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Chapter 18. Using Mail Merge Effectively > Selecting a Starting Document

Selecting a Starting Document

Your next step in merging a document is to choose or create the document you will use as your main document. This, again, is the document that contains any boilerplate text that should appear in all your merged documents and instructions about which kinds of information should be merged into them (known as mail merge fields). Typically, Word gives you three choices (see Figure 18.3):

  • If you choose Use the Current Document, you can go on immediately to select your document's recipients. In fact, you must: Word 2002 doesn't allow you to edit your current document until you've done so.

  • If you choose Start from Existing Document, Word displays a list of any mail merge documents you've worked with recently. If the document you want is not on that list, click Open; then browse to and select the document you want. Word 2002 can use mail merge main documents built with Microsoft Word 2000, Word 98 for the Macintosh, Word 97, Word 95, Word 6 for Windows and the Macintosh, and Word 2. It can also use documents from older versions of Word, which may use DATA fields to identify their data sources.

    Figure 18.3. Choosing which document to use for your merge.

  • If you choose Start from a Template, you can then click select Template to choose from the new mail merge templates Word makes available for letters, faxes, and address lists (see Figure 18.4). Several of these templates are similar to Word's Letter & Faxes templates, with the addition of built-in mail merge fields that simplify the process of building a mail merge.

    Figure 18.4. Choosing one of Word 2002's new mail merge templates.



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