Unwanted duplicate fields output in mailmerge

Posted on 2008-11-08
Last Modified: 2012-05-05
I am using the mailmerge wizard in Word 2003 to create a set of address labels. My address data is held in an Excel spreadsheet (although the problem also occurs if I save it into Access). The spreadsheet contains columns named address 1, address 2, city, state and postcode, and only some records contain data in the address 2 field. When I map the fields to the address block in Word, I am mapping address 1 to "company", address 2 to "address 1", and the others as expected.

When I preview the labels, any record with data in address 2 is displayed with the address 2 data shown twice - can anyone offer any explanation for this, or a way of preventing it from happening? I have tried inserting linebreaks in the data in Excel to see if I could squeeze all the address data into one field, but the linebreaks are not preserved in Word.

Another problem occurs since I am having to use the "company" field to display the first line of the address. For addresses outside the UK (where the Excel column mapped to "country" is not empty) the company name is being printed before the person's name.

All suggestions welcome...
Question by:rjebb
    LVL 76

    Expert Comment

    You shouldn't have to map from one address component to another. Insert the fields that the data source presents. They will almost certainly be named according to the column headers on the spreadsheet, and should appear as such in the list displayed via the Insert Merge Fields button on the Mail Merge toolbar.
    LVL 45

    Accepted Solution

    I don't understand the description of what you are attempting to do as it seems unnecessarily complex. I had to produce many labels for our daughter's wedding - here's the procedure I followed - and it worked every time:

    This can be done very easily as a Word mailmerge and using Excel as the database. The trick is to produce the output as labels in MSWord. This allows the repeating of the same pattern of data on one page. If you are not acquainted with mailmerge labels it can take quite a bit of getting used to as it is not intuitive. In fact MSWord appears to make it hard but after you have done it a few times it does get easier.

    The stages are:

    1. Prepare Excel database with column headings such as Title, Givenname, Familyname, Address1, Address2 and so on. Save and close the file.
    2. In MSWord press the NewBlankDocument button. Select Tools/Letters and Mailings/MailMergeWizard/ and in the Taskpane select Labels. If the TaskPane is not visible go to View and tick Task Pane.
    3. In the Task Pane press the Starting Document link
    4. Press the LabelOptions link in the Task Pane
    5. Select the label size that will allow you get all the data of one person onto one label - press OK
    6. Press SelectRecipients/Browse and find the Excel data file. If you get it right you will see a dialogue box entitled Mail Merge Recipients - press OK
    7. Press the link Arrange your labels in the Task Pane and in the next Pane select More Items
    8. Making sure the cursor is in the first blank label, select and insert every field that you want in the label. Having done that press Cancel.
    9. Re-arrange the fields in the FIRST label only, making sure that every field is still  surrounded with <<fieldx>>. Format that one label as required.
    10. In the Task Pane under the heading Replicate Labels press the Update labels button (it doesn't look like a conventional button). All the labels will then be filled with the fields as laid out in the first label. Ignore the <<Next Record>> entries and DO NOT edit any of the labels.
    11. In the Task Pane press the Preview Labels link
    12. If the labels look OK then you can press the Complete the Merge link in the Task Pane and then press the Edit Individual Labels link to see the result. It's at that stage you can edit the labels if you want - as it's a separate document. Save it or print it.

    You will find it easier if you have the MailMerge Toolbar visible for this whole task - View/Toolbars/MailMerge as you will then be able to do most stages witout using the Task Pane.

    I know it's many stages but after a bit you will get used to it. You can of course save the set up and re-use it so that you only need to create the label merge once. I personally find that difficult so I just go through the routine each time - about 2 minutes - that's all.
    I realise it's different to what you're doing but why not print out my instructions and follow them exactly - just as a trial.

    Hope that helps


    Author Closing Comment

    Thanks for this - bypassing the use of the <> field and specifying the columns individually works fine
    LVL 45

    Expert Comment

    Pleased it solved the problem. Thanks for the grade. - Patrick

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