The Word 2013 Mail Merge Process

You can use information from the Outlook program, also a part of Microsoft Office, to work as a recipient list for a mail merge in Word. This trick works best, however, when you’re in a computer environment that features Microsoft Exchange Server. Otherwise, making Outlook and Word cooperate with each other can be a frustrating endeavor.

The typical mail merge involves five steps:

1

Build the main document.

You can create several types of mail merge documents:

Letter: The traditional mail merge document is a letter, which is simply a document in Word.

E-Mail Messages: Word can produce customized e-mail messages, which are sent electronically rather than printed.

Envelopes: You can use mail merge to create a batch of customized envelopes, each printed with its own address.

Labels: Word lets you print sheets of labels, each of which is customized with specific information from the mail merge.

Directory: A directory is a list of information, such as a catalog or an address book.

2

Decide which fields are needed for the main document.

You need to know what kind of information is necessary for the recipient list before you create it.

3

Create the recipient list — the data for the mail merge.

The recipient list is a database, consisting of rows and columns. Each column is a field, a fill-in-the-blanks part of the document. Each row is a record in the database, representing a person who receives their own, custom copy of the document.

4

Insert fields specified in the recipient list into the main document.

The fields are placeholders for information from the recipient list.

5

Merge the information from the recipient list into the main document.

The final mail merge process creates the customized documents. They can then be saved, printed, e-mailed, or dealt with however you like.

You can also use the Word Mail Merge Wizard to help you work each mail merge step.

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