Microsoft Word online training course

Word lesson 20, Edit merged documents

Modify merged documents

We can modify our merged documents at any time.
We can modify the letter, we can modify each merged field, we can change the formatting of the field and letter all in the same way as we would do with a normal document.
We can also modify the letter if we have changed the fieldnames in our table.
For example, imagine we have changed the field "Name" to "Surname" in our table, then we need to change our merged document also or else it wont display the data properly anymore.
Word will also warn us about this, when we want to look at a letter preview for example a popup will open that says "Invalid Merge Field".
In this popup window we can remove the field or replace it with a valid field from our datafile by clicking on the black arrow and choosing from the dropdown menu.

invalid merge field
After each change you need to save the document.

Find errors

Sometimes its usefull to check our merged document for errors.
To do this we open our merged document and click on the "Check for errors" in the "Mail merge" toolbar.

mail merge toolbar
If this toolbar isn't visable you need to click on "View", "Toolbars" and "Mail Merge" in the menubar.
After clicking on the "Check for errors" button the "Checking and reporting errors" window will open.
In this window we choose the method how Word needs to show errors to us.
Usually the "Simulate the merge and report errors in a new document" option is the most usefull.

checking and reporting errors
Click on "Ok" when you have made your choice.
If no errors are present, Word will mention this in a window.

If there are errors, Word will also report this with the "Invalid Merge Field" window.
Click on "Remove field".
Select the "valid merge field" in the window and click on "Insert".

For those who forgot how to open this window:
This was in the fourth step of the "Mail Merge Wizard".
In the task pane you need to click on "More items".

Inserting and removing fields

To remove fields from our merged document, you select the complete field and push the "Delete" key on your keyboard.
To add fields (XP and 2003) to our merged document you need to click on the "Insert Merge Field" button in the "Mail Merge" toolbar, click the field from the list and choose "Insert".

Adding fields in 97 and 2000 is done basicly the same, click with your mousecursor inside the document where you want the field.
And click on the "Insert Merge Field" button in the "Mail Merge" toolbar and select the field from the dropdown menu.

Formatting fields

We can format our merged fields like any other piece of text in Word.
To do this select the merge field (including the << and >> signs), and use the buttons in the "Formatting" toolbar like you would do with "Normal" text.

Restore to normal document

When we made a merged document, Word will allways treat this as a merged document. In other words, every time you open this document Word will automaticly open the Merged datafile and the "Mail Merge" toolbar.
To seperate them in XP and 2003 we open the merged document and click on the "Main document Setup" button in the "Mail Merge" toolbar.
We choose "Normal Word Document" in the new window and click on "Ok".

To seperate and document in 97 and 2000 we click on the "Mail Merge Helper" button in the "Mail Merge" toolbar.
Te "Mail Merge Window" will open.
Click on "Create" and select "Restore to normal word document" from the drop down menu.

restore to normal document
Click on "Yes" followed by "Close".
Make the changes you want in your document and save it.