WD: Word Prompts to Select Header Delimiter Opening Header File

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When you open a header file using the Mail Merge command, Word for Windows prompts you to select the header record delimiter.


By design, when Word reads a mail merge header or data document that contains only one line, Word prompts you to select the record delimiter. In a mail merge data or header document that contains at least two lines, Word compares the two lines and, if both lines contain the same number of a single delimiter, Word does not prompt you to select the delimiter.


To work around this problem, use one of the following methods.

Method 1: Create the Header Document as a Table

To avoid being prompted, create the header document using a table format or convert the one row of data to a table format.

To create a table, follow these steps::

  1. Click Insert Table on the Table menu.
  2. Specify one row and a number of columns equal to the number of fields in your header record.
  3. Type in the field names in each cell.

Method 2: Convert an Existing Header Row to a Table

To Convert an existing header row to a table, follow these steps::

  1. Select the entire header row.
  2. On the Table menu, click Convert Text to Table.

Method 3: create a Header Document That Contains Two Records

To avoid being prompted, create a header document that contains two records that use the same delimiter. For example:


When the file contains two or more lines, Word compares the number of delimiters in the first and second lines. If both lines contain the same number of delimiters, Word does not prompt you to select the delimiter.

NOTE: Word uses only the first record as the header record.

The field delimiter used in the two identical records can be any character listed in the Field Delimiter list in the Header Record Delimiter dialog box.

This method for automating the determination of the field delimiter does not extend to record delimiters. Even though the dialog box will allow you to specify alternative record delimiters, you cannot use any character other than a paragraph mark to delimit the two identical records in the header file if you want to avoid being prompted for delimiter selection.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in the Microsoft products listed at the beginning of this article.

More Information

If the data document contains any identical records or only a single record, the Header Record Delimiter dialog box appears after you have selected the data document. This dialog box does not appear if your data document contains only dissimilar records.


"Microsoft Word User's Guide," version 6.0, pages 679, 683

Id. de artículo: 189014 - Última revisión: 08/18/2005 - Revisión: 1