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When doing a mail merge in ACT, how do you prevent a blank like from appearing in some your Word letters?

Copper Contributor
Posts: 77
Country: United_Kingdom

When doing a mail merge in ACT, how do you prevent a blank like from appearing in some your Word letters?

Hi,

 

If you're doing a mail merge in ACT to send out some letters via Microsoft Word, but some of the contacts have a blank field, how do you prevent a subsequent blank line from appearing in your letters for those contacts that don't have any info for a particular field?

 

For example, with the code shown below:

 

<Contact>
<Business Line 1>
<Business Line 2>
<Address 3>
<Business Town/City>
<Business County>
<Business Postcode>

 

the Microsoft Word letters for those contacts that have no info in the <Business Line 2> field will then have a blank line in their letter. Is there a way to avoid this blank line from appearing in the letter? Am really just looking to tidy up the letters that are created via a mail merge.

 

Thanks.

Grant.

Silver Contributor
Posts: 1,813
Country: USA

Re: When doing a mail merge in ACT, how do you prevent a blank like from appearing in some your Word letters?

There is no login in word to suppress a blank field, nor is there the ability to concatenate (combine) fields.

 

So the best work around I would have for you would be to remove the line break after business line 1 and just put it in 1 line.

 

So in the case the following

123 Eldridge Road

Unit B

 

would just be

123 Eldridge Road Unit B

 

Not perfect, but a work around

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Copper Contributor
Posts: 77
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: When doing a mail merge in ACT, how do you prevent a blank like from appearing in some your Word letters?

Hi Jon,

Thanks for your reply and the suggested workaround.

Yes, it looks like one of these things that can't really be avoided.

I thought I did see a solution to this problem on this forum a few months ago, but maybe I just dreamt it!

Thanks, again!

Grant.

Administrator
Posts: 4,024
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: When doing a mail merge in ACT, how do you prevent a blank like from appearing in some your Word letters?

Hi Grant,

It's worth noting that Act is actually designed to 'collapse' these blank fields so that blank lines to not appear when multiple blank merge fields exist underneath each other in a template.

The fact that this feature is currently not functioning has already been logged as a defect (D-04590), and is currently targeted to be fixed in a later update of Act v19.
Bronze Super Contributor
Posts: 1,560
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: When doing a mail merge in ACT, how do you prevent a blank like from appearing in some your Word letters?

This needs to be fixed for all current versions too because it's too basic not to be ignored !!


David Shaw
Act! Certified Consultant since 2001
Office:    +44 (0)1483 714507
Mobile: +44 (0)7977 567 318
E-Mail:    dshaw@act4u.org 
Administrator
Posts: 4,024
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: When doing a mail merge in ACT, how do you prevent a blank like from appearing in some your Word letters?

Hi David,

There are a number of outstanding defects pertaining to mail merges that are currently being investigated, and will be considered for backporting depending on development resources.
Copper Contributor
Posts: 77
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: When doing a mail merge in ACT, how do you prevent a blank like from appearing in some your Word letters?

[ Edited ]

Hi Gary and David,

Somebody suggested a possible solution to this problem back in 2008:

http://community.act.com/t5/Act-Premium/Blank-Fields-in-Letter-Templates/m-p/30367#M7167

 

I don't know if it works, though. UPDATE: just tried what Jeff Granger suggested (i.e. hitting the 'return' key), but the unwanted line break still appears in the letters.

 

jeff-granger.jpg

 

Grant.

Administrator
Posts: 242
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: When doing a mail merge in ACT, how do you prevent a blank like from appearing in some your Word letters?

Hi @grantmillar,

 

Could you provide your full Act! version number (from Help > About Act!), and also the version of Microsoft Office you are using?

 

The specific defect Gary refers to only occurs when two concurrent mail merge fields are blank. Single blanks should collapse correctly but I'd like to retest using matching Act! and Word versions.

 

Many thanks,

Stuart

Bronze Elite Contributor
Posts: 1,425
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: When doing a mail merge in ACT, how do you prevent a blank like from appearing in some your Word letters?

I just wonder what happens if you change all addresses to the standard contact addresses rather than a mix of Business and Contact addresses.

 

Copper Contributor
Posts: 77
Country: United_Kingdom

Re: When doing a mail merge in ACT, how do you prevent a blank like from appearing in some your Word letters?

Hi Stuart,

 

Thanks for your message.

 

It's Act! Premium Version 18.2.53.0 (Update 2), and it's Microsoft Word 2013.

 

Best regards,
Grant.