth World to extend the product between releases. The Debugger and TagMaker tools use this new architecture.

  • A "Made with WebMerge" notice can be optionally added to the bottom of every generated page.

  • WebMerge now replaces spaces and other invalid characters in file names with a hyphen ("-"). Earlier versions of WebMerge had used an underscore ("_"). If you need your pages to be generated using underscores as they were in earlier versions you can change this behavior at any time with the new File Name Hyphenator plug-in tool, available from the new Tools menu.

  • Various minor bug fixes. All reproducible issues have been addressed for this release.

    Version 2.2 Released 23 January, 2003

    • WM-Record tag now offers optional attributes to create multi-column index pages.

    • WM-FieldInclude tag lets you insert a text file or HTML file referenced by a path in your field data.

    • All navigation tags (WM-LinkNext, WM-LinkIndexNext, etc.) now allow attributes in the generated link, such as JavaScript function calls and CSS assignments.

    • A Favorites sub-menu has been added to the File menu for quick access to commonly-used settings files.

    • The FTP settings window now displays bullet characters ("•") in the password field.

    • A new "Preview in Browser" button has been added to the results window so you can quickly view the generated files in your browser.

    • The Test Mode option in the main window now offers a range of pages to generate. With that option on, you can choose to generate only 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, or 1000 pages.

    • In demo mode (no license key has been entered) WebMerge will write a notice at the bottom of the page that it was generated with an unlicensed version of WebMerge. Registered copied of WebMerge will not add any such info to your pages at all.

    • Various minor bug fixes. All reported issues have been addressed for this release.

    Version 2.1 Released 21 November, 2002

    • WM-IndexLabel tag lets you write a portion of an index page only when the value in the specified field changes between records. This is especially useful for labelling groups of records on the page.

    • WM-GenDate tag lets you insert the date your pages were generated, with a variety of formatting options.

    • WM-IndexRecordNumber tag gives you the position of a record on an index page.

    • WM-CurrentRangeStart tag tells you the beginning number of the range of records shown on an index page.

    • WM-CurrentRangeEnd tag gives you the ending number of the range of records shown on an index page.

    • The WM-Field tag now supports a new cgiEncoded attribute to format field data in a form suitable for submission to CGIs.

    • Various bug fixes, mostly involving settings not being saved correctly. All reported issues have been addressed for this release.

    • Revised and enhanced documentation and examples.

Version 2.0 Released 15 October, 2002

This completely revised and expanded version contains dozens of new features, including:

  • Conditional generation using IF-THEN tags in your templates.

  • The INCLUDE tag lets you merge any text or HTML document directly into your generated pages.

  • FIRST, NEXT, PREVIOUS, and LAST tags provided for easy linking to other detail or index pages.

  • WebMerge 2.0 can automatically create simple index and detail templates on the fly for instant publishing.

  • Multiple index pages, with automated pagination based on field changes or number of records. For example, you could have WebMerge create a new index whenever the first character of a field containing names changes, making alphabetically-categorized index pages.

  • You can include other WebMerge settings files to be executed when the current one finishes. This lets you chain sequences of generation activities for fully automated support of complex workflows.

  • Logging options let you maintain a listing of WebMerge results and tag interepretation errors so you can track down problems in your templates quickly.

  • Template pages can reside anywhere on your hard drive, with the folder you want WebMerge to generate its pages into specified separately.

  • If you need a different index or detail template for each record, just include the path to that file in a field in that database and WebMerge provides an option to let you use those to generate from.

  • WebMerge 2.0 can optionally upload generated pages to most Web servers via built-in FTP.

  • Any field delimiter can be used to parse your exported database or spreadsheet file. WebMerge provides quick selection for the most popular delimiters such as commas and tabs, but also provides space for you to enter your own if needed. Just about any file format with return-delimited records can be used.

Version 1.9.3 Released 28 February, 2002

Fixed a bug which prevented index pages from being automatically generated if that option is set.

WebMerge now deletes the last character in the file if it is ASCII 26. This character is sometimes used by Windows databases to mark the end of the file, and if not deleted would generate an error when trying to work with the last record.

