Word Fill In Rule (Mail Merge)

In this article I will explain the Fill In Rule used in Mail Merge.

Note: It is assumed that readers are familiar with Mail Merge before reading this article.


What is it?

In Mail Merge we basically have a list of recipients, with specific data for each recipient. There are fields in the document (i.e Address, First Name, Last Name, …). Mail merge replaces these fields with data from the predefined list of recipients, therefore generating a list of letters specific to each recipient.

There might be fields that you would like to fill at the last moment, rather than filling the field in the data source. This can be achieved by using an Fill in Field. If a Fill In Field has been used in the document, when merging is taking place, a dialog will open asking you to input the value for the field. The input value will be placed in the field.

Fill In Vs Ask?

The response provided to the Fill In Field by the user can only be displayed in one location in the document, while the response provided to the Ask Field can be displayed in multiple places in the document. If it is essential that the response provided by the user to be displayed in multiple locations in the document, the Ask Field might be the preferred method.

Step 1:

Move the cursor to the location you would like the result of the Fill In rule to appear:
Ask Field Location

Step 2

Click on the Rules button on the Mailings Ribbon, then click on the Fill…in rule:
Fill In

On the window that opens, there are 3 parts:
Fill In Dialog


The message to display to the user.

Default bookmark Text: 
The default text to display if the user doesn’t input anything

Ask once:
If this is selected the same text will be used for all recipients.

Step 3:

Click on the Finish and Merge button on the Mailings Ribbon. If the Ask Once option was selected a dialog will display and ask you for the text to display for all the recipients. If it was not selected a dialog will display for each recipient prompting you to input the text to fill the Ask Field with:
Fill In Dialog 2


As you can see the “Default Text” has been placed in the Ask Field:

You can download the sample file for this article from the link below:

See also:

If you need assistance with your code, or you are looking for a VBA programmer to hire feel free to contact me. Also please visit my website  www.software-solutions-online.com

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