Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Understanding the Merge Process
The term mail merge refers to the process of combining information from two separate
documents to create many final documents, each containing customized information. The
two separate documents are called a main document and a data source.
A main document is a document (such as a letter) that contains standard text and
placeholders (called merge fields ) that tell Word where to insert variable information
(such as a name or an address). You can distinguish merge fields from the other text of
the main document, because each merge field name is enclosed by pairs of angled
brackets—like this: << >>.
Max’s main document is a letter that contains the text shown in Figure 4-28. You will
replace the text in brackets with merge fields.
Max’s main document
A data source is a document that contains information, such as clients’ names and
addresses, which will be inserted into the main document. Max plans to send the newslet-
ter to a small test group of clients for starters. His data source is a table in a Word docu-
ment that contains the names and addresses of five Wide World Travel clients. This table is
shown in Figure 4-29. The header row in the table contains the names of the merge fields.
Each row in the table contains information about an individual client and, in mail merge
terminology, is called a record .
Max’s data source
header row includes all merge
field names for this data source
3519 Olbrich Avenue
634 Bay View Court
2276 Fairlawn Avenue
1 West Main Street
654 State Street
record for individual client