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  1. #1
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    Mail Merge w/Word (97, 2K, XP)

    Hi everyone,

    I'm trying to get my mail merge from Access to Word skills together and have been working through several of Helen Feddema's articles. In the examples I've looked at so far, she uses a Contacts table with a single address field. Information that is (often, usually?) stored in two seperate fields as Address One and Address Two, is combined in this single address field (I suppose using ctl-Enter in the input screen to get both lines in a single text box).

    I'm confused by this method of storing address information. Is this method necessary for doing Mail Merges? Is this a recommended method of storing address information in a database generally? Should it be used in databases that won't be used for mail merges? Can it introduce other problems into operations that require manipulating the address information? It seems that the required ctl-Enter keystoke could be confusing for users.

    In short, she seems to introduce a technique for storing address information that, though it may facilitate Mail Merging, isn't the approach I would normally take when designing a table to hold Contact information. I would think that using two seperate fields would be the preferred method. Can Mail Merge be done using two seperate fields? Can anyone help me sort this out?

  2. #2
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    Re: Mail Merge w/Word (97, 2K, XP)

    Hi Bob,
    No problem with separating addresses into two lines - we frequently do that with addresses, as the Post Office in the US really likes things like Suite, Apartment, Floor, etc. to be on a separate line, and we use Address Validation software to verify the 9-digit ZIP code. If you are doing a merge, you simply put an extra field for the address, linked to the second line, and Word will collapse it if there isn't any data on the line. I do have some issues with storing second lines separated by a vbCRLF, as occasionally someone will design a form with a text box that is only one line high (Access default), and then you don't know the second line is there unless you zoom or use the cursor keys. BTW, we do often concatenate the entire address in a query and then feed that to Word as a single field just to simplify the merge document. Hope this helps - post back if you have more questions.
    Wendell

  3. #3
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    Re: Mail Merge w/Word (97, 2K, XP)

    Hi Wendell,

    Thanks for validating my uneasiness about the line-feed characters. I was hoping they weren't necessary, though I can see how they'd simplify things for purposes of the demo. The concatenating idea had occurred to me too, and seems like a better way to derive a single field if one is desired.

    You mention that Word will automatically collapse blank lines where the second address field may be empty. Is that true for all the merge strategies (i.e. using the DDL mail merge object, custom document properties, and bookmarks)? Or is there a preferred method in this regard? Thanks again for your help. I clearly have much experimenting to do.

    Bob

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    Re: Mail Merge w/Word (97, 2K, XP)

    The collapsing of empty lines is the default option in Word, at least for 97/2000. I think maybe they messed with this a bit in XP/2002, but as I recall is still an option you can manipulate. Not sure about your question on the "DDL mail merge object" - did you mean DDE, or are you thinking of DLL? In any event, if you are using automation to drive Word and build a document on the fly (which is sometimes referred to as an Access merge to Word), in that case you would want to do your own concatenation.
    Wendell

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    Re: Mail Merge w/Word (97, 2K, XP)

    Thanks again Wendell. Much appreciated. DDE is what I had in mind. Thanks.

    Bob

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