Troubleshooting Letter Generation and Mail Merge


This document describes common problems you may encounter while running Letter Generation and using Microsoft Word Mail Merge.

If you contact the ITS Service Center with a problem regarding Letter Generation or Mail Merge, you need to send them the extract file and template you are using to help them resolve the problem. If you are getting incomplete data, or no rows at all, you also need to send the ccltrgen_(instance number).out file.

Letter Generation

Issue Resolution
I did not get any results when I run Letter Generation.

You may receive no results because there are no incomplete communications for the letter code and/or date range you selected.

  • Open the Trace File (ccltrgen_instance number.out) to verify your Letter Code and Date Range, and check for errors.
  • You can run the Incomplete Communication Report to determine the letter codes and dates for which extract files need to be created. Refer to Communication and Checklist Reports for more details about the Incomplete Communication Report.

My extract file does not contain all the rows of data I expected.
  • Open the Trace File (ccltrgen_instance number.out) and look for critical errors. The most common critical error is that there was no active address found for the individual.
  • If you are re-running a letter through the Letter Generation process, you must:
    • Uncheck the Communication Completed box on the Person Communication page
    • Reassign each communication before re-running the Letter Generation process
My extract file has the wrong address. You may have selected the wrong address usage order in the Address field on the General Parameters page in the Letter Generation component. The recommended setting is Alt Mail, Current, Perm.
I made an error and need to change the communication speed key with a different speed key and/or re-run the letter generation process after having already run it for the communication speed key in question.

You cannot delete an old communication, but you can overwrite it.

  1. Refresh the Communication Summary page and click Edit next to the communication you want to change
  2. Uncheck the Communication Completed box on the Person Communication page
  3. Enter the new speed key and save.

If you are re-running the same letter through the Letter Generation process, you must:

  1. Refresh the Communication Summary page and click Edit next to the communication you want to change
  2. Uncheck the Communication Completed box on the Person Communication page and save

Depending on your office’s business process, you can leave the communication entered in error in M-Pathways, enter a new communication speed key, and then run the letter generation process again.

When I opened my extract file, I received an error message in Microsoft Excel stating, “File not loaded completely.” Your extract file is saved as a .csv file. When you save the extract file, it should be saved as a text file (*.txt). You can rename the file by right-clicking on the file and selecting Rename. Change the file extension to .txt and press Enter. Click Yes in the dialog box to verify that you want to change the file extension.
My extract file does not contain all the fields I need. Some letter codes contain additional fields beyond the fields included for the associated administrative function. If your extract file does not contain fields that should be part of the letter code, contact the ITS Service Center.

Microsoft Word Mail Merge

Issue Resolution
When I open a template, I receive the warning message “Opening this document will run the following SQL command.” Click Yes to open the document with a data source already attached, or click No to remove the data source.
Merge fields print instead of the data from my extract file. Verify that you have finalized your merge.
I want to display the merge results, but the merge fields display.

You can toggle between viewing the Mail Merge programming field codes and a preview of ONLY the first record by pressing:

  • Alt+F9 on a PC
  • Option+F9 on a Macintosh

Note: The Preview Results button (on the Word Mailings tab) must be off to show the merge fields.

I cannot print individual letters.

When you merge documents using Microsoft Word, each letter is placed in a separate section in the new document. To print only specific letters:

  • Click Print on the File tab.
  • In the Pages field, type s followed by the number(s) of the sections that contain the letters that you want to print. For example, to print the third, sixth, and seventh letter, type s3, s6-s7 in the Pages field.

My merged document has old data in it. Verify the current data source is selected. Each time you run Letter Generation, the extract file name changes. If you do not save the data extract with a consistent file name and folder, you need to re-select your data file each time you open your Mail Merge template.
I want to show a faculty member the hard copy, printed basic letter with the merge fields displaying, but the letter with the data for each individual displays.
  • If the merge is complete, you cannot print the basic letter showing the merge fields.
  • If the merge has not been completed, you need to turn on the display of field codes. From the File tab:
    • Click Options
    • Click Advanced, scroll down to the Print section, and check the Print field codes instead of their values box.
Parts of my Mail Merge document have a different font type and/or font size. Problems usually arise when you have templates in which the formatting in the main document is different than the formatting in the wording that is called in by the main document.
After inserting, deleting, or changing a field, the results do not display on the page. Press Alt+F9 to update the page.

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