«Next Record» Rule

Can I merge a group of rows together in a single page/email?

While the Mail Merge add-on doesn't support the functionality of the Next Record rule provided by Microsoft Word, this article provides solutions for two common problems where the Next Record function would typically be used.

Problem 1

Example: A school secretary has a spreadsheet containing students' grades across a number of subjects. Each grade is listed in a separate row (see screenshot below). Therefore, in order to send a student all of their grades, multiple rows need to be merged into a single email or document page.

Mutiple rows of data for the same student

How it is accomplished in Microsoft Word using the «Next Record» Rule

Solution 1

A solution is to allocate just one row to all of the data that is to be merged into a single merged page. This will enable a mail merge to be carried out as normal. This option has the advantage of reducing the Google Sheet file size and the time required to maintain your data.

Example: The school secretary allocates one row to each student and lists each grade in a separate column, rather than in a separate row.

Problem 2

By default, when merging to letters, a new page is started for every row to be merged. If the document template is short, this could result in a lot of wasted paper. If there are many rows to merge, the amount of waste could add up and become significant.

Example: A school secretary wants to create report cards for students, but each report card does not require a full Letter size page. Two or more report cards could fit on a single sheet of paper.

How it is accomplished in Microsoft Word using the «Next Record» Rule

Solution 2

A solution is to repeat the short document template multiple times within a single page, as demonstrated in this article.