254 ofﬁce x for macintosh: the missing manual
add, delete, or edit some index entries themselves, they won’t be reﬂected in the
index you’ve already generated.
The solution, either way, is to click in your index and press F9. Word updates the
index; as when you created the index, this will take some time.
• Deleting an index. To remove an index from your document, click it and press
Shift-F9 (it will be represented as a ﬁeld code). Select and delete the entire ﬁeld
code to delete the index.
Tip: Deleting the index doesn’t delete the index entries you’ve marked in your document. Usually, leaving
them in place does no harm, since they’re marked as hidden text and generally don’t print or show up
onscreen. But if you need a genuinely clean document, use the Replace command described on page 75.
Using the Special pop-up menu, choose Field and replace it with nothing. Word will neatly extract them
from your ﬁle.
If the term data merge is new to you, perhaps it’s because “data merge” is a kinder,
gentler euphemism for its result: form letters. A data merge grabs information from
a database, and uses that information to automatically ﬁll in the blanks of a Word
ﬁle (“Dear <<name>>, As a fellow <<city>> resident, I thought you might be in-
terested in contributing <<income>> to our fundraiser”). In the example above, a
data merge can effectively churn out what seem to be personal, individually written
letters. Merging data can also create labels, envelopes, or a catalog.
Having Ofﬁce X on your Mac puts you at a deﬁnite advantage: You get to use all the
document-beautifying features of Word (see Chapter 3) to write the placeholder
letter, and you have your choice of programs to organize the data. You can use an
existing Excel ﬁle, your Entourage Address Book, a FileMaker Pro database, or a
Word table to supply the data that you want plugged into the generic letter.
The placeholders Word uses when you write the letter are ﬁelds (see page 228). And
because ﬁelds can process information like computer code, Word data merge docu-
ments are very powerful. For example, you can set them up to prompt you for infor-
mation before proceeding with the merge (“What amount to ask for?”).
To make these interactive functions easier to use, Ofﬁce X offers the Data Merge Man-
ager. Just as the Formatting Palette consolidates dozens of different formatting fea-
tures, so the Data Merge Manager also collects and automates the features you need
for four of the most popular merges: form letters, labels, envelopes, and catalogs.
Preparing Data Sources
Before you begin your mail-merge experience, ﬁgure out what computer document
will contain the source data—the names and addresses for your form letters and
envelopes, for example, or the items and prices in your inventory database that you’d
like to merge into an attractive catalog.