I want to mail merge one thing at a time.
December 12, 2017 6:26 PM   Subscribe

Is there a way to create a kind of "single use" mail merge in MS Word?

I'm a pretty permanent beginner in Word, so I don't even know what to google to ask this. I have a particular form letter that is always the same but only goes to one or two people at a time. Right now, I have a "template" with placeholders which I change manually, but I frequently forget about one and leave in a placeholder or two.

Making and importing an Excel sheet for one letter at a time seems like overkill, but I can't figure out how else to automate it. And I really want to automate it. Fillable form? Something else? pls halp.
posted by Snarl Furillo to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You probably want to learn about text form and cross reference fields.
posted by flabdablet at 6:47 PM on December 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Best answer: If you want to help ensure that you don't leave in a placeholder, then set those in bright red so they stand out.

Save your doc as a .dotx. This will make it an actual template so when you open it, it opens as a new, fresh document, so you're forced to save as a new file, and you won't accidentally mess up your placeholders.

After you're done with your doc, look it over for any red. Then hit Control-A to select all text, and change the text color to black. Done.
posted by hydra77 at 6:59 PM on December 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Cross-reference fields are exactly what I want, thank you!
posted by Snarl Furillo at 7:18 PM on December 12, 2017

Best answer: Read up on Fill-In and Ask fields.

I would go with Fill-In fields except where there are fields that are repeated within the body of your document; Ask fields are better for those because they store your response as a variable that you can then reference over and over with bookmarks. Add the fields to your document and save as a .dotx template.

Then, whenever you open the template, you will get prompted to enter data for each of your fields.
posted by roosterboy at 9:47 PM on December 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Just wanted to pop back in to say that I used a combination of all of your tips to make a template with text form fields and cross references (I think I'm summarizing what I did correctly!). which I have used several times, and MY LIFE IS AMAZING NOW. Thank you everyone!!!
posted by Snarl Furillo at 11:19 AM on May 24, 2018

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