Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
You need to know what kind of information is necessary for the recipient list before you create it.
This chapter explains how to do that so that you don’t end up having to repeatedly modify the
recipient list after it’s created.
3. Create the recipient list — the data for the mail merge.
The recipient list is a database, consisting of rows and columns. Each column is a field, a fill-in-
the-blanks part of the document. Each row is a record in the database, representing a person who
receives their own, custom copy of the document.
4. Insert fields specified in the recipient list into the main document.
The fields are placeholders for information from the recipient list.
5. Merge the information from the recipient list into the main document.
The final mail merge process creates the customized documents. They can then be saved, printed,
e-mailed, or dealt with however you like.
The rest of this chapter covers the specifics. You can also use the Word Mail Merge Wizard to help
you work each mail merge step. See the next section.
Chickening out and using the Mail Merge Wizard
If all this mail merge malarkey is just too intense for you, consider using Word’s Mail Merge
Wizard: On the Mailings tab, choose Start Mail Merge ⇒ Step-by-Step Mail Merge Wizard. You see the
Mail Merge pane appear on the right side of the document’s window. Answer the questions, choose
options, and click the Next link to proceed.
The Main Document
Mail merge begins with a document, or what I call the main document. It’s the prototype for all the
individualized documents you eventually create, so it contains only common elements. The specific
stuff — the items that change for each document after the mail merge — are added later.
The following sections discuss different types of main documents.
Creating a mail merge letter
The most common thing to mail merge is the standard, annoying form letter. Here’s how you start
1. Start a new, blank document.
2. On the Mailings tab, from the Start Mail Merge group, choose Start Mail Merge ⇒ Letters.
3. Type the letter.