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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking for some help with writting a merge field.

I have an excel file with information broken out by person in rows. some are married and some are single, the married people need to be on the same letter. e.g.:

Mary Smith
Paul Smith
Larry Johnson
Ray Jones
Sue Jones

First and last names are in separate cells

How do I code the word file with the merge fields to get Mary & Paul Smith on one letter, with only 1 last name, Larry Johnson on a 2nd letter, & Ray and Sue Jones on a 3rd, etc.

I'm guessing some kind of skipif code, but am not sure how to write it.

Thank you in advance for any help!
 

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Team Manager, Microsoft Support
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If the list isn't huge, you could create a new folder calling it "Couples" or something and have it available for mail merges such as the one you're planning. To avoid duplication, you'd also have to copy the "non-couples" to a separate folder for these mailings only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If the list isn't huge, you could create a new folder calling it "Couples" or something and have it available for mail merges such as the one you're planning. To avoid duplication, you'd also have to copy the "non-couples" to a separate folder for these mailings only.

it's 1100+ records....
 

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I'm sorry, but every method I can think of would require manual work due to the setup of your existing files. Even though you could transfer from Excel to Access, there still wouldn't be a proper field or filter to work with. Deleting duplication from the address field in Excel would only eliminate people you wish to mail to. Unless someone has a better suggestion, my original post seems to be the easiest way to handle this. Years ago my mail merge list had 25,000 names, but fortunately no married couples. It did have a single letter category code so I could avoid mailing the whole list if necessary. This would still require you to create a special category for one of the spouses and would work if these specific mailings never went to the other spouse. You'd still run the whole list for "regular" mailings.
 

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Moderator , Microsoft Support, MS Office Pro
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Hi ziggysfryboy,

Whilst a Directory/Catalog merge could be used to group people according to surname, that probably wouldn't here, as unrelated people can have the same surname.

What might work, though, is a Directory/Catalog merge that groups people according to their address. That would at least have all members of the same household grouped together.

Another option, assuming married couples are listed on consecutive rows, is to have a helper column in your Excel workbook with a formula that compares the surnames with a formula like '=ROW()-IF(B1=B2,1,0)' in C2 & copied down (assuming surnames are in column B), then use that a Directory/Catalog merge that groups people according to their 'helper' column IDs. Again, false matches are possible, as are false misses (married couples with different surnames).
 
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