Excel ain’t

I’d meant to get the address labels sent out to my colleague David today but it didn’t happen.  Not because I didn’t do my best, but because of bloody microsoft.  I wish I didn’t have to use it, but it’s too involved to use software that other people don’t have.  And I’d have to do some pretty stringent testing of anything before I bought it in any case.

I only have to print out address labels once in a while and, it so happens, I haven’t needed more than a page (of 21 individual labels) full since I bought the computer last November.  I also bought a new copy of Microsoft Office because the very old version I had wasn’t supported any longer and – well, it just had to happen.

I spent hours, truly, on the sodding mail merge.  I went through it all in the normal way (it wasn’t set out quite the same, which was a nuisance, but not that hard).  And at the end, only one page was ready to be printed.  So I did it again with the same result.  Many times, but I couldn’t get every address ready to print.  I finally wondered if it was just the preview and actually they’d all print? But no, in fact nothing would.  As time went on, it became apparent that the post office would close before I could get there anyway.

I went through the whole thing again, following the step by step instructions on the Help page.  No difference.  I went to fetch my old computer, plugged it in and emailed the spreadsheet to myself.  Word kept crashing, probably because it didn’t like the spreadsheet, though i’d saved it in an old format.  Then I emailed it to Tim so that he could try.  Mail merge on his laptop was even more bewildering than on my Mac.

Finally, I tried changing one of the defaults that I’d always used just as it was in the past.  And it worked.  And I printed all the damn labels and emailed David to explain why he wouldn’t get them until Tuesday.  I typed out the most urgent addresses (those of the vendors) and he’s dealt with them.  He’s very good, as a business partner.

By this time, i was a bit tense, so LT poured us both a drink and defrosted some of his delicious leek quiche for lunch.  And then I’d got some papers to be burnt (or shredded, but I haven’t got a shredder and I do have a bonfire) so we went out and set fire to them.  And nothing much happened for the rest of the day.

6 comments on “Excel ain’t

  1. Z Post author

    Well, when I turn out papers, there are a lot of them and some are stapled together. Far easier to burn them than remove all staples for the shredder. My local authority now takes shredded paper in its recycling bin, though.

    Thank you, Rog. I do my best 😉

  2. Beryl Ament

    I have been spending an inordinate amount of time trying to print out labels with the label tool on my new laptop and new Microsoft app and just couldn’t make it work. I always had it work like a charm before. Then I remembered you had written about this problem, tho’ with excel, and I read your post, changed a default, and it worked! I still don’t see why. Thank you and if you solve any more problems, write them up. Please.

  3. Z Post author

    Why they change things to make them worse, I can’t imagine. And the help thingy isn’t any use at all. Glad I could help, Beryl!


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