Chapter 10. Data Documents and Mail Merge

Let's face it. The term mail merge is entirely too narrow to fully reflect the range of what can be done using Word's Mail Merge features.

Setting up a mail merge or data document involves several steps, some of which must be done before others can happen:

  1. Set the document type. Letter, e-mail, envelope, labels, or directory.

  2. Associate a data source with the document. New, Outlook contact, or some other source.

  3. Design your data document by combining ordinary document features with Word merge fields.

  4. Preview the finished document by testing to see how it looks with different data records.

  5. Finish the process by merging the data document with the data source, creating a printed result, a saved document, or an e-mailed document.

Understanding Data Sources

When you perform a mail merge, Word inserts an individual set of information (such as a recipient's name and mailing address) into a copy of a document to customize or personalize the document. The sets of information come from a data source—a file that organizes information into fields and records of information. For example, for a mailing address, the person's first name, last name, street number, city, state, and ZIP code represent the different fields; all the field entries for a single recipient comprise a single record.

In most cases, the data source that ...

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