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This week we are offering a tutorial or how-to. I mulled over a few ideas but kept reconsidering my options. I whittled it down to mail merges, which is something I’ve been asked about a few times.

For those of you who have a huge mailing list and want to give them a personal touch then this tutorial may help you do that in a lot less time than doing them one by one.

The easiest way to use Microsoft Word’s mail merge is with an Excel Spreadsheet. This means that whichever way you have your mailing list, you will want to convert it into a spreadsheet with each category housed in its own unit. The first name is in its own cell as well as the last, the street address, city, state, and zip. Of course, you want to save it someplace you can find easily on your computer when you are prompted to retrieve it from Word.

In Microsoft Word you will go to Mailings in later versions and tools then mailings in earlier versions.

If you only have a couple of envelopes or labels to address then you don’t need to start a merge. You can just create them using Word’s envelope and label tools that are shown in the ribbon next to the mail merge. If you have 10 or more then should have them made through the mail merge.

Upon first click of the mail merge you can decide which type of document you wish to use. If you decide to go with the letter, choose as such. Then click on ‘Select Recipients’ to be taken to the browser for the excel spreadsheet of names and addresses.Once it comes up you can select either everyone on the list or a select few using the ‘Edit Recipient List’. This will also give you a chance to double check that all information of the recipient’s address are correct.

Next you will have a chance to match the categories (first name, last name, street address, etc.) on your excel spreadsheet with the ones provided in Word’s mail merge so when you select the type of address and greeting all of the information will be placed exactly where you want it.

The address block is next. It will allow you to place the name through the zip code the way you would like using spaces and the enter key. The Greeting line is exactly the same. If you don’t wish to have the application pick the way you address your recipients you can use the ‘Insert Merge Field’ and do it yourself. This works when you have four or five lines for the address.

Once you get to this place you are as good as gold. Preview your results, if everything is as you like it you can press print. Print all or select the numbers of the ones you want to print since they are all numbered for convenience.


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February 8-14: Share your tutorial or how-to

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