TABLE OF CONTENTS CREATING A DATA FILE FOR MAIL MERGE... 3

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2 TABLE OF CONTENTS CREATING A DATA FILE FOR MAIL MERGE... 3 MAIL MERGE... 3 DATA SOURCE:... 3 FIELD NAMES... 3 Creating the Mail Merge... 3 To create a data file in Excel:... 4 SORTING YOUR DATA IN AN EXCEL DATA FILE... 4 Creating the Data Source... 5 ENTERING MERGE FIELDS IN THE MAIN DOCUMENT... 5 Performing the Merge... 5

3 Creating a Data File for Mail Merge Microsoft Excel can be used as a data file for mail merge. The advantage to this is that you can sort the data by whichever heading you choose. For example, if you sort the data by City you can then use only certain rows for a mail merge data file. Mail Merge The Mail Merge feature combines a list of data (typically a file of names and addresses) with a document (commonly a form letter) to create a new document. The names and addresses are entered (merged) into a form letter in the blank spaces provided. The result is a personalized form letter. Mail Merge usually requires the use of two files: a main document and a data source. The main document contains the basic form letter. It directs the merge process through the use of merge fields. A merge field is a field code that controls what information is used from the data source and where it is entered in the main document. The data source contains the information needed to complete the letter in the main document. It can also be called an address file because it commonly contains name and address data. Data Source: The data source file is a table of information that contains data fields in the columns and records in the rows. A data field is a category of information. For example, the client s first name is a data field, the last name is a data field, the street address is another data field, the city a fourth data field, and so on. All the data fields that are needed to complete the information for one person (or other entity) are called a record. Each record is displayed in a row of the table. Commonly, a database table created using a database application is used as the data source. However, the data source can also be created in Word. Field Names Field names are used to label the different data fields in the data source. A field name can contain only letters, numbers, or the underline character. It can be a maximum of 40 characters and cannot contain spaces. The fist character of a field name must be a letter. Field names should describe the contents of the data field, such as First_Name, Last_Name, Address, etc. Creating the Mail Merge Create the letter or document for the mail merge as you would any other document or letter. Save the document with a name that you will remember.

4 The Mail Merge Helper dialog box, which appears when you select the Mail Merge function, is designed to take you step by step through the process of creating a merge. The three steps are: 1. Create a main document 2. Create a data source 3. Perform the merge. Creating the Main Document Once the source document is created and saved start the Mail Merge feature Click Tools and Mail Merge Click on Create from the Mail Merge Helper dialog box. Choose Form Letters Click Active Window from the dialog box. The dialog box now shows the type of merge (Form Letters) and name of the file (Main Document title) that will be used as the main document, along with a second button, the edit button, which is used to edit your main document. The next step is to create the Data Source file. This file will contain the client s names and addresses, which will be merged with the main document. To create a data file in Excel: Plan your data file column headings. Sometimes it is easier, for sorting purposes, to separate each part of the name and address. For example some headings you may want to use are Title, First Name, Middle I, Last Name, Street Address, Apt. Number, Address 2, City, State, Zip, Phone Number. Next fill in the data for each column. Save the file with a name that will designate that it is a data source. Save the file, usually it is best to save it in the same location as the Source Document Sorting your data in an Excel data file At this point, if the data file is very large and you only want a few persons, such as in a specific city or state you can sort your data by State or Zip or any other field that is a column heading. To Sort Data Select the entire data file by clicking in the top left corner cell in front of the letter A Click Data Click on Sort Select the criteria that you want to sort by, for example Last name, in the first field. If you want to sort by other data as well fill in the remaining, Then by: fields. Click OK Your data sheet has now been sorted by the criteria you specified.

5 Creating the Data Source Click Get Data Choose Open Data Source Choose Entire Worksheet or just the rows that you want to use. Entering Merge Fields in the Main Document Next your letter needs to be modified to allow entry of the name and address information for each client from the data source. A merge field needs to be entered in the main document for each field of you want copied from the data source. The location of the merge field indicates where to enter the field data. Click Tools/ Mail Merge to return to the Mail Merge Helper Screen Click on the Edit button under Main Document. Move to the area of your document that you want to insert the merge field Click the Insert Merge Field button in to top left on the tool bar. Select the appropriate Merge Field to insert. (Don t forget to insert spaces with the Spacebar and punctuation such as commas, colons, or periods. ) When finished click the View Merged Data button on the toolbar and preview your document. Performing the Merge Click the Mail Merge Helper button on the toolbar or click Tools/Mail Merge from the Menu bar or click on Tools/Mail Merge. Click Merge on the Helper screen. The first letter will be displayed with the other letters viewable if you scroll down the document. Save the form Letters1 document with a file name that you will recognize. This process can be used to create Mailing Labels and printing envelopes to go along with the letter, by following the prompts from each wizard. To create mailing labels or envelopes just select mailing labels or envelopes from the Create portion of the Helper window. When you select mailing labels you will have to know what type of labels you have. Most selections are Avery Standard label choices.

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