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Advanced Word 97 - MailMerge It Together

Troubleshoot Mail Merge

I want merged text and numbers to have different formatting. Merged information has the character formats you apply to the merge fields in the main document. The formatting in the data source has no effect.
  1. Click the merge field that corresponds to the information you want to format.
  2. Click buttons on the Formatting toolbar; or click Font on the Format menu, and select the options you want.
  • To control other aspects of formatting, press ALT+F9 to display field codes, and then add switches to the merge field. For example, to display the number "34987.89" as "$34,987.89," add the numeric picture switch (\#). To print client names in uppercase letters, add the format switch (\*).
  • To ensure that the merged information has the same font and point size you apply to the merge field, add a \* charformat switch.

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When I open a document, Word asks me to locate a data source. After you select a data source for a main document, Word looks for the data each time you open the main document. If you no longer use a document as a mail-merge main document, you can remove its associated data source.

Remove the associated data source from a main document

  1. Open the document from which you want to remove the data source.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Mail Merge.
  3. Click Create, and then click Restore To Normal Word Document.

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Merge fields are printed instead of my data. On the Tools menu, click Options, and then clear the Field codes check box on the Print tab. With the main document active, click Merge to Printer on the Mail Merge toolbar.

Note Do not try to print the form letters by using the Print command (File menu) unless you have first collected the resulting merged documents in a new document.

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I get a message saying that my data file is a mail-merge main document. The data source was the active document when you chose the Mail Merge command (Tools menu), so it was accidentally selected as the main document. Use the following procedure to remove the main-document designation.
  1. Switch to the data source, and then click Mail Merge on the Tools menu.
  2. Click Create, and then click Restore to Normal Word Document.
  3. Save and then close the data source.
  4. Open the document you want to use as the main document.
  5. On the Tools menu, click Mail Merge. Click Create, and then click the type of main document you want to use.
  6. When Word displays a message, click Active Window.

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I want to use mail merge for something other than a form letter. To combine any type of "standard" text with unique information listed in a separate file, follow the instructions for form letters. You can use this basic process to create legal documents, contracts, and many other types of documents.

To print a list of information from a database -- such as a parts list, membership directory, or catalog -- follow the instructions for catalog main documents.

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Create a catalog, membership directory, parts list, or similar document If you select Catalog as the type of main document, all of the merged data is placed in one resulting merged document. Any standard text you add to the main document is repeated for each set of data.
  1. Click New to create a new document.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Mail Merge.
  3. Click Create, click Catalog, and then click Active Window. The active document becomes the mail-merge main document.
  4. Click Get Data. To create a new list of names, addresses, or other data in Word, click Create Data Source, and then set up the data records. To use an existing list of data in a Word document or in a worksheet, database, or other list, click Open Data Source. To use addresses from an electronic address book, click Use Address Book.
  5. After you designate the data source and Word displays a message, click Edit Main Document.
  6. In the main document, type any text you want to be repeated with each set of information merged from the data source. Do not include text you want to be printed only once in the resulting catalog document, such as headers, footers, and table column headings.
  7. Click where you want to insert a name, address, or other information. Then click Insert Merge Field on the Mail Merge toolbar, and click the field name that you want.
  8. After you complete the main document and insert all of the merge fields, click Mail Merge Helper on the Mail Merge toolbar.
  9. Click Merge.
  10. In the Merge to box, click New document. To merge only selected records from the data source, click Query Options, and then specify criteria for selecting the data records.
  11. Click Merge. In the resulting catalog document, add headers, footers, and any other text that you want. For example, if the merged data is formatted as a table, add column headings to the table after the data is merged.
  12. To print the catalog document, click Print.

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I want to create a data source first, before I start a mail-merge document. The easiest way to create a data source in Word is to use the Mail Merge command to start a main document. After you've created the data source, you can delete the blank main document.

In a new document window, click Mail Merge (Tools menu), click Create, and then click Form Letters. When Word displays a message, click Active Window. Then click Get Data and create a data source.

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I changed label or envelope size. How do I fix my main document? To change the size or other aspects of an envelope main document, or if you change printers, open the envelope main document, and then click Envelopes and Labels (Tools menu). In the Envelopes and Labels dialog box, select the envelope options you want.

To change mailing labels, click Mail Merge on the Tools menu, and then create a new mailing labels main document

In the Label Options dialog box, select the type of printer and the type of labels you want to use. If your label type is not listed, you can create a custom label size.

