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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger
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    Mail merge (WinXP, Wd2003)

    Okay, I give in (is anyone else finding mail merge in the new versions of Word as frustrating as I am?!).

    One of my users is trying to do a mail merge, but because of the way our bank database is set up our addresses come in in a single block of multiple lines, so: (1) how do you put a multiple line entry in one of the dinky little fields supplied for the purpose, and (2) how do you swap to the data file, as you used to be able to, and edit it direct?

    Word seems to save the data file as something completely different (a "Word Address List") and if you try to open it direct it just comes in as junk, where you used to just open it and it would be a Word document with a table in it ... so (3) how do we get Word to save the data file in that format again?!

    I can't believe M$ have just completely wiped out the ability to have more than one line of text in any data field just like that ... have they?!

    <img src=/S/sad.gif border=0 alt=sad width=15 height=15>
    Beryl M


  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Mail merge (WinXP, Wd2003)

    The default data source for a mail merge is now an Access database (.mdb). If you have Access, you can edit the address table directly. However, you can still use all kinds of data sources: a Word document with a table, an Excel worksheet, ...

    You can create a Word document yourself, and create a table in it with as many columns as you have fields. The first row should contain the field names. You can enter multiline addresses in a cell, or paste them from another application.

    To use the document as a merge data source, click "Use an existing list", then "Browse..." in Step 3 of the Mail Merge Wizard (task pane)

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger
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    Re: Mail merge (WinXP, Wd2003)

    Hi Hans, thanks for that, but most people here have 'standard' office, which doesn't include Access. What on earth do they think they're doing, making the default type something that isn't even available to the majority of users?!! And as far as I can see, you can't change it, either!

    So, once you've created your data source (separately, since you can't apparently do it as part of the merge anymore) how do you swap across to edit it? The only method I can find is 'edit recipient list', and this brings up a separate window that is no use at all for working with the data! Or are you going to say you have to open the document separately and treat it as a separate document the whole time?!

    Also, how do you quickly add the merge fields to your document? There used to be a drop down on the toolbar and you'd just click where you wanted the field, then use the dropdown to insert it; as far as I can tell now you have to click in the right place, open the window containing the list of fields, choose your field, click apply then close the window before you can move the cursor to the next field and repeat the whole exercise, which is a ridiculously time and effort wasting way to do it! I found the old dropdown and added it for the user in question, but I can't go round doing that for every user individually!

    I'm sorry, but I have to say this whole method seems like a step backwards to me - in fact several steps! Everything is more complicated, more difficult and less flexible than it used to be!
    Beryl M


  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Mail merge (WinXP, Wd2003)

    Even in Word 97, I never used "Edit recipient list" or whatever it was called there, but always opened the data source directly in the associated application.

    See the thread starting at <post:=431,736>post 431,736</post:> for a way to get the Insert Merge Field toolbar item back.

    You can even use the old mail merge helper. To reinstore it in a menu or on a toolbar, select Tools | Customize...
    Activate the Commands tab.
    Select All Commands in the list of Categories.
    Select Mail Merge Helper in the list of commands and drag it to a convenient location.
    It has most, but not all features of the Word 2000 and before mail merge helper.
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