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Special Edition Using Microsoft® Office XP by Woody Leonhard, Ed Bott

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Merging Data to Create Custom Reports and Letters

Most Word users think of mail merge as a synonym for "form letters" or "junk mail." Although it's true that Word can churn out form letters and bulk mailings until the cows come home, the term mail merge only hints at what you can do with this capability.

At its most basic, a mail-merge operation consists of two parts—a database and a document—and the "merge" just brings the two together. The database can contain just about anything—names and addresses are the most common contents, of course, but you can also stuff the database with product names, court case citations, serial numbers, invoices, test scores, or anything else you can fit into a database record.

The document, too, can take just about ...

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