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Word / Excel = Odd Mail Merge Issue

KatoKato Registered User regular
edited April 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Here at work, we have office 2003. When I first got this job over 2 years ago, the pc I was set up on was never formatted. I was running off an install that was already a good 4 years old. It worked, but I eventually had issues and they formatted and reinstalled all the needed apps. Office was not updated...we are still using 2003.

I have this issue...didn't have it before, but I do now after the format and reinstall. I will set up a spreadsheet with all of the necessary info in separate cells. Name, company, street, city, state and zip. The zip code cell is where I am having my issues. I format the cell to the specific setting for zip code. Not the zip code +4, just the zip. I do have one or two Canadian addresses so there are a few letters in some of them, but that should not be any issue at all. When I use word and run the mail merge and pull the info from the spreadsheet, everything works great. Everything but the zip code. After the merge is done and you can review and print your stuff, the zip code now has a .0 at the end of it.

56024.0 Where is this .0 coming from? I never had the issue before until the format and reinstall. I dealt with it a little while back as I was only working with 20 addresses, but now I am doing a recall for a product that has close to 800 addresses. I really do not want to go through and slowly correct each and every one of them. I have tried to change the cell formatting to just text, or no formatting and the zip code...I am at a total loss here. Where or where is this .0 coming from when I mail merge?

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  • ArikadoArikado Southern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I've never heard of that problem. I've do mail merges quite often and I usually have the ZIP codes in Text format because a bunch of East coast ZIPs have zeros in front.

    When you format the cells, are you formatting the entire column or just the cells that have the data?

    EDIT: I have an idea for a work-around but its a bit more work.

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  • ShadowThomasShadowThomas Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    I think this has happened to me before but I can't remember exactly what I did to fix it.

    But try copying the data from the spreadsheet into a word document with a table. Then try merging it.

    If that doesn't fix it, try rewriting the letter that you're merging this into to.

    ShadowThomas on
  • KatoKato Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Arikado...I am curious to here about your other idea, even if it does involve a lot of work. I will go back and try to change the format on the cells again and see if I can get it to change. I have tried to do the text only formatting as I have some on the east coast as well with 00 in front of it. That is the reason why I changed it to zip code in the first place...then it had the 00 there like it is supposed to be.

    I just might try to make the stuff in to a table in word and merge from there, but I have never done that before. I hope it is not too much different than the normal mail merge.

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  • ArikadoArikado Southern CaliforniaRegistered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Well on idea that is less work would be to have a column with cells having "=column#,row#" so they point back to the ZIP column and have the new column have its data input into whatever you need it for. I'm not sure if this will work.

    Another idea was to split the ZIP code numbers into two columns so that 3 numbers are in one column and the rest in another. Then when you put the data onto the label/letter just put them next to one another with no space. But again, lots of snipping has to be done and I'm sure the problem you're having shouldn't warrant this idea I have.

    I've opened up a directory for my company and didn't have any problems loading ZIP codes into a label or a letter. My thinking is that your data is fine and perhaps Word is doing something its not supposed to.

    EDIT: Have you tried inputting those ZIP codes into an older document (as in one you didn't have problems with)? I know Word tends to save settings from a previously opened document without warning.

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  • ShadowThomasShadowThomas Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Kato wrote: »
    I just might try to make the stuff in to a table in word and merge from there, but I have never done that before. I hope it is not too much different than the normal mail merge.

    There isn't a difference (I usually do it this way), but when you switch the document to it you'll have to re-insert the fields.

    Do what Arikado suggested first though, try using a different letter and see if the same problem comes up.

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  • KatoKato Registered User regular
    edited April 2009
    Well, I still have no idea as to why it is causing me this issue. I am sure it has to be something with the way it was installed and the settings on Word, but I have scoured everywhere and I can't find anything to correct it fo the life of me. Then I had the bright idea of putting the same files here on my netbook where I have Office Ultimate 2007 installed. Ran the merger and it worked perfectly as it should. Looks like I am going to be doing some work on my netbook tomorrow. Thanks for the tips and info guys.

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