Saturday, December 13, 2014

Microsoft Word Mail Merge Tricks

I only do this once a year, and every year I have to re-learn how to do this. This year I'm using Microsoft Word 2010.
  1. To create a new mail merge document, don't try to create the new document by clicking 'New'... and selecting labels and choosing a template. Just create a new, generic blank document, then click the 'Mailings' tab, then 'Labels.' The dialog below will be shown.
  2. This isn't a basic tutorial on how to insert mail merge fields. You can search elsewhere for that. The screenshot below shows conditional code, which must be started by typing Ctrl-F9, which will insert the special curly code braces you will type your code in (those aren't just normal curly braces). For code braces nested inside code braces, you must type Ctrl-F9 again each time to insert them. The particular code shown below, looks at the value in field 'International,' and if it is not nothing ("") then it inserts a line break and then the value of the 'International' field, ELSE it inserts the value of field 'UnZip' without a line break. Note that to include the line break, we must enclose the 'true' portion of the IF statement in double quotes.
I can't take credit for figuring this out on my own, I'm just a persistent googler. One helpful YouTube video is here.

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