Monday, September 28, 2015

Merge Formatting

$ lost

The data in Access or Excel has been formatted. You have leading zeros, percents, currency is formatted and so on.

Word 2000+, however loses the formatting when a mail merge is attempted.

Here's a fix.

Word has three potential data access methods, the "old fashioned" ODBC or DDE and the newer OLE DB.

ODBC and OLE DB can, quickly, extract data from a source application without opening the program. The application does not even have to be installed.

The downside is that these methods do not transfer the formatting in the data file. Individual MERGEFIELDs need to be formatted in Word.

DDE can be used with Excel and Access. It communicates with the source and carries the formatting into the target document. This is how it worked before Word 2002.

To have a choice go to:
Tools>Options>General "Confirm Conversions at Open"

When you connect to the Data Source, a dialog box will give you the opportunity to choose the type of connection to use.

If you don't see DDE, check Show all.
Also see:

Cindy Meister:
Mail Merge FAQ

Here are some other Mail Merge resources:
Mail Merge Links

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Monday, September 14, 2015

Certificate of Anything

Make your own

Give your kid an award for not setting the house on fire in the last 24 hours.

Make a formal presentation to your dog for scaring away imaginary burglars.

The desktop publishing power of your computer can create official (looking) honors.

Here's a collection of free templates:
Free Award And Certificate Templates
Award Certificates
(86 Certificates, labels, etc. Word, PowerPoint, and Publisher)

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Monday, September 07, 2015



I used to ask "How many have ever used WordPerfect?" Over the years it has gone from about 50% to blank stares.

WordPerfect (WP) couldn't bring itself to accept the existence of Windows, and Microsoft ran past, taking over the market.

Word is Object-Oriented, WordPerfect is Stream-Formatted.
"What does this mean? Well, this basically means that when you make a change to a WordPerfect document, the changes take effect 'From THAT Point Forward'. You generally don't need to select an Object (e.g., a word, sentence, or a paragraph) in order to effect a change. You can simply select a color, a font, a paragraph style, etc, and the whole document will be affected (as stated, from that point forward). Stream Formatted is, as you can imagine, like a stream of formatting that flows throughout the document.

Word, on the other hand, is object-oriented. Every letter, word, sentence, and paragraph is an object. To help people grasp the concept of object-oriented programming, Microsoft uses a simple analogy: oranges. You can imagine that an orange has several attributes that can be changed: it has a color, a texture, etc. It can be changed by being painted or peeled. Therefore, once you understand that you need to select an object when you want to manipulate your Word document, you begin to understand how to work in Word."

WP vs. Word

WP is still around. Mostly used in the legal profession by those who still bemoan the loss of powdered wigs.

Here are some references:

The history of WordPerfect:
Almost Perfect
(a book by W. E. Peterson)


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