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Chapter 6. Office in Overdrive: Sharing ... > Merging Data from Access, Excel, and...

Merging Data from Access, Excel, and Outlook

I’ve never liked the term mail merge because the “mail” part makes everyone think about form letters and mass mailings (read: junk mail). A better term might have been data merge, because that’s really what mail merge is all about: It takes data from a source file—an Access table or query, an Excel list, or the Outlook Contacts folder—and merges it with a special Word document populated with fields that specify where each piece of data goes. There are no restrictions on how you lay out the Word document, so the merged result can be not only customized form letters and envelopes, but just about anything you want: customized broadcast email messages, labels, name tags, phone directories, catalogs, parts lists, invoices, and much more.

This section introduces you to Word’s mail-merge capabilities and shows you a few tricks for getting the most out of this powerful feature.


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