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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger Lou Sander's Avatar
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    Converting a Normal Document to a Mailmerge Document

    I've created a highly-formatted postcard document that can be printed as a letter. The postcard copy occupies the area a the top center of the letter (this allows me to design my card without worrying about the printer's minimum margin restrictions). The printer is loaded with postcards, but thinks it is loaded with letter sized paper. My postcards don't feed 100% straight every time, but they print straight enough for my needs.

    Now that the hard design work has been done, I'd like to convert the document into a mail merge document, mainly so I can include an address field that is linked to an Excel workbook.

    As far as I can tell, I'll have to start from scratch with a mail merge document, then add all the formatted stuff that I worked so hard to create.

    Is there a way just to convert my existing document to a mail merge document?
    Lou Sander
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  2. #2
    Star Lounger Graham Mayor's Avatar
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    Simply set the merge type to 'letters' add the data source and place merge fields where you require them. Then merge to the printer.

    If however you want to mail merge to postcard stock, which typically has three or four cards to a sheet then you will need to copy your card to the first 'label', add your data source and merge fields then propagate the labels - see Mailmerge with Word 2007/2016

    See also Duplex Postcards and Labels
    Graham Mayor - Word MVP
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    Lou Sander (2016-08-12)

  4. #3
    5 Star Lounger
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    The OTHER Graham beat me to it. I learned to do mail merge back in the stone age and then people always started with a regular document to get things laid out then stuck in the merge fields when it was done.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Lou Sander (2016-08-12)

  6. #4
    5 Star Lounger Lou Sander's Avatar
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    Well, that was easy! Thank you, Grahams.

    I didn't realize it could be done that way. Word isn't tremendously intuitive about it, either. Once again, the Lounge comes through.

    I'm actually using individual color postcards that I got from Vistaprint several years ago. I think I paid extra for a premium stock, which has a nice look and feel, but isn't great in printers.

    When I use my dummy letter printing method, I can put text very close to the edges of the cards, which is useful. The cards don't feed perfectly straight, though, so there IS some waste.
    Last edited by Lou Sander; 2016-08-12 at 15:58.
    Lou Sander
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  7. #5
    5 Star Lounger
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    Adjusting pages to print to any non-standard size paper or margin or layout is one of the biggest PITA's there is. The biggest problems are:

    1. Printers are different in how they print. What prints well on one printer may be a bit off on another.

    2. Printing can vary with the paper source, surface, and thickness.

    3. Even with all other things being equal, when paper is pulled in from the feed tray, it can come in a bit different from sheet to sheet.

    4. The only way I know to get around the above is to purchase a horribly expensive business printer that has really precise page feeding.

    Fortunately, most of the time, it doesn't really matter that much. Unless you are doing small labels and then the label creep will drive you f*ing nuts.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  8. #6
    5 Star Lounger Lou Sander's Avatar
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    I feel your pain, and have felt it many times over the years.

    Tonight my printer was doing OK printing the overly-thick postcards. Then it started choking on them. First they jammed. Then they refused to feed. Sheesh!

    From now on, I'm buyin' the thin stuff.
    Lou Sander
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
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  9. #7
    Star Lounger Graham Mayor's Avatar
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    If you are feeding the single postcards with the wide edge down, try setting up the document in landscape mode and feed then narrow edge down (you will also need to adjust the position of the card on the page). This will help with the wobbly feed.
    Graham Mayor - Word MVP
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  10. #8
    5 Star Lounger Lou Sander's Avatar
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    I'm feeding them narrow edge first. The text is in Text Boxes with text rotated 270 degrees. Everything comes out OK, as long as the printer cooperates.
    Lou Sander
    Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
    USA

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