Word Add-In - Help

bpost Address Validation Word Add-In - Help Page

Introduction

Congratulations for installing this address validation module, and thank you for helping bpost serve you better! Together, we can facilitate a smoother processing of your items through the bpost sorting and distribution network. A correct address is critical to the proper delivery of your letters, registered mail or parcels. It is also strategic for many applications, whether to send emergency services to the right place, or to enter data in a GPS, etc… An address seems so simple, but a correct address is an assembly of many small details that all together increase the chances of accurate processing: content, structure, position, format, font, color, etc… This module will seamlessly give you interactive feedback as you create your documents, so you will know ahead of time how to optimize the addresses you use.

bpost uses a reference repository of addresses in Belgium to direct its services. That database is being maintained daily by our workforce walking or driving daily every street of the country. Addresses you validate or insert into your document are checked with the addresses known by bpost, and you get immediate feedback with warnings and suggestions, if applicable.

The bpost Address Validation Add-In for Microsoft Word is fully integrated in the standard Word functionality. It is adapted to the way you work with very little interference:

  • You created a letter and already typed the destination address? Simply select the address, click Validate, and you will immediately receive feedback.
  • You are starting a letter from scratch? Click on the Insert button in the bpost tab, and you can enter both the return and the destination addresses. After validation, they will be placed in the proper position for your window envelopes.
  • You have pre-printed letterhead with all your information? Simply change a parameter in the Options, and the wizards will no longer prompt you for a return address.
  • Your addresses are stored in Outlook? Simply select them from your contacts, and validate their accuracy before placing them in your documents.
  • You want to use the standard Word functionality for Envelopes, Labels, or Mail Merge? No problem! The bpost module integrates nicely into the standard Word process.

During installation, a new bpost tab has been placed on your Word ribbon (or for older Word versions, a new menu item now appears on your menu bar.)

The details of the groups and icons can be found below. Some of the icons have also been inserted in the existing Word tab or menu 'Mailings':

If you need help while using the bpost Add-In, you may press F1, and you will be directed to the relevant section of this help page.

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Group of 4 icons: Validate, Insert, Envelopes, and Labels.

Each icon is specifically adapted to a particular need, or way of working. We suggest you take a few moments to understand the difference between each behavior, and experiment with them. The first 2 functions are particularly useful when using window envelopes. The last 2 functions are more useful with plain envelopes (without window.) You may however combine functions, e.g. by Validating an address first while creating a letter, then using it again in the Envelopes function.

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This function provides the simplest way to validate an existing address within a document. After creating your letter, as you usually do, and typed the address of your correspondent, you simply select in your document the address you wish to validate:

and press the button. The system will immediately communicate with the bpost systems over the Internet to validate the address and return feedback in this dialog box:

In this window, you notice 2 main parts: the top part with a copy of the selected input, and a bottom part. In the bottom part, on the right-hand side, you find the address validated by bpost and adapted if necessary. This is the address that has the most chances of being properly recognized by bpost, and of being distributed efficiently within the bpost network. You may alter the case of the validated address by pressing the AA, Aa, or aa buttons.

If you disagree with the interpretation and validation of the address by bpost, you may edit your input in the window above and re-submit, or you may decide to still use the address you had originally entered.

When you press the OK button, the selected version is inserted in your document instead of the original selection.

If the address just entered and validated is a frequently used address, you may save it for future use, in your Outlook contacts if Outlook is enabled, or locally.

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This function lets you start your document by entering the address in a form, validate this address with the bpost reference database, then insert it in a pre-defined position.

Return address: if you have pre-printed letterhead, you may wish to skip this step. You may do so by pressing the Next > button. Or you may configure the module to automatically skip this step by setting the flag in Options > Return Address.

If you prefer to use a return address stored previously, you may retrieve one from your address book by pressing the Outlook icon. Or you may enter an address in the appropriate fields, then validate it. Note that you may toggle the input screen between the mode for traditional street address, and the mode for PO Box number.

In the bottom part of the screen, on the right-hand side, you find the address validated by bpost and adapted if necessary. You may alter the case of the validated address by pressing the AA, Aa, or aa buttons.

If you disagree with the interpretation and validation of the address by bpost, you may edit your input in the window above and re-submit, or you may decide to still use the address you had entered.

If the address just entered and validated is a frequently used address, you may save it for future use, in your Outlook contacts if Outlook is enabled, or locally.

If the address just entered and validated is a frequently used address, you may save it for future use, in your Outlook contacts if Outlook is enabled, or locally. Then press Next > to go to the next screen.

Destination address:

You may retrieve a destination address from your address book by pressing the Outlook icon. Or you may enter an address in the appropriate fields, then validate it. Note that you may toggle the input screen between the mode for traditional street address, and the mode for PO Box number.

In the bottom part of the screen, on the right-hand side, you find the address validated by bpost and adapted if necessary. This is the address that has the most chances of being properly recognized by the bpost sorting machines, and of being distributed efficiently within the bpost network. You may alter the case of the validated address by pressing the AA, Aa, or aa buttons.