This build incorporates a request for a more flexible way of handling the rendering of URLs in field data. In v1.9.3, the following services should be recognized anywhere in the field data and rendered into URLs if the "Generate URLs as links" option is set: mailto, ftp, news, and of course http. Previous versions only recognized http, and only if the URL was the only data in the field. This enhancement makes it possible to simply type URLs into large blocks of text within your database, and WebMerge will faithfully render each URL as an HTML link.

Version 1.9.2 Released 28 January, 2002

First release for Mac OS X.

A handful of modest bug fixes related to the parsing of database files.

Version 1.9.1 Released 14 January, 2002

Revisions to the HTML generation engine offer significantly faster performance, esp. for larger exported database files.

Expanded error-checking now handles a greater range of file formats.

A handful of modest bug fixes related to the user interface and the saving of certain settings.

Version 1.9 Released 26 November, 2001

You can now optionally generate an index page only, without also generating detail pages.

Better feedback for errors with your WebMerge tags in your templates.

Even faster performance the earlier versions.

Fixed a bug introduced with version 1.8 in which the delimiters of the exported database were not consistently applied for some files.

Version 1.8.1 Released 7 November, 2001

Added more thorough error-checking for template pages that do not contain valid field tags. In version 1.8, if a template did not have any [FMP-FIELD tags with valid field names, WebMerge could get stuck in a loop lookking for them. This version not only fixes this issue, but also notifies the user and reports which template file is causing the problem.

Version 1.8 Released 24 October, 2001

Added support for a new IMAGEPATH tag for templates. This tag allows more flexibility for including images in your template layouts. The syntax is:
[FMP-IMAGEPATH: <fieldname>]
where <fieldname> is the name of one of the fields in your database containing a path to an image file.

Added support for including standard HTML attributes. You can now include standard HTML attributes in your FIELD and IMAGEPATH replacement tags. Any standard attributes will simply be included in generated links. This allows you to specify frames or other targets, or call JavaScript functions from your links.

For example, if your template reads:
[FMP-FIELD FieldName target="Frame"]
Then the resulting link will read:
<a href="fieldata target="Frame">FieldData</a>

Added a new RAW attribute for the FIELD tag. The present of this flag tells WebMerge not to convert the data to HTML. If omitted, the default is to convert field data.
Example: [FMP-FIELD: FieldName raw]

In previous versions, bypassing HTML formatting was done by adding special "<HTML>" tags to your database field data. The older method is still supported, but may be phased out in future versions to increase performance. You are encouraged to use the RAW attribute in your template pages instead.

The HTML generation engine has been optimized, and is now an average of about 20 faster.

Settings files and sources are now portable across different systems and platforms. When saving a WebMerge Settings file, paths to your sourcs files (exported database, and the detail and index templates) are now stored as relative paths. This lets you move your files to another folder or another computer, and the settings file will be able to find your source provided they are in the same location relative to the Settings File. Because WebMerge uses the same file format for its Settings files on both platforms, you can even move your work folder to between Mac and Windows machines for even smoother integration with larger group workflows.

The Help files have been rewritten as HTML. The Help pages are in the new WebMerge Help folder. Help is still accessible from the Help menu or clicking WebMerge's Help button, opening the HTML pages for you in your default browser.

Added new example files to more clearly illustrate features.

File names for generated pages now use stricter rules to better comply with UNIX file name requirements.

Fixed a minor bug in which the "Write URLs as Links" checkbox sometimes appeared to be set when it was not.

Version 1.7 Released 4 September, 2001

Added support optional nolink attribute for FMP-Field tags in index template pages. When present, this attribute tells WebMerge not to turn the data for that field into a link. In addition to providing more control over how the index page is generated, it also allows you to add images to your index.

To use this option just add the word "nolink" with a space separating it from your FMP-Field name, like this:

[FMP-Field: My_Field nolink]

This option must be used on any image tags in your template file, and any ALT tags associated with images.

This option applies to index template pages only. Using this tag in detail template pages will cause WebMerge to simply not merge the data for that field. Since it only affects links generated by WebMerge from the index to the detail page, you should not need to use this option in a detail page anyway.

