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Mail Merge Format Error in Word 2003

Posted on 2013-02-06
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Last Modified: 2013-02-13
In attempting to merge an Excel database with a Word 2003 form letter, every other letter's first page is creating an unwanted page break right at the point where it's supposed to insert the list of the customer's invoices.

Also, it would be nice to be able to print those customers that have multiple invoices within a single letter. But this is more of a wishlist issue since we can simply mail the multiple letters.

The following are the instructions that I had written for the user, in case our problem might lie within our procedures (note that the file names and source data have been changed for security reasons):

• Open the ARsamples-TEMPLATE.doc file and click YES when asked to update the database
• Select Tools, Letters & Mailings, Mail Merge.
• At the bottom right of the screen, in the Mail Merge panel, click the NEXT link until you reach the step 3.
• Click the Browse link, select the file Decosimo/YYYY/ ARsamples-YYYY.xls and click the  Open button.
• Select the Samples table and click OK twice.
• At the bottom right of the screen, in the Mail Merge panel, click the NEXT link to advance to  step 4.
• Edit the letter per Decosimo’s template.
• Click File, Save to preserve your changes.
• At the bottom right of the screen, in the Mail Merge panel, click the NEXT link until you reach  step 6.
• At the top of the right, Mail Merge panel, click Edit Individual Letters.
• Select All and click OK to create a new document.
• Load letterhead in to the printer.
• Print all letters in the new document.
ARSamples-TEMPLATE-EE.doc
ARSamples-2012-TEST-EE.xls
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Question by:slamond
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Expert Comment

by:GrahamSkan
ID: 38860280
You have a complex structure of nested fields following the newline character that ends the line:
'Invoice Number    Date           Amount'

It looks as if it is an attempt to implement the multiple invoices requirement. There is a page break in the structure after
"{IF{MERGESEQ}>1 "¶

That is where the page breaks are coming from in the output.
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Author Comment

by:slamond
ID: 38860959
How do I remove that page break?

I really don't understand Mail Merge at all.
This document was created by someone on Experts-Exchange at the end of last year but it's not working this year for some reason.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:GrahamSkan
ID: 38861335
It's easy enough to remove the page break. Show the field codes by using the Alt + F9 toggle. Show the formatting characters by using the Show/Hide button (¶). You will then be able to see the page break. However deleting it might give you the output that you want.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:GrahamSkan
ID: 38861369
Hmm,
I've found your previous question:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Office_Productivity/Office_Suites/MS_Office/Word/Q_26779830.html

You should know about the page break,. You posted a picture of the field code that contained it in a picture in the question.

Because the path is different on my system, I had to break the linkage with the spreadsheet. I'll try re-assigning it as the datasource, and see how it works.
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Author Comment

by:slamond
ID: 38861392
I'm trying to figure out how to put back the page break. I suspect my original problem was simply that the source data wasn't sorted by customer number.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:GrahamSkan
ID: 38861421
Yes the records in this multiple sub-items type of merge would have to be sorted on the key field - CNUM according to the field codes.

If you have already modified the  document, and can't get it back, you could download it from your question.
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Author Comment

by:slamond
ID: 38861446
Should this be setup as a Letter or Directory document?
The final version posted to my question from last year seems to be a Directory, but the current file that I posted to my new question is a Letter for some reason.
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LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:GrahamSkan
ID: 38861490
Microsoft says that it should be a directory type. Here is a link to their article on   the subject:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/294686
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Accepted Solution

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slamond earned 0 total points
ID: 38867862
Microsoft Word Sucks!!!
I'm giving up and creating this letter as a report using Access.
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Author Closing Comment

by:slamond
ID: 38883765
Access will be easier. And apparently more people know how to use it than they do Mail Merge, based on the quantity and quality of the feedback.
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