Mail merge

How to do a mail merge in Office 2016

Mail merge allows you to easily transform a document into several personalized and unique versions of it. You can use mail merge in Office 2016 to create form letters or address labels, certificates with unique names, and more. Here’s how.

With mail merge, you create a document in Word containing the information you want to see the same in each version (such as the return address on an envelope or the main content of your email). You add fields as placeholders in the document for unique information that you want to update (such as the recipient’s name or address). Instead of having to manually create new versions of the same document and replace those fields, Word does all the work, pulling information from your Outlook contacts, an Excel spreadsheet, or another data source. to run the mail merge.

In this example, we’ll use mail merge to create a letter for multiple recipients.

1. Make sure your contact list is ready. It’s best to prepare your spreadsheet or Outlook contacts before you start creating the document so that the mail merge goes smoothly. For example, whether you are using Outlook contacts or an Excel spreadsheet for your data source, make sure that none of the data is missing for the fields you are going to extract. If you use Outlook and have a large number of contacts but only want to use mail merge for specific contacts, you can make the process easier by selecting those contacts and copying them to a new folder. (To do this, select the contacts, right-click, choose Move then Copy to a folder…)

Be sure to change the properties of the contacts folder so that it shows as your email address book (right click on the new contacts folder, go to properties and check “Show this folder as an e-mail address book”)

2. Create a new blank document in Word.

3. Go to the Shipments tab.

4. Click the Start Mail Merge button and select your document type. We’ll start with the letter first.

5. Click the Select Recipients button and choose to create a new list, use an existing list, or choose from Outlook contacts. The “Type a new list…” option creates a new table of data in Word, but it’s best to use an external source like a spreadsheet or the contact list in Outlook so that the data is readily available for d other programs and for other purposes.

6a. If you choose “Use an existing list…”, you will be prompted to browse to the file on your computer, then confirm the data table.

6b. If you choose “Choose from Outlook contacts…”, you will be asked to choose the Outlook contacts folder, then add or remove recipients of the merger. (That’s why we advised you in step one to create a new contacts folder for your mail merge: you won’t have to scroll through all your contacts in that little box.)

seven. Create your document content and insert placeholders. When you get to the part where you access the information that needs to be personalized from your data source, insert a placeholder with the Insert Merge Field button or one of the two shortcuts offered by Word for common fields: Address Block and Greeting Line.

8. Use the Address Block shortcut. As the name suggests, the Address Block button creates a placeholder for a name and address – useful when creating letters or mailing labels or envelopes. With the Address Block and Greeting Line shortcuts, you will be able to specify what is inserted and preview how it will look.

If the preview appears to be missing information, like in the address preview above, click the Match Fields button to tell the words where the data for the missing fields is.

When the preview looks correct, click OK and Word inserts the placeholder for the address.

9. Use the Greeting line shortcut. The Salutation Line button adds a salutation that you can format. The dropdowns will allow you to choose to include full name (default), full name with title (e.g. Mr. Joshua Randall Jr.), title and last name, just a first name, nickname and other variations.

As with the Address Block shortcut, preview the mail merge results and use the Merge Fields… button to fix, make sure your fields match if they don’t in the preview.

ten. Insert other fields into your document. For other placeholders you might need, click Insert Merge Field and select the field you want to insert at this point in the document. In this case, I have a unique account number in my database that I want to add to the letter, so I choose the Account Number field and click Insert.

11. Preview Merge Results after completing the document and inserting all your fields by clicking the Preview Results button.

You can format any placeholder text, such as adjusting line spacing, by selecting the text and formatting it as you would any other content. In the Mailings tab, use the Next and Previous buttons to check all mailing results.

12. If everything looks good, click the Finish button and merge and you can print individual documents, send them as e-mail messages, or edit each individual document if you wish.

Repeat this operation for the other types of documents for which you want to use the mail merge. In addition to letters (which can be any document type, including certificates and coupons), you can choose emails, envelopes, labels, or directories as the document type. Word also has a step-by-step Mail Merge Wizard (under the Mailings tab > Start Mailing button), which basically walks you through the above process.

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