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Chapter 10. Generating a Mass Mailing > Understanding Mail Merges

Understanding Mail Merges

Before you start the mail merge process, you need to understand the two documents that make up a mail merge:

  • Main document— This is the actual document that you are producing. It can be a form letter or label. The main document contains the text and formatting that stays the same for each copy of the letter, as well as merge fields, which “hold places” that tell Word where to insert individual pieces of information from the data source.

  • Data source— This is the file that contains the data you will merge into the main document. It is organized into records, one for each recipient. Each record is composed of individual fields for specific pieces of information, such as first name, last name, address, and so on.


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