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How do I change the mailmerge sort order

457 Views 7 Replies Latest reply: Mar 19, 2013 6:28 AM by Jerrold Green1 RSS
Basilisk Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Mar 18, 2013 11:06 AM

When I want to send a Mail Merge using Pages to read an Address Book Group sorted by Surname, the resulting merge is produced sorted by First Name. This means every Merge has to be manually sorted, which is time consuming and wrong.


A merge letter I have used successfully for over three years, every time sorted by Surname, now produces the wrong sort order and cannot be changed. If I change the sort order in Address Book Preferences from Surname to First Name and back again the behaviour is unchanged. If I change the Sort order to "by First Name" it stays the same. Nothing seems to reassert the correct sorting order ie by Surname.


How do I change it?



  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (27,395 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 18, 2013 1:06 PM (in response to Basilisk)

    Run a quick test and see if using a Numbers merge fixes the problem and let us know.


    It seems the Address Book merge is a fixed behavior.


    You can export from Address Book as tab delimited data and import it into Numbers.



  • Jerrold Green1 Level 7 Level 7 (28,215 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 19, 2013 5:36 AM (in response to Basilisk)



    Numbers will Mail Merge to Pages in the order of the Rows in the Numbers database. I always use Numbers for merging to Pages because I like the control it gives me of the order of printing but also because of the simplicity and versatility of controlling the content.


    It couldn't be easier to move your data from Contacts/AddressBook to Numbers. Here are the simple steps:


    In Contacts/AddressBook, Create a Group for your friends or clients that you wish to use with Mail Merge. Drag all the relevant subjects into that Group. (You probably have already done this.)


    In Numbers, Create a new document and delete any default Table that appears in it.


    Arrange your Desktop so you can see your Group list in Contacts and your new blank Numbers Sheet at the same time.


    Drag your Contacts Group to your blank Numbers Sheet, creating a Table in Numbers with all the data of your contacts. You won't see all the data right away because some of it is in Hidden Columns.


    Click on a cell in your Numbers Table to activate the table and Hover your mouse pointer over a column label tab in the Numbers Table. Click the menu triangle and Select: UnHide all Columns.


    Now you can see all the data and can proceed with organizing it into the order you want the merge to have.


    Remember to Save your organized Numbers document before you begin to setup the merge links in Pages. Save the Numbers document each time you make changes to it, prior to doing a Mail Merge.



  • PeterBreis0807 Level 7 Level 7 (27,395 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 19, 2013 6:20 AM (in response to Basilisk)

    You are not alone in noticing just how confused Apple is becoming with its schitzophrenic OSes and trashing and retrashing of its User Interfaces.


    This is just appallingly incompetent UI even by recent standards:


    Screen Shot 2013-03-20 at 12.04.02 AM.png


    and I am fed up with misnamed or badly named updates and files, hidden in inaccessable nooks and crannies, made even more so with every version.


    The installation and updating of the iWork apps was always a shambles, now it it is just a total flustercluck, with many users unable to even get the software they need, because Apple has deliberately made life impossible for anyone not tossing out their products for the latest spring fashions from Cupertino.


    I am currently forced to work between two separate drives and versions of OSX on my iMac because they are each stuffed up in one way or another and I can't work just in the one.


    Apple, you seem to be heading for a rerun of the '80s and again the 90's.


    As in the lead up to those near death experiences, HQ thinks everything is just fine and dandy… for the time being.



  • Jerrold Green1 Level 7 Level 7 (28,215 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 19, 2013 6:28 AM (in response to Basilisk)



    So, have you figured out what the order is when merging from Address Book on your system? I'm using ML because I can, and I find it better to be up to date when using the forums and other resources. My decision not to resurrect a G5 machine that flamed out a couple of years ago was based on this compatibility issue. It does seem a shame to have to abondon a piece of equipment for such reasons.




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