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MS Word - sophisticated Mail Merge?

Posted on 2003-10-28
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We have a form mailing which doesn't follow the normal mail merge process.  We will be running the mail merge from a database and here is what we want to do:

############ FORM ##############
John J. Doe   (From Billing Contact Record)
AAA Company, LLC  (From Company Record)
3815 Company Address (From Billing Contact Record)
Indianapolis, IN 46240 (From Billing Contact Record)


Dear William:

We truly appreciate <CompanyName>’s membership.  In an effort to make it even more valuable for you and other affiliate members within your organization, we are asking that you take a few moments to review the information we have on file, making any corrections as necessary, and returning to us.

            Contact Name
            Contact Address
            Contact Phone
            Contact email address

            Contact Name
            Contact Address
            Contact Phone
            Contact email address

Contact Name
            Contact Address
            Contact Phone
            Contact email address

############ END FORM #############

The above would continue to repeat until all “contacts” from that Company have been listed. In some cases there will only be one contact, in others there may be as many as 50.

Our database is in FileMaker.  Made up of a number of tables, including “Companies” and “Contacts”, both of which have a unique identifying number.  In the Contact record is a field for Company ID number….that is how Contacts are associated with Companies.

I can export records to Excel in the format I showed in my email, shown again here:

Column A            Column B            Column C, etc.
Company 1      Contact 1001      Contact Address, email etc.
            Contact 2001      Contact Address, email etc.
Company 2      Contact 1021      Contact Address, email etc.
            Contact 3001      Contact Address, email etc.
            Contact 1004      Contact Address, email etc.
            Contact 1501      Contact Address, email etc.
Etc   etc   etc

I can also export so that the Company Name shows up on all records if that were needed.


This is a very difficult question and I will award more points.

Thanks so much, April
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Question by:aprillougheed
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Accepted Solution

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Joanne M. Orzech earned 500 total points
ID: 9634485
Here's how to set up your Word document:

I assume the date is the first line of your letter.  Whatever the first line is, go to Format, Paragraph, Line and Page Breaks, and click on page break before.

Then make sure your main merge document is a "Catalog" under Tools, Mail Merge, Create, Catalog.

Merge and everything should be as you requested.  

HTH
Joanne
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Expert Comment

by:Joanne M. Orzech
ID: 9634508
I just realized this only works if your first field is the first line of the document....if that's the case, you're in luck....
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Author Comment

by:aprillougheed
ID: 9635463
I'm not seeing "catalog" anywhere under Mail Merge.

I can only see the Mail Merge Wizard and the Show Mail Merge Tool Bar.

What is the purpose of catalog?

Thanks, April
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Joanne M. Orzech
ID: 9635494
Oh - I'm running Office 2000 - catalog just continues the merge and allows for multiple entries on one page....what version of office are you working with?
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Author Comment

by:aprillougheed
ID: 9635511

In the interest of helping other people - I found the following answer at the MS Word Newsgroup:
http://support.microsoft.com/newsgroups/default.aspx?NewsGroup=microsoft.public.word.mailmerge.fields&SLCID=US&ICP=GSS3&sd=GN&id=fh;en-us;newsgroups
-----

Have a look at Cindy Meister's article at
 
http://homepage.swissonline.ch/cindymeister/
 
Look for Mail Merge FAQ, Special Merges, Multiple items per condition.
 
--
Peter Jamieson
MS Word MVP
 
Group multiple items for a single condition
Sometimes, you want to create a mail merge where you can list several items for one particular category, such as the invoices for each customer. Word does not have an automatic facility for this kind of merge, but there are workarounds.

You can use the InsertDatabase field to link the category information from the merge to the same category from the database. The list will be in a table. There is an excellent sample file (Compound.EXE) on Leigh Weber's website. The main drawback of this method is the restricted possibilities for formatting.
A combination of IF and SET fields can check whether a merge record meets the criteria, if it does the information is listed, otherwise the merge moves to the next record. The Microsoft Knowledge Base article Q105888 gives a detailed example. Note that you will only see the end results of this method after merging to either a new document or to the printer; you will not seem them when viewing the merge result in the main merge document.
You can create a user-defined function in your Access database that concatenates all items for the list into a single string. Place this function in an expression in the query you will be using as a datasource so that it can be selected as a single field in the mail merge. Please note that this method only works when the merge link method is DDE; ODBC drivers do not recognize user-defined functions. An example of such a function and a query using it is in the file WdAcc95.zip for Office 95 (51 KB); WdAcc97.zip for Office 97 and later (131 KB).
If none of these methods is satisfactory, then you can forego the built-in mail merge process entirely and use OLE-Automation or DDE to create your Word documents from your database application or a VB or Delphi interface. I provide an example with sample files of using OLE-Automation to insert information from an Access 95 database into Word.
Later versions of Office give you even more flexibility in the approach you can take because Word VBA allows you to use OLE Automation and DAO or ADO to connect with databases. You can download a zip file with sample database, templates and explanatory documents (created in Office97 with a DAO interface). The MOD article Beyond Mail Merge with sample files explores similar territory in Office 2000 / 2002 using ADO. The information for Office 97 through 2002 is basically interchangeable. Unfortunately, this article is no longer available on-line and for copyright reasons, I can't provide it directly. It is, however, available on a CD with all the other articles from this publication that appeared through 2002

 

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Author Comment

by:aprillougheed
ID: 9635516
I've got Office XP Professional
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Joanne M. Orzech
ID: 9635577
You can go to Community Support and request a refund of your points
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LVL 37

Expert Comment

by:Joanne M. Orzech
ID: 9877804
I'd really be interested in seeing the solution....but I just get to the newsgroup page....can you send more detail please????
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Author Comment

by:aprillougheed
ID: 9888484
Sorry - the client never got back to me on this question - so I'm awarding points and moving on.
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