Microsoft Word has a feature which allows you to merge data into files to create documents with variable data. Yet, Microsoft word was not specifically designed for mail merges of variable data and more importantly for printing. Since the software was not specifically designed for this purpose there are pitfalls that can effect your mailing.
At Action Mail we prefer to use a PDF mail merge software which is much more advanced and allows for a better
Control: With Microsoft Word there is little control over the merge and formatting. Microsoft Word does allow for some formulas and advanced mail merges but it is much more difficult and less transparent. If you can dream it we can put it together with our software, including variable imagery or complex if and then statements.
Printing: Printing from a PDF is preferable to a word document. Production print drivers are setup to print from PDF documents and the quality and speed at which the printers can process the file is much higher as a PDF.
Consistency: What you see in a PDF is what everyone else will see on the same document. Documents in word change formatting from computer to computer depending on the settings in place.
Formatting: With Word formatting of mail merges tend to get changed and it is also hard to safe guard against large variable data fields creating new pages or adjusting formatting.
The best way to create variable data printing documents is to make a template PDF file and provide instructions as to the rules you want to create and how you would like the mail merged document to look. We can work with Word documents and Word Mail Merges but we prefer PDFs, and many times will ask if we can convert the word document to a PDF to run the mail merge.