Mail Merge, Types of Documents in Mail Merge, Mail Merge Wizard, Select Document Type, Select Starting Document, Creating a Data Source

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Types of Documents in Mail Merge

Mail Merge requires three types of documents:

  • Main Document: In a Mail Merge operation, the personalized document (such as, a standard letter, or envelope, or mailing label) is known as the main document. It is the document containing the text and graphics that stay the same for each version of the merged document.

  • Data Source: Data source is a file that contains the names and addresses or any other information that vary with each version of a mail-merge document.

  • Merge Document: When you merge the main document with data source, a third document called merge document will be produced. Inserting the data or information from the data source in the main document creates the merge document.

Mail Merge or Mailings feature in Word 2007 is available in Main Tab bar. Click on the ‘Mailings’ tab on the main tab bar to activate the mailings features and tools, which comprises subtask such as “Create”, “Start Mail Merge”, “Write & Insert Fields”, “Preview Results” and “Finish & Merge”

Mail Merge Wizard

  • The Mail Merge wizard guides you through the process of doing a mail merge.

  • This involves creating and editing main document; creating a new data file opening an existing data file; and merging the data fields with main document.

  • To use Mail Merge Wizard, select MailingsStart Mail Merge subtask from the main tab bar. Then select Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard option on the subtask bar.

Mail Marge Wizard

Mail Marge Wizard

Mail Marge Wizard

The Mail Merge Wizard menu will appear on the screen. This will help you to create mail merge documents in customized step manner. The Wizard has 6 steps to create a mail merge document:

Select Document Type

  • Selecting a Document Type is the first step towards creating a mail merger document. Most often the standard document type used is Letter. However, it can also be a mailing label, an envelope etc.

  • To create a simple letter with variable (current) date, follow these steps:

  • When you select Letters type, you can use this letter to send to a group of people with a personalized letter that is received by different people in that group with different address.

  • Select Letters from the options given in the Select Document type box and click on the “Next: Starting document” located on the lower end of the Wizard dialog box to move to the next step.

Select Starting Document

  • The 2nd step in the process is to select starting document under Letters option. There are three options available.

    • Use the current document: This is suitable when you already have letter draft for the purpose and just want to add address of the recipients to the letter.

    • Start from a Template: Similarly, if you don’t have a drafted letter for use, you can choose for ready to use mail merge template already available with Word 2007. These templates can be customized as per your requirement.

    • Start from existing document: If you already have a document available with you, you can select the exiting mail merge document and make necessary changes to the content of the letter and/ or recipients.

  • Let us select “Start from a Template” and the select a blank document. When you select this option, Mail Merge Wizard will display the following sub menu option to select a template. Here you can select various templates that suit your requirement, or you can select a blank document to create your own customized letter. Let us select “Blank Document” to create our own customized letter.

  • Leave some space (approximately 6 to 7 lines by pressing ENTER key) to insert addresses through merge fields later. Do not type anything in this space. You can also insert fields anywhere in the body of the letter. Type the body of the letter. Save your document.

Creating a Data Source

  • The 3rd step in Mail Merge Wizard is to select a list of recipients or address to whom the drafted letter will be addressed and dispatch.

  • If you do not have existing database information, you must create your own data source of the fields of information that will be inserted into the letter or any other main document.

Creating a Data Source Using Mail Merge Helper

You can use the Mail Merge Wizard to create a Microsoft Word, Excel or Access database data source.

Follow these steps to create a data source using Mail Merge Wizard: Open a new blank document if you have not yet created the main document or open your existing main document.

  • Select “Type a new list” from the “Select Recipients” dialog box in step 3 of the Mail Merge Wizard and then select “Create” option.

  • A dialog box appears to create a list with new set of data such as Title, First Name, Last Name, Company Name and Address Line 1 and so on.

  • You can start entering data to the respective field as per your requirement directly into the displayed New Address List dialog box.

  • Should you want to customize Columns the filed in the new address list to remove or add any other field as new your requirement, click on the customized button located on the lower right side of the New Address List dialog box.

  • This will display a list of available data field to which you can add a customized data filed, delete or rename an existing data field in the list. Once done click on the “OK” button.

  • When you finish specifying the required data fields to the new address list, click OK. The Save As dialog box appears.

  • Locate the folder that you want to save the data source in, type a file name, and then click Save As in the Save As dialog box. The file will be saved with an extension name.mdb (Microsoft Database).

Editing Existing Data Records

To edit the existing data records in the data source file, follow these steps:

  • Open the data source file and then select Use an existing list option from the Select Recipients dialog box displayed in step 3 of the Mail Merger Wizard. The toolbar will appear on the screen.

  • Now click on the Browse option to display the Select Data Source dialog box. Now search the folder where you have stored the data file which you want to use and the click on Open button to access the data file.

  • You can open various data file format such as Access database, Excel files, Word File, Rich Text format etc.

  • Once the data file is selected, based on the type of data file is selected, Mail Merger will ask you to define how to distinguish between data fields and data record.

  • Once it is done, the data file will be loaded into Mail Merger and you can now click on Edit Recipient List button to be able to edit the list as per your requirement.

  • To locate a data record that you want to change, move to the record number you want change its contents by clicking the arrow keys or typing the record number; or click Find, and then search for information that you know the record contains.

  • Edit the records that you want to change and save the changes.

Creating a Data Source Using Word Table

Instead of taking advantage of Mail Merge Wizard, you can also create a data source by entering field names and data directly in a Word table. Follow these steps to do this:

  • Insert a table by selecting tab Insert Table command on the main tab bar and create a table as given below.

  • Type the data field names on the top row of the table. Start typing the data records from the second row.

  • When you finish entering all the data records, save the table as a Word document. Your data source document is ready.

Using Excel Worksheet to Create a Data Source

You can also use Excel program to create a data source. Follow these steps do this.

  • Start Excel program. Open Worksheet.

  • Type the data field names on the top row of the worksheet. Start typing the data records from the second row.

  • When you finish entering all the data records, save the worksheet.

  • Select the data field names and data records you typed in the worksheet, and then click on Copy button in the standard toolbar. Close the file and then exit Excel program.

  • Open Word program. Open a new document and then click on Paste button. The data will be copied to word document in a table form. Save the document. Your data source document is ready.

Merging Documents

  • Once if you have created your main document and data source document, the next two steps in mail merge are to insert merge fields in the main document and then merge data in the main document.

  • To merge the fields in the main document you may have to do some editing in the main document. Follow these steps as defined to do this:

    • Click on the location of your letter where you want the addresses to be displayed and then

    • Select Address Book option on the dialog box displayed in step 4 of the Mail Merge Wizard. The Mail Merge Wizard displays the Insert Address Blok dialog box.

    • Using Insert Address Block you can select the individual address field to be inserted into the main letter.

    • After you complete the main document and insert all of the merge fields, click on the Office Button to save Save As option. Now select “Word Document” to save the file as a Word 2007 document or Select “Word 97-2003 Document” to save it as Word 97 or 2003 compatible document. Name the document, and then click Save. Now your main document will work as merge document.

Merging the Data into the Main Document

  • Merging the data into the main document is the last step of the Mail Merge Wizard. Click on the << or >> button to display the preview of the main letter with address data before you close the merge document and take the printout of the letter.

  • Once finished click on the “Next: Complete the Merge” option on the dialog box to complete the merging process.

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