by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 19, 2014)
If you have a bunch of labels in a WordPerfect file, you may be searching for a way to easily convert those labels to a Word document that can then be used as a data source for a mail merge. Such a task, depending on the number of labels in the file, can appear rather daunting.
The conversion process can be made much easier if you remember a couple of things. First of all, you must remember that the information in a Word data source is expected to be in a table with column headings. Second, remember that label files in WordPerfect are in a text-only format; they are not in a format that can be automatically translated into a Word table.
With these two items in mind, it should become clear that all you need to do is convert the original text in the WordPerfect file into tabular text in the Word file. Let's say that you have information in the WordPerfect label file, such as this:
John Davis 1234 Maple Lane Anytown, USA 55555
Betty Jones 122 Main Street Seventh Floor Mytown, USA 55555
Bill Taylor 345 Industrial Way Yourtown, USA 55555
There are several things to notice about this file. First, there is a carriage return (Enter was pressed) at the end of each line within an address. Second, there are two carriage returns (Enter was pressed twice) between labels. (In examining your label file, you may find that there is more than one blank line between some labels. That is OK.)
There is no "magic wand" that you can wave to turn information such as this into a Word table; it will take some work and massaging on your part. You can start by following these general steps:
Your original labels should now be converted into a table. You are not quite done, however. Chances are good that you need to "clean up" some of your data. For instance, you may need to delete some empty table rows, or you may need to move information from column to column. (You typically need to do this if you have two address lines in some labels and only one in others.)
The final step is to make sure that you add a row at the very beginning of the table and add headings for each column. These should be generic headings, such as Name, Address1, Address2, etc.
Once your table is cleaned up and the header row is added, you can use it as a data source for a mail merge and create labels within Word.
If you would like more detailed information on how to convert from text labels to a data table in Word, check out this online resource:
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