How to avoid duplicate table headers while mail merge records?

Hi, there!

I'm having troubles when I tried to mail merge | directory some records from an Excel spreadsheet into a formatted table in Word. I did get a continuous table after merging but the dilemma was that the first row where the table headers are got duplicated for each record merged in. If I'm not making myself clear, here's an example:

Header 1 Header 2 Header 3 Header 4 Header 5
<<Record 1-1>> <<Record 1-2>> <<Record 1-3>> <<Record 1-4>> <<Record 1-5>>
Header 1 Header 2 Header 3 Header 4 Header 5
<<Record 2-1>> <<Record 2-2>> <<Record 2-3>> <<Record 2-4>> <<Record 2-5>>

These repeated headers have cut the table into illegible piece, which should be avoided apparently. Is there a way of doing this?

Btw, I definitely don't want to do the formatting work in Excel because actions like cell merge/split can easily make things even worse.


Question Info

Last updated April 7, 2019 Views 69 Applies to:

When you create a directory merge as a table, Word repeats for every record, along with the results of the merge fields, any other content you put in the document. This means that the table header row cannot be in the body of the mail merge main document when you complete the merge. There are two ways around this:

  1. Omit the table header row entirely until the merge is complete, then add it to the merged document. This is probably the easiest in the long run.
  2. Put the table header row in the page header. If the table is borderless, this can work very satisfactorily. There will be an empty text paragraph following the table in the header, but you can change the font size as needed to allow only the desired space between header and table (you can even set is as Hidden if necessary). If the table is bordered, you may have to fiddle with it a bit more to get the desired appearance, but it can work.

I've done it both ways, and, for tables that you have to merge routinely, it's really helpful if you use Option 2--takes more work to set up initially but results in less extra work down the line.

Microsoft MVP (Word) since 1999
Fairhope, Alabama USA
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