Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Selecting Different Trays in a Mail Merge.

Selecting Different Trays in a Mail Merge

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 16, 2014)

The mail merge feature in Word is quite powerful, allowing you to create customized letters, forms, labels, and other documents. If you create a form letter for a mail merge, you might want to print one page of each letter on paper from one printer tray, and the subsequent pages from paper in a different paper tray. (For instance, you might have letterhead in one tray, for the first page, and regular paper in a different tray for the rest of the pages.)

There are a couple of ways that you can approach this problem. If you want to specify a different paper tray for the first page of your form letter, you can follow these steps:

  1. Create your form letter, as you normally would.
  2. Display the Page Layout tab of the ribbon.
  3. Click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Page Setup group. Word displays the Page Setup dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Paper tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Paper tab of the Page Setup dialog box.

  6. Use the First Page list to specify the tray from where the first page's paper should come.
  7. Use the Other Pages list to specify the tray for the other pages in the letter.
  8. Click OK.

You can now save your form letter and merge as normal. If your paper tray selections are a little more complex, then you need to adapt these steps somewhat. For instance, if you need to specify a different paper tray for a page in the middle of the document, then you should divide your form letter into sections, using section breaks where appropriate. Then, follow the above steps to set a different paper source for each section of the letter. All you need to do is make sure you place the insertion point within the section you want to affect, and then follow the steps. Also, make sure that the Applies To field (on the Paper or Paper Source tab of the Page Setup dialog box) is set to This Section instead of Whole Document.

Another way you can approach the problem is to embed PRINT fields within your document. This particular field is used to send commands directly to your printer, without processing by the output routines of Word. If you know the printer codes necessary to select a specific paper tray, then you can use the PRINT fields to issue those commands to your printer. For more information about how this approach works, see the following Knowledge Base article:

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/135569

Note that the Knowledge Base article is considered "retired" because it applies to very old versions of Word. Even so, the fields it talks about will work just fine in the latest versions of Word. The trick is to figure out the proper printer codes to use and to enclose within the PRINT fields.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (12740) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Selecting Different Trays in a Mail Merge.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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