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Chapter 11. Creating Form Letters and Labels > Preparing the Variable Data

Preparing the Variable Data

Before you can merge documents, you need to either specify an existing data source or create one. The data source consists of sets of information structured in columns called fields and rows called records. Each field is an item of information of a particular type, such as the first name of a customer. Each record is all the items of information belonging to a set, such as the complete name and address of a customer. The data source is arranged with each item of information in a predictable position, as indicated by the set of field names in its first row. These field names indicate the type of information in the column.


Tip

Because the field names are also used as the merge fields in the main document, they cannot contain spaces—for example, FirstName is an acceptable field name, but First Name is not.



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