What is a Mail Merge?
Mail Merge is a common term you often hear in Office environments but they can be useful for home users as well. It is used to create a set of documents, envelopes, labels, and so on that is basically the same but need to contain certain unique elements, such as the address and greeting line. So when might one want to use a mail merge? Two examples include:
- When you need to create labels or envelopes and the mailing address needs to be different on each one.
- A set of faxes or e-mails that contain the same basic information but also need to contain some piece of unique information.
By using a mail merge, all you have to do is create one fax, envelope, e-mail message, etc. and use placeholders where you want the unique information to be added.
When it comes to creating labels, Microsoft Office makes it relatively simple. If you have the data stored in another file, such as a spreadsheet, you can perform a mail merge to have the data imported into your labels. The remainder of this article will outline the steps that must be completed in order to create labels in Word using data in an Excel spreadsheet.
Before you begin using the Mail Merge wizard, you need to make a small configuration change within Word. From the Tools menu, click Options. Select the General tab and place a check beside the Confirm conversion at open option. With that step completed, you are ready to create your labels.
You can start the mail merge process in Word 2002 using the steps listed below:
- Open Word.
- From the Tools menu, point to Letters and Mailings, and click Mail Merge Wizard. If you are working in Word 2003, click Mail Merge.
- Under Select document type, click Labels. This option is used for creating address labels.
- Click Next: Starting document.
- Under Select starting document, select Change document layout.
- Click Label options. Select the paper type that you will be using such as Avery Standard 5160 Address. Click OK.
- Click Next: Select recipients.
- Under Select recipients, click Use an existing list. This option assumes that you are using address information stored in another file or database.
- Click Browse to locate your spreadsheet containing address information. Click Open.
- Select the table containing the address information and click OK.
- Place a check beside the recipients you want included in the mail merge. Click OK.
- Click Next: Arrange your labels.
- Click More items.
- From the Insert Merge Field dialog box, select the fields you want to include in the mail merge. Click Insert. These should be the fields that contain the recipients’ names and addresses. Close the Insert Merge Field dialog box.
- Format the first label as you want it to appear when it is printed. Click Update all labels.
- Click Next: Preview your labels.
- Click Next: Complete the merge.
- If you are satisfied with the appearance of the labels, click Print.
Your labels will now be printed. Each label should contain a different address based on the address information that was in your Excel file.