QUESTION: Can I use Microsoft Word to create variable-data documents?

ANSWER:  Yes, you can — and it might work quite well if your print runs are fairly small and if your documents are relatively simple in design.

But people can run into problems when they try to use Microsoft Word for complex variable-data documents or for large print runs. Potential problems are:

  • Microsoft Word takes a long time to compose the documents and send the code for the text and graphics to the printer. In extreme cases, Microsoft Word actually stops composing documents and hangs.
  • The printer takes a long time to print the documents.

  • Microsoft Word doesn't provide extensive support for variable graphics.

These problems can be solved by using special software that's designed for variable-data printing. Such software uses print-optimization technology to ensure that variable-data documents can be composed and printed as fast as possible; it also provides lots of support for using variable graphics in variable-data documents.