MS Word to perform Mail Merges, this can be a thorny problem, and I get loads of questions about it, so I hope what follows will sort a few things out for you.
Once set up, Mail Merge can save you a huge amount of time, plus, you can really impress colleagues, clients and even yourself with the results! Have a read and download the example files too, you will need to reconnect them.
- The MAIN Document which contains static text and merge field “hotspots” for variable data (eg Standard letters, Labels, Emails …)
- The DATA Source (Word calls this the RECIPIENT List) which is a table of data either in another Word doc, an Excel spreadsheet or Access database. This table supplies the variable data for your Letters, Labels, or Emails.
- It is easier to set up Recipient List in advance and my preference is a table in Excel. You then connect this to the Main document via the Mail Merge Wizard (see below)
- Also, it is useful to show the Mailings Tab and Mail Merge Wizard
(Both illustrated below.))
- Decide on the field (column) headings you need and type them on Row1 in new Excel spreadsheet & format to suit
- Complete each subsequent row with one recipient’s details
- Save the file with a suitable appropriate name and in a folder you can find again easily then close Excel (Step 3 below)
- Until you’re confident with mail merge, I suggest you type up the Main document in full, print it and use a highlighter to identify the variable parts of the document. (Similar to the illustration with the yellow highlighting here.)
- Later, replace the marked areas one at a time with the appropriate Mail Merge Field (Step 4 below)
- Activate this by clicking: Mailings Tab > Start Mail Merge > Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard
- Navigate to Next … / Back through the 6 Steps of the process