MS Word Doc Merging?
May 14, 2012 1:44 PM   Subscribe

MS Word doc merging... too complex to pull off?

Is it possible to have MS Word automatically take the contents of several fields of my choosing within one document, and have them copy into the fields of my choosing within another document, regardless of the contents of said fields? I have two documents that have several areas where users will be inputting data on patients. They need some of this data in another document that has similar fields as well. The two documents are not the same. Any ideas?
posted by nurgle to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Could the first two documents be created as forms in Excel rather than in Word? Then the final Word doc could be populated using mail merge.
posted by KateViolet at 1:52 PM on May 14, 2012

Oh sorry I realise I misread your question...
posted by KateViolet at 1:54 PM on May 14, 2012

I have had a lot of issues trying to accomplish what you are asking - automatically copying form field text from one Word file to another - using the built-in tools. However, you may be able to do it using the INCLUDETEXT field, but I have found it to be unreliable (although it's been a few years since I tried it, and with previous Word versions, so YMMV). Here is a forum post of someone trying to do something similar to what you want.

If that looks too complicated, and if it's only a few forms per day, you could do it manually using mail merge, which may still save a bit of time from what you are doing now, and would cut down on errors from entering stuff twice. To do that, have people enter information into one Word form. Export the data from the Word form into a .csv file. Use that .csv file as the mail merge source for the second Word form. This would, of course, require the form field names to be identical in the two Word documents.

If you really need to automatically populate fields in two separate documents with the same data, I actually think KateViolet may be on the right track. You can easily create an Excel file that would accept input of the data in one place (Excel forms are quite versatile) and then you could use that file as the source for mail merges to the two Word documents. Entering data into a custom-made Excel form is a LOT easier and faster than having to go through and enter data into form fields in Word. It's slightly more complex, though, and you would have to spend some time to create the Excel form. Still, that's probably the way I would go.

Hope that helps. Good luck!
posted by gemmy at 3:11 PM on May 14, 2012

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