Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Creating Mailings Using Outlook Contacts
Outlook Contacts is a great place to keep all the information about your friends, family, and
business associates, including their postal addresses. You can use this information to create a mail merge
using Microsoft Word. In a mail merge , you create a form letter and then Word creates one copy of
the letter, along with an envelope or mailing label, for each name and address in a list. Outlook
Contacts is one possible source for this list. Of course, this will work only for those contacts whose
postal address is included in their Contacts entry.
This is not a book about Word, so I will not go into the complete details of performing a mail
merge using Outlook Contacts, just the basics.
A mail merge document is created using two kinds of elements. One element is normal text that
you type in as usual. Sometimes this is called boilerplate text because it will be the same in every
document or message. The other element is fields that specify where in the document information
from the recipient list is to be placed. For example, suppose you want to start each letter with
“Dear” followed by the recipient’s first name. You would type “Dear “ (note the space!) and then
insert the first name field; it will look like this in your document:
Dear <<first>>,
To perform a merge in Word using Outlook Contacts:
Start a new document in Word.
Click the Mailings tab to display the Mailings ribbon.
In the Start Mail Merge section, click Start Mail Merge.
Select the type of document you want to create from the menu (see Figure 21.6).
Click the Select Recipients button on the ribbon.
Choose Select from Outlook Contacts from the menu. If you have more than one Contacts
folder, you will be prompted to select the folder to use.
Email Merge
Word also has the capability to perform a merge whose output is email messages. This may seem
unnecessary — after all, it’s easy enough to create a message and send it to multiple recipients
using Outlook alone. However, a merge lets you personalize the messages, such as starting each one
with “Dear Alice” or whatever the recipient’s first name is.
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