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Microsoft Word 2003

Mail Merge Wizard: An Overview

The Mail Merge Wizard takes you step-by-step through the process of creating merged documents. It is always available and easily accessible in the task pane. At each step, options will help you to tailor the merge to your needs. This document describes each step in general and the options available. At any point while using the wizard, you can go back to a previous step to adjust your choices.

NOTE: This document uses the example creating a Mail Merge letter.

To access the Mail Merge Wizard:

  1. From the Tools menu, select Letters and Mailings » Mail Merge...
    The Mail Merge task pane appears.

STEP 1: Selecting the document type
Your options for document type include the following:

Letters: allows you to tailor one letter to many individuals.

E-mail messages: allows you to personalize a message as you would form letters and send them via email. For instructions on how to perform this type of merge, refer to Creating an Email Merge.

Envelopes: allows you to print envelopes with different addresses. For instructions on how to perform this type of merge, refer to Creating Merged Envelopes.

Labels: allows you to print labels with different addresses. For instructions on how to perform this type of merge, refer to Creating Mailing Labels.

Directory: allows you to gather varied but related information into a list. For example, to create a departmental or organizational directory, list the names, office locations, and phone numbers.

Mail Merge Wizard step 1: Select document type
STEP 2: Establishing the starting document
Your options for the starting document include the following:

Use the current document: uses the document currently open.

Start from a template: uses a preset Word template. Once you make this selection, the Select template link appears. Clicking it takes you to the Select Template dialog box, where you can choose the template you want to use.

Start from existing document: uses a previously saved document. Once you make this selection, you can choose from a list of recently used files or select another of your files.

Mail Merge Wizard step 2: Select starting document
STEP 3: Selecting the recipients
Your options for selecting recipients include the following:

Use an existing list: uses a previously saved list. Once you make this selection, the Browse link appears. Clicking it takes you to the Select Data Source dialog box, where you can choose the file you want to use.

Select from Outlook contacts: uses your Outlook contacts as recipients. You must use Outlook and have existing Contacts. Once you make this selection, the Choose Contact Folder link appears. Clicking it takes you to the Choose Profile dialog box, where you can select the Contacts list folder you want to use.

Type a new list: allows you to create your own list by typing each recipient.

Mail Merge Wizard step 3: Select recipients
STEP 4: Writing your document
During this step, you will be adding text and variable information to your document. To assist you in this, Word has a number of pre-formatted entries along with the fields from your recipient list. Frequently used options include the following:

Address block: allows you to specify the format of recipient names, whether to insert the company name and postal address, and the format of the postal address.

Greeting Line: allows you to format how the greeting line will appear (e.g., Dear Mr. Randall,) and choose which format to use for invalid names (e.g., Dear Sir or Madam,).

More items: allows you to insert additional database fields.

Mail Merge Wizard step 4: Write your letter
STEP 5: Previewing your documents
At this point, you are almost ready to merge. Before you do so, it is a good idea to preview your documents. You can browse through the documents by clicking the PREVIOUS or NEXT button. You can also locate specific recipients.

Based on what you see during this preview, you may decide to edit your document, edit the recipient list, or exclude one or more recipients from the merge.

Mail Merge Wizard step 5: Preview your letters
STEP 6: Completing the merge
Once the merge is complete, you can print the merged documents or, prior to printing, you can edit individual documents. Mail Merge Wizard step 6: Complete the merge
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