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Create custom mailing labels If the brand of labels you want to use is not listed in the Product number box (Label Options dialog box), you may be able to use one of the listed labels, or you can create your own custom labels.
  1. In the Product number box, locate a label type similar in size to your labels.
  2. Click Details, and then compare the label dimensions and the number of labels per sheet (for labels printed on laser and ink jet printers) or the number of columns on the label form (for labels printed on dot-matrix printers). If the dimensions and label layout match those of your labels, use the selected label.
  3. If the dimensions and layout do not match yours, click Cancel.
  4. In the Label Options dialog box, check the printer type, and then click New Label.
  5. Type a name in the Label name box, fill in the information for your custom label, and then click OK.

The new label appears in the Product number box as "Label name - Custom,". Note Measure the labels carefully. The label size indicated by the label manufacturer may be slightly smaller than the actual size. For example, a 1-by-2-inch label might actually be 15/16-inch high and 1-15/16-inches wide.

In the Create Labels dialog box, insert the merge fields for the address information.

Tips for inserting address merge fields

  • Type spaces and punctuation between the merge fields, outside the merge-field characters ( ).
  • To start a new line, press ENTER.
  • To format address information in the main document -- for example, to make each name bold -- click the merge field that corresponds to the information you want to format, and then click buttons on the Formatting toolbar. Or click Font or Paragraph on the Format menu, and select the options you want.
  • To format address information in the Create Labels dialog box, click the merge field, and then apply the formats you want.

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Blank lines are showing in the merged documents. If unwanted blank lines appear in addresses or similar information, make sure that Don't print blank lines when data fields are empty is selected in the Merge dialog box. To prevent blanks lines with Word fields such as IF, SET, and ASK, do the following:
  • If a field (such as ASK or SET) has no resulting text, you can insert the field within the standard text. If you must place the field in a separate paragraph, format the paragraph mark () as hidden text. Before you merge the documents, clear the Hidden text check box on the Print tab in the Options dialog box (Tools menu).
  • If text inserted by an IF field must be printed in a separate paragraph, include the paragraph mark in the field instructions. Insert the IF field in the main document; then, with field codes displayed, insert the paragraph mark within the appropriate set of quotation marks. In the following example, Word inserts the paragraph mark that follows "brochure" only if the text is printed.

{ IF { MERGEFIELD Product } = "Pasta" "We have expanded our line of pasta products. Please see the enclosed brochure.

" " " } Thank you for your order.

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I selected the option to merge form letters to a new document. How do I print specific letters? When you merge form letters or similar types of merged documents to a new document, Word places each letter in a separate section of the new document.

To print only specific letters from the new document, click Print on the File menu.

In the Pages box, type the numbers of the sections that contain the letters you want to print.

For example, to print the third, sixth, seventh, and eighth form letters, type s3,s6-s8 in the Pages box. To identify the section number, click a letter and then note the section number displayed at the bottom of the window; for example, "Sec 3."

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Can I use main documents I created in other versions of Word? You can use main documents you created in Word version 7.0 as well as in the following other versions of Word:
  • Word version 6.x for Windows, if the main document is attached to a data source.
  • Word version 2.x for Windows, if the main document is attached to a data source.
  • Word version 1.x for Windows, if the main document contains a DATA field that identifies the data source.
  • Word for the Macintosh or Word for MS-DOS, if the main document contains a DATA instruction that identifies the data source (data document).

To merge the documents, open the main document, and then click Mail Merge on the Tools menu. If necessary, click Get Data and then select the data source. Finally, click Merge.

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IF fields do not compare data fields correctly. When an IF field compares a data field with the information you specify in the Insert Word Field dialog box, the capitalization of text is significant. If you don't know whether text in a data field is in uppercase or lowercase letters, use a format switch to compare the text as though it had the same capitalization pattern you type in the Compare To box.

In the following example, the (\* Caps) switch instructs Word to compare the Country data field as though each word starts with a capital letter. Insert the format switch in the IF field codes, as shown in the example.

{ IF {MERGEFIELD Country \* Caps } <> "United Kingdom" "We offer special rates on travel within the British Isles." " " }

 

  Use To compare
  \* Upper All uppercase letters (UNITED KINGDOM)
  \* Lower All lowercase letters (united kingdom)
  \* FirstCap First word with an initial capital letter (United kingdom)
  \* Caps All words with an initial capital letter (United Kingdom)

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When I attach a mail-merge data file or insert a database, Word automatically starts the source application to get the data. How can I get the data without starting the source application? By default, when you insert database information or attach it as a mail merge data source, Word uses DDE to read the data file. DDE automatically starts the source program (such as Microsoft Excel) and then opens the data file.

If you don't want to start the source program, you can use ODBC or a file converter instead of DDE to read the data file directly.

To do this, insert the database information, or attach it as a mail merge data source as usual. In the Open Data Source dialog box, select the Select method check box before you click Open. Then, each time you insert database information or attach it as a mail merge data source, Word opens the Confirm Data Source dialog box so that you can click the ODBC driver or file converter you want.

 

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