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  1. #1
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    How to mail merge to labels

    I have a list of names and addresses. The person Iím doing this for wants to be able to print labels from this list. At the top of the screen (Word Starter 2010) is a choice of Mailings and under that is a choice for labels, a section called Start Mail Merge and in the Start Mail Merge tab is a choice of Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard, but I couldnít figure out how to get it to work.

    1. How to I turn this list into a form that can print labels?

    2. Do I need to know exactly what label it will be to set it up? Or, is there a way that I can just set up the merge list and send it to her in a format that she could use for whatever labels she buys?

  2. #2
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    Hi Sherry,

    Welcome to the Lounge.

    With Word Starter, do you have the 'labels' button near the left end of the mailings tab? If so, you click on that, then select the appropriate label type (via Options) then 'New Document' before starting the mailmerge.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  3. #3
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    Thank you for the prompt reply, Paul. I do have the labels button. At the moment I don't know what labels it would be, but I could try it with something and once I know how to do it, I could change to whatever she needs.

    I selected a label and got the "form" of the labels showing on the screen. I tried some of the options to set up the merge, but nothing worked. I had hoped that the space between each name and address would serve as the record delimiter. I decided to go back and use $ to end each record and adjusted the list to have the $ after each one.

    I didn't want to choose fields. I was using the full name and address as the one field. I tried some of the options for creating both the label form and using the list, but again, nothing seems to work. I think I need step-by-step instructions.

    Sometimes it has a message that in order to use it, it will have to delete the contents of the file I'm using for the list. I went ahead and said yes, since I could always retrieve the original document later. Then, if I tried to link that document, it said it was in use as the current file. One time I got a preview which included the name and beginning of the address all on one line and not the remainder of the address. Do I have to add separate field for each line? It's a long list, so that would take quite a while!

  4. #4
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    Hi Sherry,

    Using spaces as field delimiters isn't a good idea, since multi-word fields are quite common (including in surnames).

    Perhaps you could post a copy of your date file, with just a small extract of the data you're using?
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  5. #5
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    Hi Paul,

    I didn't know if my customer would want the actual names and addresses posted, so I used symbols or letters to type over the specific info and used a generic City, State. These are the first few entries. There are approximately 12 to a page and about 28-29 pages.

    Once I've chosen the labels, I don't know how to set up the form for the merge and how to tell it to merge with this particular list. I've added the $ as the record delimiter.

    Mr. And Mrs. William ////////
    929 ZZZZZZZZZ Street
    City, State 11111
    $
    Mr. And Mrs. Mark \\\\\\\
    7732 16th Avenue
    City, State 111111
    $
    Mr. and Mrs. Philip ~~~~~
    186 AAAAA Road
    City, State 11111
    $
    Pamela and Alan ######
    $
    Mr. and Mrs. Tim %%%%%%%%%
    BBBBBB Road
    City, State 11111

    Thanks again,
    Sherry

  6. #6
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    Hi Sherry,

    Your data are not laid out for a mailmerge! They should be laid out like:
    Mr. And Mrs. William ////////,929 ZZZZZZZZZ Street,City,State,11111
    Mr. And Mrs. Mark \\\\\\\,7732 16th Avenue,City, State,111111
    Mr. and Mrs. Philip ~~~~~,186 AAAAA Road,City,State,11111
    Pamela and Alan ######,,,,
    Mr. and Mrs. Tim %%%%%%%%%,BBBBBB Road,City,State,11111
    etc. with empty fields marked by consecutive commas as shown. If there are already commas in your data, you can use tabs as the field delimiters instead.

    The alternative is to skip the whole mailmerge process and simply convert the exiting data to a Word table corresponding to your client's label format (in Word, labels are nothing more than tables with particular layouts)
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  7. #7
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    Hi Paul,

    Number one, with the commas (or tabs) separating the fields, would they end up being printed one under the other? I imagine it would be quite time consuming to convert it to that form. I primarily use WordPerfect, and when doing a simple merge like this, where I don't need the name or parts of the address as separate fields, I just set it up as the full name and address as I showed before. I put an [endfield] code at the end of the full item and then [endrecord] and go on to the next. When I set up the labels, I just put a Field 1 code on the label and merge.

    Your suggestion of the table sounds like the best solution. I haven't done much on tables in Word, either. At this point I don't know what kind of labels she will get, but if you could give me an example of how to do it. If the document with the current names and addresses is set up in the appropriate table format, or if I copy that file into a new document set up the appropriate way, will all of the names and addresses automatically fit into the various cells of the table?

