Join Gini von Courter for an in-depth discussion in this video Prompting for individual input with FILLIN, part of Word 2016: Mail Merge in Depth.
- [Voiceover] Just as Global Fill-in prompts us once Specific Fill-In will prompt us each time. Here's our use case. We're not offering everyone a 25% discount on all event packages. We're offering some of our clients 20%, some of them 15%, some of them 10%. And this is up to the person who's actually doing the merge because we have our event planners who are familiar with our customers and who've been in conversation with them, making the decision about how much they need to sweeten the pot to get the business.
So this document, which is called Specific Fill-in is already open and when I open it, because it's already connected to a data source from the last thing we did, it's asking me is it okay to do the sequel connection, that's a prompt we've seen previously. And it also then prompted me with the Global Fill-in for a date, so this is the date that I just entered. Now what I want to do is do another very specific fill-in. So to introduce our new venue we're offering you and your clients a blank percent discount.
So it could be that I want to only allow a number, and in that case I could just say, enter a percentage discount. 25, 30, whatever, but it could be a substantial discount. If I don't want to nail it down and I don't want to leave even a little more running room for our event team I might just say, put in a word to describe the discount, or put in a percentage, your choice. So I can choose how much of this I ask about each time. But right now I'm going to only ask for a number and it's going to go right here, and they'll be a space after it so I'm going to just drop back there.
We're going to go to Rules and we're going to go right back to fill-in. And the prompt is, enter the percentage discount as a whole number. For example, 10, 15, or 25. Is there a default? Well most of the time we're offering a 20% discount. I'll just go ahead and drop that in there. And I'm not going to say ask once, we're going to ask each and every time. Let's see how this rolls. Enter the percetage discount as a whole number. Cool. And, I like the 20, so I'm just going to say okay, there's the 20% discount, that's how it works.
So when I actually do this merge, we go from item to item. If I preview the results it's just going to keep that 20% for everybody. However, when we actually do the merge, let's say I want to edit individual documents, and I am going to merge just the first three records. One to three, so we can see how this runs. First, enter the mailing date. Remember that that's the global fill-in that we provided a little while ago. So let's do 28th of December, 2016. Okay. Enter the date these letters will be mailed using the long date format.
That's my old prompt, that shouldn't be there. Oops, I didnt' delete it. Need to do that yet. Enter the percentage discount as a whole number. And this is for the first person. So, at this point I need to have this folks in front of me. 25 for the first one, okay. Now I'm on the second person. We're going to give them 30%. There's my 25% discount for Michelle. 30% for my second one and let's say 15 for my third one. Now as I scroll through these letters it's going to say 25, 30, and then 15.
I don't know why I'm running on to a second page, it looks like I might have some extra space at the bottom of my letters. So what do we not like about that? Well, one of the things I don't like is I don't get to see the information. It doesn't show me Michelle allowing me to enter information. So let's go back to our Mail Merge. I don't need to save these. Drop out a Preview Results. Highlight our merge fields. So now let's take care of the issues that are present in our merge. First, this would be a good time to tell you that in order to see the merge fields, the merge codes that we've been dropping into our documents, we can hold alt and hit F9, that's the toggle, and notice there's our great big address block.
Here's the fill-in that I wanted to keep, this is the fill-in that was too long, using a long date format for example. So I'm going to delete that, don't need it anymore. But notice, this isn't anything that you would necessarily want to type, but we do have access to these field codes, okay. So that takes care of our first problem. I won't be prompted twice for the date. But the bigger problem is that I have no information about who I'm being prompted to fill-in a discount for. It would really be nice if I could say enter the percentage discount for whomever as a whole number, and I can.
This is what's cool. So, it has to be somewhere within this code, and more importantly, it has to be in the prompt, which you'll notice is in the quotes. Let me break this down for you. We have an opening bracket, we're actually looking at a merge code here or a field code. Fill-in is the name of the rule being applied, remember that we have a rules list over here and there's fill-in being applied. Quote, everything in these quotes until the end is the prompt. After that, the slash d means there's a default and the default value is 20 so if we wanted to change the default to some other number, you can figure out that wouldn't be that hard to do here, would it? Like 25, just like that.
But I want to put a prompt here that tells me who this is for. Enter the percentage discount for, now I want to have the first name field. We have it, it's right here. For first name, notice it's going to put merge field first name there, now I could have 20 people all named Donald, so let's put a space and grab the last name as well. Enter the percentage discount for first name last name. Notice that I need a space here after the closing bracket as a whole number.
For example, 10, 15, 20 or 25. Alt F9 toggles this visibility, this functionality on and off. So now, let's run our merge again. Do one to three, works for me. Enter mailing date, let's choose a new date. Let's have the 15th of April 2016. Because this is selected, nothing else has focus if I press enter as soon as I come in here I'll do nothing but delete the date that's there already.
You'll either want to click OK or tab to okay so that the button has focus if you want to use your keys and then press enter. Enter the percentage discount for Michelle Booker as a whole number. We're going to give Michelle 20%, tab. Nehru Bowers, 25%. Pearl Davenport, 15%. Pretty slick. So I'm going to throw this away, I don't need it. If you're wondering why this is still highlighted in yellow, so am I. Let's turn that off and alt F9 anytime you want to see your codes in your document.
Or be able to edit them as we did by modifying the prompt for the fill-in to give us the person's name. Two different ways to use fill-in globally and specifically in Word 2016 Mail Merge.
- Choosing a data source
- Creating a new data source
- Using Mail Merge with Outlook contacts
- Mail merging data from an Excel spreadsheet
- Inserting address blocks, greetings, and other fields
- Matching fields from a data source
- Formatting numeric data and dates
- Creating personalized email messages
- Attaching Word documents to merged emails
- Creating envelopes, labels, and directories
- Using rules for customized merges: FILLIN, ASK, and IF…THEN…ELSE