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Mail Merge Using Word

Step 1: The Urge to Merge

For the first step in any Mail Merge project, you need to prepare a main document, or form letter. Here's how:

1. Choose Tools > Mail Merge.

2. Click the Create button in the Mail Merge Helper dialog box.

3. Select the Form Letters menu item from the drop-down list.

4. Choose how to create your main document. Click Active Window if your form letter is already prepared or click New Main Document if you need to make one.

5. Click the Edit button that appears out of thin air.

6. Choose Form Letter or the name of the document you have prepared in Word.

7. Edit the document.

Step 2: Be Prepared

After you've created a main document for your Mail Merge project, the next step is preparing the data source or making a file to store Mail Merge information.

1. First, click the Mail Merge Helper button on the toolbar.

2. Click the Get Data button.

3. Select Create Data Source from the drop-down list.

4. Click the Remove Field Name button until all the Field names in the header row list that you don't need are gone.

5. Type a field name, such as firstname, into the Field name box.

6. Click the Add Field Name button.

7. Repeat Steps 5 and 6 for each field you need to include.

8. Click OK.

9. Name your data source document.

10. Click Save.

11. Click the Edit Data Source button.

Step 3: Add Data

After you've created a main document and a data source for your Mail Merge project, it's time to add data to your data source. From the Data Form dialog box, do the following:

1. Fill in the blanks. Remember the names for the boxes in the Data Form dialog box are the field names you created earlier.

2. Click the Add New button.

3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 for every person to whom you want to mail your form letter.

4. Click OK.

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Step 4: Insert Fields

After you've created your main documents and data source (and put data in your data source, you're ready to place the fields -- or "the blanks" -- into your main document or form letter.

1. In your form letter, position the toothpick cursor where you want to place the field.

2. Click the Insert Merge Field button in the Mail Merge toolbar. A list of your fields drops down.

3. Select the field you want to place in the document. A code is inserted into your document. The firstname field may look like <>.

4. Continue adding fields until the document is complete.

Step 5: Let the Merging Begin!

Merging itself is the simplest part of the whole Mail Merge process. At this point, make sure that you've already created your main document and data source and that you've placed fields in your main document. To merge:

1. Save your main document.

2. Click the Mail Merge Helper button on the Mail Merge toolbar.

3. Click the Merge button, near the bottom of the dialog box.

4. Click the Merge button in the Merge dialog box.

Magically, Word creates several documents merging your main document with the information that you put into your data source. All the new documents appear one after the other, ready for printing

Printing Mailing Labels

If you want to use Word to print mailing labels, a different address on each label, you'll need to combine Word's Mail Merge function with an Excel database of addresses. It's a complex process, but click HERE if you would like to review a step-by-step instruction tutorial.

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