Fixed a bug which sometimes caused a leading "/" character to be deleted from the path supplied in the field specified as containing the path of the generated file. The path supplied for the generated file name is now completely unmodified.

Added AppleScript support for working with the Index Page Template settings. Added both SetIndexTemplate and GetIndexTemplate commands to the even suite.

Rewrote some portions of the Help information for clarity.

Version 1.6.2 Released 7 April, 2001

Fixed a bug in the generation of links in the index page in which some links had the closing "</a>" tab in an incorrect position relative to table elements. This had no effect when running pages in Internet Explorer, but was evident when running Netscape.

Optimized code generation with effeciency increased up to 20% in some cases.

Version 1.6.1 Released 5 April, 2001

Fixed minor bug which caused a problem in which the links in an index page pointing to detail pages would use a full path to the file rather than a relative URL. This fix now uses a relative URL.

Version 1.6 Released 4 April, 2001

Added option to create Index pages from customized templates.
Uses the same placeholder tags for field data as the templates for detail pages, but also uses another CDML tag, [FMP-Record], which denotes a section of your Index template which is to be replicated in the page for each record WebMerge will generate a detail page for.

Added ability to edit the file name extension for generated pages. Previous versions always generated page files ending in .html, but now WebMerge supports users needing to generate .asp or other HTML-based format.

Removed the "This page generated by WebMerge" blurb from pages generated in the demo version. Some folks felt that the docs didn't draw enough attention to its description that WebMerge only generated that info while in demo mode, and never with the registered version. Just the same, we strive for clarity so the simplest solution was to remove this altogether.

Version 1.5.1 Released 18 March, 2001

Fixed bug in which WebMerge was not generating <BR> tags properly in field data which contained carriage returns.

Version 1.5 Released 12 March, 2001

Added the following enhancements and bug fixes:

Added ability to save WebMerge settings in a file, and added new options to make running WebMerge from a settings file automated. These including Auto-Run and Auto-Quit options, so launching the document from the desktop, including via AppleScript in the Finder (Mac OS) or running a DOS batch file (Windows) can completely automate WebMerge's operation.

Added Apple event support for Mac OS. You can now send Apple event "do script" commands to WebMerge to control its settings and operation from other programs.

Added support for tab-delimited files. Since most tab-delimited
files do not include the names of the fields from the database, WebMerge will create a set of arbitrary names which can be used instead ("Field_001", "Field_002", etc.).

Added support for semi-colon field delimiters in exported Merge files
We found that some systems we generating Merge files using semi-colons rather than the standard comma.

Added ability to specify sub-folders for generated HTML pages.
WebMerge lets you select a field for it to use for the name of the HTML files it will generate. In this new version, if that field contains a standard UNIX folder name (separated by "/") before the file name (e.g., "myfolder/filename") it will create the specified subfolder as it creates the file.

Added support for ISO 8859-1 character entities for field data.
This allows folks to use non-ASCII characters in their database data, and WebMerge now converts those to standard HTML character entity tags. This covers the range of characters described in the ISO 8859-1 standard.

Changed the way HTML is handled in exported data. Now that WebMerge will translate text to HTML, if your database contains valid HTML that you do not want translated you will need to put that data between <HTML> tags. For example, with WebMerge 1.0 you could have a field which contains:
<a href="">Fourth World</a>
in WebMerge 1.5, you will need to have:
<HTML><a href="">Fourth World</a></HTML>

By using the HTML tags, you can mix HTML data with straight text, and it will translate the text while preserving your own HTML.

Added the ability for the user to set a custom name for the optional index page that WebMerge can generate. This can be useful for a lot of things, but also those cases where you already have an index page (we had one customer who wanted to link it to an image map page).

Added the ability to render URLs as HTML hyperlinks. With this option turned on, any field containing a URL beginning with "http://" will be written to its HTML file as an HTML link.

Version 1.0 Released 26 December, 2000

Initial release.

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WebMerge helped me create several thousand pages under a very tight deadline.

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David F. Bills
Director, Online Communications
Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)