Microsoft KB Archive/43316

From BetaArchive Wiki

Works: Fields Shifting in Print Merge Document

PSS ID Number: Q43316 Article last modified on 06-10-1996



The information in this article applies to:
- Microsoft Works for the Macintosh, version 2.0


When a form is created for a Microsoft Works version 2.00 Word Processor print merge document that includes draw objects, and the print merge field placeholders are aligned within those draw objects, the data may not line up with the draw layer during the merge process.

This behavior is caused by a label-compression feature in Works. If the database contains empty fields, the blank horizontal space between adjacent fields is automatically compressed when the Print Merge command is chosen. If the fields are the only items on a particular line on the Word Processor merge document, the whole line containing them will be compressed, or moved up one line. Meanwhile, the draw layer may remain oriented on the Word Processor merge document in the same place, depending on which line the draw object is attached to. The visible result is that the database fields no longer line up with the draw layer.

This problem can usually be corrected by turning on the Multiple Labels option, which overrides the automatic-compression feature.


The following is an example of this behavior:

  1. Create an invoice form by making 10 boxes with the Draw tool.

  2. Use Prepare To Merge to place field data into the boxes.

    The resulting form will appear normally on the screen. If some field placeholders are on lines by themselves or at the beginning of lines with boxes drawn directly above them, and the corresponding field in a given record is blank, everything on the screen will appear as intended until you print or save your merge document.

  3. Print or save your merge document. When you bring the document onto the screen again, you will notice that the fields are no longer in the boxes.

Generally speaking, graphic objects in Works 2.00 align their upper-left corner to the upper-left corner of the line underneath their position on the draw layer. In the case of database fields being merged into a Word Processor document when a field is blank (and therefore automatically compressed upon merging), an object that has “attached” itself to the line that placeholder was on will shift up to attach itself to the next line.

The following are some steps to avoid problems of this type (in addition to or in place of turning on the Multiple Labels option):

  1. When many items are created in the draw layer, use the Pointer tool to select all of them and choose Group Picture from the Format menu. This procedure will group all of the objects into one object, making them easier to align.

  2. Place a nonbreaking space at the beginning of each line to “lock” each line. This procedure is particularly useful if right, center, or decimal tabs are used with a merged field, as the use of these types of tabs is not supported with the Multiple Labels option. Perform this procedure by doing the following:

    1. From the Search menu, choose Replace.

    2. Click the paragraph symbol.

    3. Click the Replace With box.

    4. Click the paragraph symbol and hold down the OPTION key while pressing the SPACEBAR once.

    5. Click Replace All.

  3. If there are fields in the merge document aligned with tabs, make sure only one tab is placed between the text and the field, and that a specific tab stop is placed on the ruler for each tab. Also make sure that there is a paragraph mark at the end of each line; do not use a tab because it will cause wordwrap. Tabs will also affect spacing when optional fields in a merge document are present.

KBCategory: kbprint KBSubcategory: macworkskb

Additional reference words: 2.00 mwkswp mwksdb

Copyright Microsoft Corporation 1996.