Posted 25 June 2008 - 02:57 AM
EXCEL is ideal for applications like this. It can give you a very simple WORD mail merge job, because it's so easy to reorganize the data in the spreadsheet.
Suppose your data (Name:, Rank: etc.) is in three columns, A, B, and C. Why not use column D on the spreadsheet to combine them just right? - with any punctuation, additional wording, spacing, which you can do with text formulas. It's so much faster than playing with the layout at the merge stage. Allowing for a heading, if your data starts on Row 2, put a formula like this in Cell D2:
=A2&", "&B2&", United States Army, "&C2
When cell D2 (commas, spaces, extra words) looks exactly right, copy that down Column D as far as is appropriate for your letter/citation.
The WORD HELP file is pretty good on the whole process, and it helps to get your data source right (Column D) and close the file. Then use WORD to prepare the main document before you bring the merge helper in. Finally, in a routine WORD mail merge (if such a thing exists), your main document, the "citation", only needs one merge field, and you can nominate the EXCEL file as the data source for that.