The Word Document attached looks a lot better then this tutorial, purely because of the lack of control I have with BBCode. I do suggest you read it as it is formatted a lot clearer than it is with the forum software. For those too lazy to read it, continue reading.
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How to create a Mail Merge
Microsoft Word has the option of merging information from a database (such as Names, Addresses) into formal letters. This option is called a Mail Merge. This step-by-step tutorial will explain the following Mail Merge concepts:
- How to create a recipient list for use in a Mail Merge
- How to import an address list for use in a Mail Merge
- How to greet a recipient in a document
- How to display a recipient’s address in a letter
- How to insert an individual field into a letter
- Finishing the Mail Merge
How to create a recipient list for use in a Mail Merge
Figure 1.1: The New Address List Dialog
Creating a recipient list is simply a matter of clicking the ‘Mailings’ tab on the office ribbon, clicking the Select Recipients button and selecting the ‘Type New List’ option from the drop-down list.
You will be presented with a ‘New Address List’ dialog box (see Figure 1.1). By default, you have the options of providing a wide variation of information about recipients, such as names and contact details.
Type your list of recipients into the table and click the Ok button to close the window. A dialog will appear, prompting you to tell Microsoft Word where to save your new address list so we can access it easily in all documents. Give it an appropriate name and click the save button.
Tip: If you need to add additional columns to your address list, select the ‘Customize Columns...’ option in the bottom-left corner of the window.
How import an address list for use in a Mail Merge
To actually use the Mail Merge function, we will need to import a recipient list. We have already created one in the previous step; so again, select the ‘Mailings’ tab on the office ribbon and click the ‘Use Existing List’ button. A dialog will appear prompting you to locate your address list. Select the address list and click Open.
You will notice some buttons that were previously disabled on the ribbon are now enabled as a result of this operation; this is because Microsoft Word now knows the current document is working with a Data Source.
Tip: It is not a good idea to import an address list on removable storage devices. When Windows detects a removable storage device, it allocates it a drive letter based on the ones that aren’t being used on the current computer. What this means to you, is that your document may not properly find the address list file if its path keeps changing.
How to greet a recipient in a document
Figure 1.2: The Insert Greeting Line Dialog
Greeting a recipient in a document is easy. First select the ‘Mailings’ tab on the office ribbon, and then select the Greeting Line button. A dialog will appear titled ‘Insert Greeting Line’ (figure 1.2).
This dialog will allow you to change the format of the greeting, the greeting line for recipients Microsoft Word doesn’t have data for and a preview of what the greeting will look like in your document.
How to display a recipient’s address in a letter
Displaying a recipient’s address is much the same deal as greeting a recipient in a document. Select the ‘Mailings’ tab on the office ribbon and click on the Address Block button.
A dialog will appear, prompting you to choose the format of the recipient’s name, whether to insert the company name or not, the option of including the postal address and a preview of how the address block will appear in your document. Modify these options to your liking and click ok.
How to insert an individual field into a letter
Figure 1.3: The Insert Merge Field Dialog
Sometimes you may need to insert a name or email address out of the blue into your document (or anything else you can think of that you entered into the address list). This can be performed by using the ‘Insert Merge Field’ option.
Click the ‘Mailings’ tab on the office ribbon, and select the top half of the ‘Insert Merge Field’ button. A dialog will appear (see figure 1.3), giving you an option of selecting a variety of fields.
When you have found the type of field you would like to insert into your document, select it in the list and click ‘Insert’.
Finishing the Mail Merge
To finish the mail merge, click the ‘Mailings’ tab on the office ribbon and select the ‘Finish & Merge’ button. It will give you the option of editing the individual documents, printing the documents or sending the document as an email.
Selecting any of the three options will present you with a dialog asking which records in the address list you would like to use. Selecting ‘All’ will perform the operation on all records in the address list.
I hope this tutorial has enlightened you as to the many benefits of using a Mail Merge, and how it can make writing letters to multiple recipients much less work.