Setting merge rules
Video: Setting merge rulesWhenever you perform a Mail Merge in Word 2007, you have the ability to set up rules. For example, if you're merging a list of names and addresses to an envelope file, you may want the Address block to appear differently, depending on the country it's going to. Or if you want to be able to skip records, you can do that too by setting up a rule. Let's use this file called TTEnvelope. You'll find it in your Exercise Files, already linked to our Recipient List. So, when you go to open it, you will be prompted to link that file by clicking the Yes button.
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In Word 2007: Creating Envelopes and Labels, instructor David Rivers shows how to use Microsoft Word to address, format, and print envelopes and labels. Whether to a single recipient or multiple addresses, timesaving techniques are shown that result in crisp and elegant correspondence. This course covers how to create a recipient list within Word or retrieve an existing contact list from Outlook, and then use the list in Mail Merge to address labels or envelopes. Other topics include customizing labels with graphics, printing electronic postage, and dealing with common printing errors. Exercise files accompany the course.
- Printing from a sheet of labels
- Creating recipient lists
- Using the Mail Merge wizard
- Printing e-postage
- Creating business cards
Setting merge rules
Whenever you perform a Mail Merge in Word 2007, you have the ability to set up rules. For example, if you're merging a list of names and addresses to an envelope file, you may want the Address block to appear differently, depending on the country it's going to. Or if you want to be able to skip records, you can do that too by setting up a rule. Let's use this file called TTEnvelope. You'll find it in your Exercise Files, already linked to our Recipient List. So, when you go to open it, you will be prompted to link that file by clicking the Yes button.
Once you've got it open, we'll go up to the Mailings tab on the Ribbon and explore the different rules by clicking the Rules button, which is a dropdown. There are many different types of rules that can be added. For example, if you want to be prompting people to input information, you could do that. It doesn't really apply to an envelope. You could show the Merge Record# somewhere on the envelope if you wanted to. The actual number of that person on the recipient list will appear here. Or just skip to records. But down at the bottom, you can choose to skip over a record if a certain condition is met.
So let's choose that one first. Now, in this case, we get to choose the field name. Let's say if the recipient does not have a Company Name, we want to skip over them. We only want envelopes for people who actually have a Company Name in their Address, so we can send it off to that company. Well in this case, we choose the field by clicking the dropdown. We'll choose Company_Name, not Equal to, so we'll click the dropdown and choose something different like, 'is blank.' There we go. We don't need the Compare to field, because it's going to be blank anyway. At the top, notice we are going to be skipping the record if the company name is blank.
I'll click ok. That code appears where our flashing cursor was in the top left corner of the envelope. That's fine. It won't print out. But the end result is going to be, we are only going to see a list of records or envelopes for people with Company Names. Now, right now, if we click Preview Results, we're going to see everybody. Notice we can use our navigation buttons to go through the many, many records we have, whether they have a Company Name or not. So the rule actually isn't enforced until we Finish and Merge, so we'll click that button at the end.
And if we want to see the envelopes, we'll choose Edit Individual Documents. Let's do that. So, we are going to merge all the records using our rule and click ok. Notice, also, at the top of your screen, on the title bar, that a new document has been created here, and Word has automatically named it. You'll see letters and a number following that and this is a document if you wanted to keep, you would need to save. Notice down at the bottom left-hand corner on the status bar, there's only four. And as we scroll through the various envelopes or pages in this document, you will notice each of the address blocks, these people have a Company Name.
If there is no company name, the record was skipped, and we are left with four envelopes, which we could save, print off, whatever you need to do. We are just going to go to the Office button and Close without saving, so that we can do this merge at any other time. We are back to our original envelope file. Let's turn the Preview Results off, so we can see the codes, including the code we've just added in the top left corner. Now, don't click anywhere. Just press your Delete key on the keyboard, which highlights the entire rule that we've entered, and Press Delete again to remove it, so it's gone.
Let's try a different type of rule this time. We know that, in the US, the ZIP code goes right after State on the same line. In Canada, the Postal_Code appears on the next line, so it's a different format. Let's set up a rule to work with that. First, we'll click inside the address block, right after State. So, you are flashing in between the two codes. Now, we'll go up to Rules, and in this case, we're going to use the If...Then...Else rule. Select it. The Field name we are working with, of course, is going to be the country.
Even though it doesn't appear on the envelope, it is the field we want to use in our statement here. So we'll scroll down to Country_or_Region. So, if it's not equal to, we'll change the comparison to Not Equal To, and in the Compare to field type in 'U.S.A,' then what? Well then, we want to insert a hard return, so that's an extra line. So, we click where it says Insert This Text, and hold down your Shift key when you press Return, because you don't want a new paragraph.
You just want a new line. You can see there's a new blank line inserted there. Now, if it is the U.S. so otherwise, we don't want to do anything, just leave it as it is. We'll leave that field blank and click OK. This does apply to our preview. Let's click the Preview Results, and you'll see there is a title or an address with the ZIP code. And as we move through these, let me get to one that's Canadian with a postal code. It does appear on the next line. So anything that's a US address, you can see the ZIP code is appearing right there on the same line.
Canadian addresses show the postal code on the next line. So, thanks to the rule, we're able to set this up. Now, we would just finish our merge. Let's again choose Edit Individual Documents and click OK. Now you can see the end result as we scroll through the various envelopes. So remember, if you need to make adjustments and you want full control over how your merged results behave, remember to use those rules. There are many to choose from.
So experiment with them, finding the rule that suits your needs.
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