MS Word Fill-in Field problem

  Nosmas 11:56 14 Apr 2008

About two years ago I set up in MS Word a main document and source document containing the variables, which performs a mail merge to produce a Form Letter. The mail merge works OK and the appropriate Merge Fields are correctly inserted into the Form Letter. The main document is an advice to individuals and team leaders re competitions they wish to enter and includes a table, the first three columns of which are – Col A – Competition Name, Col B – Accepted and Col C Entry Fee. Row 1 contains the column headings and in Rows 2 to 12 the names of various competitions in Col A.

Each of the cells in Col B contains a Fill-in Field which prompts the user to either press the OK button to 'accept' an entry for that competition or to delete (using the space bar) a default X and then press the OK button. The first alternative causes a X to be inserted in Col B, or the deletion of the default leaves Col B blank. Each cell in Col C has a conditional formula which, if X is present in Col B, multiplies the entry fee (obtained at the beginning of the mail merge run from the response to an Ask Field) by a number equal to the number of players in the team. Another formula in the bottom cell of Col C produces the total of the amounts calculated and inserted in the cells above.

Due to the lapse of time since I designed this procedure I cannot remember every step I took. I now need to modify the main document to include another competition and have therefore inserted another row in the table. I then copied and pasted the Fill-in Field from one of the other cells into the new cell in Col B and similarly the formula into the new cell in Col C. When I test run the mail merge (for only the first record in the source document) all goes well until I reach the new competition when I get an error message stating that "A field calculation error occurred in record 1". The resultant Form Letter contains an X in Col B (since I chose to 'accept') but no value in Col C. Building the Fill-in Field from scratch instead of copy and paste has exactly the same result.

Pressing Alt + F9 to view the Merge and Fill-in Fields in the main document reveals that the Fill-in Fields appear to be enclosed within 'square' brackets ([ ]) but manually inserting these from the keyboard has no effect on the calculation error but merely shows the X in Col B on the Form Letter enclosed in 'square' brackets. (When I copy and paste, these 'square' brackets are NOT copied with the Fill-in Field). When I first open the main document I notice that each of the cells in Col B displays what resembles a capital letter I, but it is larger and bolder than a letter I entered from the keyboard, but the new cell displays an X. I feel that the character displayed is due to the character that encloses the Fill-in Fields.

Is there any MS Word expert out there who can tell me how to resolve this problem - i.e. what is the character which encloses the Fill-in Field and how does it get there? Time is very short as I now need to produce some Form Letters urgently.

  recap 20:17 14 Apr 2008

Any of these any good for you Nosmas?

click here

click here

  Nosmas 23:00 14 Apr 2008

Thanks for the links, but I am afraid they did not throw any light on my problem.

Anyone else have any ideas please?

  Nosmas 22:53 15 Apr 2008

For the benefit of anyone reading this post who has encountered the same problem here is the solution.

After much searching on the Internet I came across this click here which then gave me a clue to my problem. The formula in Col C refers to the the Fill-in Field in the cell in Col B by its Bookmark name, but since that name was missing from Col B the field calculation error was displayed. The solution was to copy the Fill-in text in one of the cells in Col B and paste it into the Col B cell for the new competition, select all that text and then go to Menu Insert > Bookmark and give the book mark a name. The result was that the 'square' brackets (called Enclosing Bookmarks) then surrounded the text and the calculation of the Entry Fee then occurred correctly. What a relief to have solved the problem!

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