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Mail Merge PDF Print E-mail
Written by Bernie Vincent   
Wednesday, 19 July 2006
Mail merge allows you to create a list of names and addresses which you can then use to automatically insert into designated fields in a letter, document, label or envelope. For example, you can create a letter, then merge it with your contacts list and print out a personalised letter.
 
When you are using Mail Merge you will come across a few terms that must be understood. These are:
 
Main Document:
 
 The main document is that which contains the information that doesn't change as you merge two documents. In the case of a letter, then it is the body of the letter which makes up the main document.
 
Data Source Document:
 
The data source document contains the information that will change during the merge process. In the case of a form letter then it is likely that this information will consist of the names and addresses of the people that you want to send the letter to.
 
Merge Fields:
 
These are the fields that you choose to merge as you create your form letter. You may have a number of fields in your data source, some of which you don't want in your letter.
 
We have chosen to illustrate how to use the mail merge facility by creating a letter, but the principal is the same for other documents.
 
We'll start by assuming that you have typed a letter and are ready to insert the names and addresses.
 
Go to TOOLS, then Mail Merge from the top menu.
 
Click on the Create button, and a drop down list containing Form Letters, Mailing Labels, Envelopes, and Catalogue will appear. Select Form Letters.
 
You will now be asked if you want to use the Active Window, or a New Main Document. Since we already have our letter open, select the Active Window button.
 
You should now be back to the second action in the Mail Merge Helper.
 
Click on Get Data, and another drop down list will appear.
 
Click on Create Data Source. On the right, you will see the fields that are included in your data source. This is the information about each contact that you want to insert into your letter. You may want to remove some fields, for example if you want to remove the State field, then select it in the box on the right, and click the Remove Field Name button. You can also add fields by typing them into the space provided and selecting Add Field Name button.
 
Once you're happy with your fields, click OK, then choose an appropriate name and location to save the data source. The data source is saved as a separate document, so for example if the letter is called "Meeting Invitation.doc", you might wish to call the data source "Meeting List.doc"
 
You will now be asked if you want to edit your source data, or set up your document. Select edit your data source.
 
A Data Form will open. Enter your contact's information into the appropriate fields, and click on the Add New button to add a new record. Once you have inserted all your records, click OK.
 
You will now be back to your main document. You will find that some additional options have appeared on the task bar. The next step is to decide to insert the information from the data source.
 
Click on Insert Merge Field button, and a drop down list of all the fields in your data source will appear.
 
Select the first field you wish to insert. You should now see that field on your document, e.g. «Title». You can cut, paste, duplicate and move the field throughout the document until you are happy with its location. Repeat this for each of your fields until your letter is complete.
 
Tip: put a space between «Title» and «Forename»
 
To merge your information, select the Merge to New Document button, which is on your taskbar. If you move the mouse over the buttons slowly, information will appear describing the function of the button.
 
We hope that this makes sense and helps you work through each step in the process. If you have any further problems, then don't hesitate to post a request for help in the forum.
 
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