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Mail Merge master class: How to merge your Excel contact database with custom letters in Word

JD Sartain | June 30, 2015
The last piece of this three-part article is about merging your custom Word documents with your client list (exported from Outlook to Excel) for distribution. Part One explains how to selectively choose certain fields for exporting to Excel and Part Two explains how to customize, manage, and maintain that contact list in Excel.

4. The Match Fields dialog opens. The field names in the left column are the default names for these fields. Notice that over half of the field boxes say "not matched." Click the down arrow on the right to display the field names used in your Excel database.

5. For example, click the "not matched" field box arrow beside the line that says Address1. Select your field bStreet, and Word replaces the words "not matched" with bStreet. Repeat this same procedure for City, State, Postal Code, and Country, then click OK.

6. Word takes you back to the Insert Address Block dialog. Verify that the complete address now displays in the Preview pane, then click OK. Word places the field called <<AddressBlock>> on the second line beneath the date.

7. Move your cursor down two lines from the Address Block. Click Greeting Line in the Mail Merge window pane. The Insert Greeting Line dialog opens. Select a salutation from the dropdown list under Greeting Line Format. Next, choose a format for the recipient's name.

8. Next, choose a salutation for recipients with invalid or missing names. Use the arrows under the sample to browse and/or verify that the records are accurate.

9. If any of the fields are missing or inaccurate, click the Match Fields button and follow the instructions above to make repairs. When finished, click OK.

10. The next option on this menu is Electronic Postage. Choose this option if you have the Electronic Postage software and an account set up to use this feature.

11. Click More Items to insert the custom fields we created in Excel. Move your cursor to the first placeholder in the letter, select the field "Expertise" from the More Items > Insert Merge Field list, then click the Insert button. Word places this field «Expertise» in your letter.

12. Repeat this procedure to insert "Innovations" and "Fees." Note if any field is missing or inaccurate, click the Match Fields button and follow the instructions above to make repairs. When finished, click Close, then click Next to continue.

Step 5: Preview your letters

1. As soon as you click Next: Preview Your Letters, Word displays the first merged letter. Check the custom fields to ensure they printed correctly and in the right location.

2. If you want to view a specific record/recipient, click Find a Recipient, then enter the search criteria in the search box, or click the double arrows until you find the correct record.

3. If there's a mistake in any of the merged fields, click Edit Recipient List and edit the database instantly.

Step 6: Complete the merge

1. To complete the merge, select Print. Choose All, Current Record, or a range of records, and then click OK.


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