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Running the Merge

In this final phase of the mail merge process, you merge the main document with the data source to produce your letters. The first two steps in the following list are optional—they let you confirm that the data will merge correctly before you actually perform the merge.

1.
After completing step 5 in the previous section, click the View Merged Data button on the Mail Merge toolbar.

2.
Word displays the data from the first record (see Figure 10.7). Click the Next Record button on the Mail Merge toolbar. (These Record buttons work exactly like those in the Data Form.)

Figure 10.7. Optionally use the View Merged Data button to check for errors in your data and merge fields.


3.
Word displays the data from the next record. Look at a few more to see whether the data is merging correctly. If you find any mistakes in the data, click the Edit Data Source button to display the Data Form, revise the data, and then click OK. When you're finished, click the View Merged Data button again to turn it off.

4.
Click the Merge to New Document button on the Mail Merge toolbar to merge the documents.

If you're merging a large number of letters, you may want to click the Merge to Printer button instead. This button also performs the merge, but the letters are sent directly to the printer instead of appearing onscreen in a new document. (A document containing hundreds of merged letters would be hundreds of pages long, and if your computer doesn't have much memory, it may balk at the task of displaying the document onscreen.)


5.
The merged letters appear in a document entitled Form Letters1 (see Figure 10.8). Scroll down the document. The letters print on separate pages because Word separates them with next page section breaks. (If your main document is a multiple-page letter, the section break comes at the bottom of the last page of each letter.) Click the Print button in the Standard toolbar to print the letters.

Figure 10.8. The Form Letters document contains all your merged letters, separated by next page section breaks.


6.
Close the Form Letters1 document without saving it. (You don't need to save the merged letters because you can always run the merge again.) Then click the taskbar button of the main document to switch to it if necessary, and close it as well.


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