A few times a year I have to run a job to generate some letters using Microsoft Word’s mail merge functionality. Basically I have a letter template in Word, data source is an Excel spreadsheet, and output is a PDF file. Job size can be anywhere from a couple thousand to around 50,000 letters.
Normally a small job will take a minute or two, larger jobs may take 20-30 minutes. However, lately it is taking forever. And the longer it runs, the slower it goes. A thousand letters takes an hour. Two thousand letters may take 4 hours.
At first I suspected that Adobe Acrobat was the bottleneck, because a few months back corporate IT forced me to upgrade from Acrobat Pro XI to 2017. But I persuaded them to reinstall the old version and it is still slow. So now I suspect Word is the problem. (One bit of evidence in support of this theory – if I do a mail merge to a Word file rather than PDF, it is just as slow.)
Currently running Windows 7 with Office 2013. IT thinks upgrading to Windows 10 with Office 2016 might fix it, but who knows? Meantime, I’d like to know why something that has worked just fine for years now suddenly runs like crap. Are there any other Word mail merge users out there, have you run into this problem, and were you able to solve it?