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Chapter 8. Other Word Features > The Data Merge Manager

The Data Merge Manager

Word provides help for creating mail merge letters, labels, and envelopes. It can assist you in creating the main document (containing placeholders for the information that changes with each copy), creating or opening the data source (for example, a collection of names and addresses), and printing the merged documents. In this example, we'll show you how to create form letters using records in the Office Address Book as the data source for the merge.

To create merged documents

Create or open the document you'll use as the main document (Figure 8.14).

Figure 8.14. This form letter will serve as the main document. Space has been left for the recipient's address and the salutation.

You can use a form letter, a label layout, or an envelope layout, for example.

Choose Tools > Data Merge Manager.

The Data Merge Manager palette opens (Figure 8.15).

Figure 8.15. Use the Data Merge Manager to create merge letters, labels, and envelopes.

In the Main Document section of the Data Merge Manager palette, click Create. Then choose a merge type (such as Form Letters) from the drop-down menu that appears.

Expand the Data Source section, click Get Data, and then choose one of the following from the drop-down menu:

  • New Data Source steps you through the process of creating a data source from scratch.

  • Open Data Source lets you use data from an existing Word or Excel document.

  • Office Address Book uses contact information from your Address Book.

  • FileMaker Pro lets you import data from selected fields in an existing FileMaker Pro 5, 5.5, or 6.0 database.

After you've created or opened the data source, the Merge Field section of the Data Merge Manager expands to list the fields in the data source—in this case, the Office Address Book (Figure 8.16).

Figure 8.16. After you select the data source, a list of the merge fields it contains appears. Drag the necessary fields into position in the main document.

Drag the merge fields from the Data Merge Manager into the proper positions in the main document (Figure 8.17).

Figure 8.17. In the document, field names (top) are surrounded by brackets (« and »). To view the document with the merge data in place (bottom), click the View Merged Data icon in the Preview section.

The merge fields are placeholders for data from the data source. You can place merge fields on separate lines, together on the same line, or embedded within the text of the main document.

If necessary, format the merge fields and add any required spacing or punctuation.

For example, for the last line of an address, you'd separate City, State, and Zip merge fields with a comma and spaces, like this:

«City», «State» «Zip»

Specify which records to merge by choosing an option from the Merge menu of the Data Merge Manager (Figure 8.18).

Figure 8.18. In the Merge section, indicate the records you want to merge.

Choose All to merge all records in the data source, Current Record to merge only the record number selected in the Preview section, or Custom to specify a particular range of records.

When the merge document is complete, do one of the following:

  • Click the Merge to Printer button (see Figure 8.15) to print immediately.

  • Click the Merge to New Document button to create a Word document that you can edit and print later.

  • Click the Merge to E-Mail button to send the merge document(s) to Entourage's Outbox for transmission as email (Figures 8.19 and 8.20).

    Figure 8.19. Set options in the Mail Recipient dialog box prior to merging to email.

    Figure 8.20. When you merge to email, each message generated by the merge is placed in Entourage's Outbox, ready for sending. If necessary, you can edit the messages in Entourage.



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