«Next Record» Rule

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

The Mail Merge add-on does not support the functionality of the Next Record rule provided by Microsoft Word. This article provides solutions for two common problems where you would typically need the Next Record function.

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.