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Hour 14. Generating a Mail Merge > Previewing Your Merged Letters

Previewing Your Merged Letters

At this phase in the mail merge process, Word allows you to see what your letters will look like when they are merged. You can browse through the previewed letters, or use the Find feature to jump to a particular merged letter you want to view. In addition, you can exclude particular records from your merge. If you find problems when previewing the letters, you can fix them before you actually run the merge.

In step 5 of the wizard (Preview Your Letters), Word displays a preview of the first merged letter for you to examine. The merge fields are replaced with data from your data source (see Figure 14.17).

Figure 14.17. The merge fields are replaced with actual data from your data source.

Click the chevron arrow buttons in the Mail Merge task pane to view your letters one by one. If you see any letter that you want to exclude from the mail merge, click the Exclude This Recipient button.

Click Find a Recipient if there is a particular person whose merged information you want to review.

In the Find Entry dialog box (see Figure 14.18), enter the contents of a field. (If you know which field the text is in, select the field in the This Field list to speed the search.) Click Find Next. When you are finished searching for particular recipients, click Cancel.

Figure 14.18. The Find Entry dialog box lets you quickly locate a particular letter.

If you see incorrect data in one of your letters or want to change the sort order, click Edit Recipient List to display the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box. Make any changes in this dialog box (refer to “Sorting and Editing the Data Source” earlier in this hour). When you're done, click OK.

If you see the same problem in every letter—for example, a field is in the wrong location, or the letter contains a typo—go back to step 4 of the wizard (Write Your Letter), fix the main document, and then return to this step.

When you are finished previewing your letters, click Next: Complete the Merge at the bottom of the task pane.



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