If you disagree with the interpretation and validation of the address by bpost, you may edit your input in the window above and re-submit, or you may decide to still use the address you had entered.

If the address just entered and validated is a frequently used address, you may save it for future use, in your Outlook contacts if Outlook is enabled, or locally.

When you press OK, the destination address, and the return address if not skipped, are placed in the location defined in Options > Address positioning. You may then continue typing your document.

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This function is to be used with plain envelopes (without window). It works exactly like the Addresses > Insertfunction. Except that, when pressing OK at the end of the process, instead of inserting the address(es) in your document, the validated address(es) is(are) inserted directly into the standard Word function for Envelopes:

From that point on, simply follow the standard Word functionality to select the envelope format, options and properties.

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This function is to be used with labels to place on plain envelopes (without window). It works exactly like the Addresses > Insertfunction. Except that, when pressing OK at the end of the process, instead of inserting the address(es) in your document, the validated address(es) is(are) inserted directly into the standard Word function for Labels:

From that point on, simply follow the standard Word functionality to indicate whether to print labels for the destination or return address, select the proper label format, options and properties.

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The standard Word functionality for Mail Merge may seem scary at first. It actually is not difficult, particularly if you follow the Step-by-Step Mail Merge Wizard:

Please make sure to read the standard Word documentation in order to master the function.

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The hardest part is just to identify the source of data for addresses, and if you don't have one, to create it. You may create a new address list from scratch, use an existing address list, or choose from your Outlook contacts if you have Outlook installed.

To simplify the process, bpost has provided a data file with the most common address fields, as part of the Add-In installation. You may select it by choosing the option 'Use an Existing List…' then use the Edit Recipient List function of Word. Alternatively, you may edit the file with Microsoft Access if you prefer.

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Once you have run through the standard Word Step-by-Step Mail Merge Wizard, or if you've selected a data source, you may now validate your list by pressing the button

You will first be prompted with a dialog to map the fields of your data source with the fields of the bpost validation service. The module will remember previous mapping, so you don't have to create it again. If you just create a new list, the following default mapping will appear:

If you use the simple address file provided by bpost, then the following mapping is provided by default:

If you use addresses from your Outlook, then the following mapping is provided by default:

When you press Next >, the system loads the addresses and submits them for validation with bpost.

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Batch processing of addresses is done automatically in blocks of 100 addresses, and a progress bar appears at the bottom of the validation window. Once the data exchange with bpost is completed, you will get the following dialog:

Before pressing OK, you have an opportunity to review each record. By default, the list is filtered to display only records with anomalies and you may navigate through the records using the buttons:

or access a record number directly by entering it in the center box. You may also uncheck the filter to display all records.

In the bottom part of the screen, on the right-hand side, you find the address validated by bpost and adapted if necessary. This is the address that has the most chances of being properly recognized by bpost, and of being distributed efficiently within the bpost network. You may alter the case of the validated address by pressing the AA, Aa, or aa buttons.

If you disagree with the interpretation and validation of the address by bpost, you may edit your input in the window above and re-submit, or you may decide to still use the address you had entered.

When you press the OK button, you are prompted to save the validated addresses into a new file. You may then finish the mail merge process by using the standard Word functions in the Mailings tab.

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If you had saved the validated list prior to completion of your review, you may resume it any time by pressing the button again:

It will bring up the following window:

Typically, you will want to retain the validated list previously reviewed and saved. Don't forget to save any additional changes you make during this new review, by pressing OK at the end.

Or you may wish to revalidate the entire list, which will take you back to the step Mail Merge > Validate Recipient List.

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Group of 3 icons: Options, Help, and About.

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This button in the bpost Help group lets you access parameters so you can tailor the behavior of the bpost Add-In to closely match your needs.

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With this screen, you may alter the behavior of the standard Word buttons, such as Envelopes and Labels, so they first use the bpost Add-In wizards before returning to standard Word functionality. You may also change the language of the module. This is also where you may check for the latest version of the Add-In and install it.

If you have selected this last option, a verification for availability of an update will be performed each time Word is started. When an update is available, you will see the following message:

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You may capture here the default return address that you want to insert into your letters. If you have pre-printed letterhead, and do not wish to insert a return address, simply check the box 'Skip return address'.

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The address position coordinates and font sizes are indicated in the common measure in MS Word: 'point' (pt), (FYI: 1/72th of an inch...) If you want to adjust the position of the return or the destination address, you may modify the parameters of the box: the top left corner and the dimensions. Typically, the return address is printed in a smaller font than the destination address. You may modify the default font size.

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The bpost Word Add-In requires access to the Internet in order to validate the addresses online with the bpost reference database. Some networks make use of a proxy to access the Internet. By default, the module will use the configuration of your Windows Internet properties, typically found in Internet Explorer options.

If you wish, you may introduce specific settings in this window:

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This button provides access to this help page.

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In this window, you can see the version of the Add-In currently installed, with the ability to check for the existence of a new version. In such case, press the Update button to proceed with the installation.

You may also consult additional information on Belgian addressing standards, rules, and guidelines, and the terms and conditions of use of the bpost Address Validation Word Add-In.

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