    Thank you,
    Sherry

  8. #8
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    Hi Sherry,

    The mailmerge output format can be whatever you want it to be. We've been discussing labels, and that's the format I was aniticipating. The mailmerge data source layout has little to do with the mailmerge output format.

    To convert your existing data to a table format, you'll need to use a couple of Find/Replace operations beforehand:
    • Find = ^p Replace = ^l
    • Find = ^l$^l Replace = ^p
    Your data are now ready for the conversion. Once you know the required label format:
    • use the Labels button & dialogue box to create a new document based on the required label format.
    • using the Properties option on the 'Table Tools', Layout tab, make a careful note of the number of columns, their widths and the cell heights (which will be set to 'exactly' some measurement).
    • you can now delete the table.
    • copy the data and paste your data into the label document.
    • select your pasted data and choose Insert > Table > Convert text to table. Click on 'Separate text at:' Paragraphs, then change the 'number of columns' to match the number of columns in the label table. Click 'auto-fit to window', then OK. Your data will now have been converted to a table, all of which will be selected. Do not change the selection!
    • on the Table Tools, Design tab, use the borders option button to clear your table's borders.
    • using the Properties option on the 'Table Tools', Layout tab, make the column widths the same as for the original table (you'll probably have to change the units from Percent to Inches or Centimetres). Do likewise for the row heights, setting their height to 'Exactly' and unchecking the option that allows them to break across pages.
    Your labels should now be ready to print.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  9. #9
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    Hi Paul,

    I was completely lost with the ^p and ^1 etc. I have no idea what they mean, but I tried it. Very interesting! The first put each record on one line and the second put them back in the original spacing without the $.

    However, I didn't get much further than that. I wasn't sure if I had to define the labels, the table or both. I selected a label format of 3 across and 10 down on a page and brought it up so that I had a document with the outline of those 30 labels showing. I then tried defining the table, but nothing seemed to happen. And, when you said to delete the table, that was even more confusing and I couldn't figure out how to do it anyway. I didn't read too carefully the steps after that, as I figured I would have to get that first part set up before the other parts would matter.

    Also, in defining the table, would I use the dimensions of the label? I would assume that a bit of space would have to be incorporated for the space between the labels. The form I was using had labels of 1 inch height, 2.63 inch width. It also mentioned .5 top and .19 side. I didn't know if that referred to each page, if that was the space between them, or exactly what it was. It also mentioned vertical pitch 1 and horizontal pitch 2.75.

    I hope that's sufficient for you to figure out my current situation and what I need to do to follow your previous directions.

    Sherry

  10. #10
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    Hi Sherry,

    Before defining the lables, you need to know which ones your client will be using. It's no good setting-up the document for something else!

    After copying the parsed text and pasting into the end of the labels document, the next step is:
    • select your pasted data and choose Insert > Table > Convert text to table. Click on 'Separate text at:' Paragraphs, then change the 'number of columns' to match the number of columns in the label table. Click 'auto-fit to window', then OK. Your data will now have been converted to a table, all of which will be selected.
    I really don't know how to make that part any clearer/simpler.

    And yes, you must use the cell dimensions of the (now deleted) label table. The .5 top and .19 side are most likely the internal cell clearances. IIRC, Word's defaults are 0 top and .19 side. These are just to ensure the text doesn't get too close to the label edges. You can achieve the same result via paragraph formatting. The pitch dimensions can probably be ignored.
    Cheers,

    Paul Edstein
    [MS MVP - Word]

  11. #11
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    Hi, Sherry,

    If I may jump in... I think some of the confusion here has to do with the two different options Paul has presented. In the first option, you would convert your mailing list into a table and then perform a mail merge whereby the data in the table is pulled into a separate document formatted as labels. (As in WordPerfect, merges in Word require two files: (1) a data file -- in this case, the mailing list, which in Word must be in the form of a table, and (2) a form file such as labels.) In the second option, you would convert your mailing list into a table and format the table to match the dimensions of the type of labels your client wishes to use. No merge involved.

    Is that a little clearer?

    I think Paul is focusing on the first option for now. (Paul, please let us know if that's not the case.) So his instructions are intended to help you reformat your mailing list as a table that uses the same margins as your client's labels. Essentially, you'll be putting the data into a label form without using an official label form.

    If you haven't done so already, I would suggest making a copy of the mailing list before you start playing with it.

    Assuming I'm understanding Paul's instructions correctly, the find and replace operations are designed to turn each record into a separate paragraph -- sort of equivalent to a single "Address field," if you will. Each label will contain one such record / "Address field."

