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  1. #1
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    Mail merge-NOT addresses (Word 2002)

    I'm transcribing for a doctor who dictates short reports that have a lot of format changes. The demographics for these reports is all over the place. I want the target document to merge all the bits into the right order with the right formatting. I want to save each of these merged reports as separate documents, not a continuous roll. I could do this in WordPerfect 5.1 just fine. Source document with field info, target document with field receptacles, merge and go. When I try to duplicate that within Word 2002, a wizard? wants to merge addresses to a letter or an envelope, but not fields I originated to a non-letter-document. I made an Access database with my fields and can link to that source and it works, but I can't format the text in Access and it's a time waster to go back through the merged document in Word and do all the formatting. As well, I get one file with a long roll of documents (all page 1--print page 1 and you get 50 prints). There must be a simple way to merge from a Word source to a Word target and keep the formatting. Perform this with each report so it makes a single file?

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Mail merge-NOT addresses (Word 2002)

    <P ID="edit" class=small>(Edited by jscher2000 on 17-Aug-05 17:35. )</P>When you create your "main" document, after you insert the merge fields, select them (or, more reliably, the entire paragraph containing them) and format them to your liking. Then, after data is inserted during the merge process, it should have the formatting you assisted.

    Regarding multiple documents in one, I believe there have been some threads that describe how you can, after the merge, run a macro to save out each section as a separate document. Hopefully that will pop up in a search.

    Added: Before the "new and improved" wizard, which prefer you to use an Access file for your data, it was relatively easy to merge from another Word document formatted as a table. I'm sure there still is a way to do that, but I don't do enough merges to know the steps.

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    Re: Mail merge-NOT addresses (Word 2002)

    The trouble with formatting the target document as opposed to the source is that not all merged documents HAVE the same types of paragraphs. But I just saw another posting elsewhere that said individual merges are better handled as userforms, not mail merges. Huh? What are they? Do I have to know VBA? I don't. Can you tell me the difference in very simple terms? There's so much information, I feel like I'm crawling around on leaves in a forest. In short, I'm lost. Thank you for your help!

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    Re: Mail merge-NOT addresses (Word 2002)

    A userform is something like a dialog window, only it is created in the Visual Basic Editor, and the programmer decides what is done with the information entered by the user. I don't think it is what you need here.

    Mail merge is not suitable, for even with a Word document as data source, merge fields will ignore any formatting of the source and just display the plain text.

    You could mark the relevant portions of the source documents with bookmarks, and use INCLUDETEXT fields in the target document; they will preserve formatting. You can insert an INCLUDETEXT field by selecting Insert | Field..., or as follows:
    - Press Ctrl+F9 to insert field brackets { } (don't type the brackets yourself, that won't work)
    - Type the following between the brackets, substituting the correct names:

    INCLUDETEXT "Sourcename.doc" bookmarkname

    - If the source document is in the default Word folder, you don't need to specify its path, otherwise you must specify a fully qualified path or a relative location, e.g. "C:/Test/Sourcename.doc" or "../Sourcename.doc"
    - Note the use of forward slashes instead of the usual backslashes. You can also use double backslashes instead.
    - When done, press F9 to hide the field code and update the result.

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    Super Moderator jscher2000's Avatar
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    Re: Mail merge-NOT addresses (Word 2002)

    > The trouble with formatting the target document as opposed to the source is that not all
    > merged documents HAVE the same types of paragraphs.

    There is a way to wrap your merge fields in an IF field, that is, if the data source is not "blank" for this field, insert the data, otherwise skip it and move on. There are examples of this here in the Lounge, and others can help with the specific syntax if you post an example target document and indicate which fields need to be "optional."

    > But I just saw another posting elsewhere that said individual merges are better handled as userforms

    A userform is well suited to interactive data entry. Think of any Windows dialog. You could create a template that displays a userform to type in your transcription data and then inserts it to the correct locations in the document. I'm not sure this is any faster than typing it directly yourself.

    If you already entered all your data in another program, then you really do want some kind of automated document assembly. Whether that is done using the built-in merge feature, or whether you write a macro to insert the data in a more customized way, is up to you. Note that if you are using Excel or Access or Word to store your data, you can start with your data source on screen and then use the built-in Visual Basic for Applications language to take each row of data and generate a Word document from it. In order for this to work, you would first create a Word template that has markers of some kind for where your data should go. These markers can be bookmarks (Insert>Bookmark) or little snippets of text in a unique format (e.g., <<FirstName>>), as you like. What matters is that your macro can find all of the locations where it is supposed to insert data, which no duplicate codes or missing bookmarks.

    Hope this helps.

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    Re: Mail merge-NOT addresses (Word 2002)

    Thank you both very much! I can't say I understand everything, but I've got more to learn with. Can anyone point me to an example of a userform? Or recommend a tutorial (book or online media) that describes the distinctions between userforms and merges and includefields and templates? Again, I don't know VBA and it's still frustrating that I used to be able to do this so easily in WP 5.1. Also, yes, for the most part it would be easier to just type it straight -- what's difficult is that so much of each little document is filling in little bits of information here and there, each with different formatting, and when the doctor is dictating that information it doesn't flow sequentially. It's faster (or used to be) to type it in a source document and then have the target document sort out where to put those fields on merging. Transcriptionists get paid by the line (65 characters), but there's so much fiddling with fields on these documents and not much text that it's a losing proposition. I'm trying to make this as efficient as possible. What about something with tab order? He doesn't dictate the fields in the order they appear in the document, but he does usually dictate it all the same way. Thank you again.

  7. #7
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Mail merge-NOT addresses (Word 2002)

    The Word MVP site contains a lot of useful material, for example:
    <A target="_blank" HREF="http://word.mvps.org/FAQs/Customization/CreateATemplatePart1Content.htm">Creating a Template

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    Re: Mail merge-NOT addresses (Word 2002)

    I'm not sure your aren't on the right track as it is with using an Access form. Access forms are in general easier to develop than UserForms, and the data can be stuck into a database and saved for posterity. Then you could do a Word Automation and create the document from the bits you've typed in. You might also have a different form for each person doing the dictating, as it's pretty easy to change the tab order to fit a specific situation. The Word Automation would be the more complicated part, but much of what you can do in Word can be created using the Macro tools, and then you just have to copy the contents of the database fields to the Word document. Word bookmarks can be quite useful for that sort of thing. We routinely create 20 to 50 page documents for one of our customers using that approach.

    If you want to explore it a bit more, take a look at our brief Automation Tutorial. It contains several references to more detailed Microsoft Knowledge Base documents as well.
    Wendell

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