    After you do the find and replace, you'll convert the text to a table (with paragraphs as the field separator and with the number of columns matching the label type your client uses). I'm pretty sure you will be able to tweak the table margins after the conversion. Just be careful; when you change the table margins, you want to make sure that all cells are formatted identically. For people who are accustomed to working in WordPerfect, that can be a bit of a challenge. (Using the Table Properties dialog to accomplish this task works better, IMHO, than trying to adjust the margins by dragging the margin markers on the Ruler.)

    I hope that helps.

    Good luck!

    Jan
    Last edited by janbphd; 2011-12-16 at 14:13.
    Author, Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2016,
    Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2010​,
    and Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Office Word 2007

    For Word and WordPerfect tips, visit my blog at http://compusavvy.wordpress.com

  12. #12
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    Hi Paul and Jan,

    First, Paul:

    I chose a label format to try it out. If that worked, then presumably I could easily do it again with whatever labels she gets.

    It was the in-between part that I had a problem with. I did the search and replace that you provided. But, before the part that you repeated today, you had said:

    ē use the Labels button & dialogue box to create a new document based on the required label format.
    ē using the Properties option on the 'Table Tools', Layout tab, make a careful note of the number of columns, their widths and the cell heights (which will be set to 'exactly' some measurement).
    ē you can now delete the table.

    Iím assuming that means to define the labels and bring up that form first. Then define the table. Nothing seemed to happen when I did that, and deleting the table confused me. Do I get the label document first, then create a table and set up the dimensions on top of the labels. And, if that takes, then delete the table? Also, I couldnít find a means of deleting the table. There were options to delete a row or a column, but I didnít see any option for the entire table.

    The rest of your instructions should be simple; I just hadnít paid too much attention to that part since I didnít have the previous step completed.

    Jan,

    Your explanation of creating the table seemed clearer. I tried it - first it took a little while to figure out how to get it to convert text to table, but once I chose that, I decided to do 3 labels across and it automatically put 433 (or something like that) rows. It already had paragraph selected for separating the text, so I thought it should work. But, when I did that, it put the first name in the first cell, the street address in the 2nd and the city, etc. in the 3rd. The first cell of the 2nd row was blank and then the next name in the 2nd cell of that row, etc.

    Is there something else I need to know to set that up?

    Thank you both,
    Sherry

  13. #13
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    I'm not sure about the portion of Paul's instructions where he has you open a document based on a label form and then delete the resulting table -- I'm wondering if perhaps, once you know the dimensions of the label, you could begin by having the records in any document -- then convert the text to a table.

    When Paul said to run a find and replace as follows -- Find = ^p Replace = ^l -- he was having you replace paragraphs (hard returns, inserted with the Enter key) with line breaks, also sometimes referred to as soft returns. Then when he had you do the second find and replace operation -- Find = ^l$^l Replace = ^p -- he was having you replace the character you were using to separate records (a dollar sign) with a paragraph mark (a hard return). In other words, the only hard returns remaining after the two find-and-replace operations should have been between records. Then, when you converted the text to a table, using paragraphs as separators, Word should have taken each entire record and plunked it into a cell in the table, rather than dividing up the records based on the line breaks. I'm not sure why that didn't happen; I assumed that Word would differentiate between a true hard return and a line break.

    Maybe Paul can clarify.

    Incidentally, there are a couple of different ways you can select a table in Word. From the Table Layout tab, you can click Select (at the top left side of the Ribbon), or you can move the mouse pointer close to the upper left-hand side of the table and, when you see a four-headed arrow, click it.

    Jan


    Author, Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2016,
    Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2010​,
    and Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Office Word 2007

    For Word and WordPerfect tips, visit my blog at http://compusavvy.wordpress.com

  14. #14
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    Hi Jan,

    I found my mistake. Your explanation of Paul's search terms helped. I thought it was the number 1 he was using, but when you explained that it stood for "paragraph" and "line break," I decided it must be the letter L. I pasted it from your reply and typed a 1 and a small L next to it, and it was clearly the L.

    So, I tried the whole thing again and this time the full name and address appears in each cell. I'll try setting up the size of the cells and then see what she gets. If her labels are totally different, presumably that will be easy enough to adjust now that I know what I'm doing.

    If any problems arise with that or if things work, I'll let you both know!

    Thanks again,
    Sherry

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    That's good news indeed! Hooray!

    Keep us posted, and have a good weekend. (You too, Paul!)

    Jan
    Author, Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2016,
    Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2010​,
    and Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Office Word 2007

    For Word and WordPerfect tips, visit my blog at http://compusavvy.wordpress.com

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