Word 97 Mail Merge

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Anne Troy

Feb 14, 1999
Some pointers:

I personally prefer using Excel as my data source (get data, change files of type to Excel). The mail merge helper will actually use a Word table as the data source (create data source) if you follow through the steps.

Regardless, your column headings in the data source need to be in row 1 and the first record of data must be in row 2.

Follow the steps in the mail merge helper. Generally, you'll use "active document" when prompted, except when performing the actual merge--use new document.

When you've put the codes into the letter, labels, etc., I suggest testing it (use the <<abc>> button on the mail merge toolbar), and then saving it as a template. Close it, hit file-new whenever you want to use that merged letter, label, etc.

Recognize that you're creating two files. The data source (put "data" into the name somewhere) and the coded file (put "merge" in the name somewhere).

Check here, if you can. 2000 and 97 are virtually the same when it comes to mail merge: http://support.microsoft.com/servicedesks/Webcasts/WC110200/wcblurb110200.asp?

Let me know if you run into problems or need more help.
Feb 20, 1999
I once helped a user on creating a Christmas card merge. I figured someone else would ask about Mail Merge, so I kept it. It assumes you are storing data in MS Access, which you would do if you were keeping a list for Christmas cards, for example. Here it is:

Well, if that's what you want to do, a Word Mail Merge is the way to go. You still store the information is Access, but when you want to print your address labels or lists or whatever, you use Word. I'll help you through one to show you. A little late, but lets set up mailing envelopes for your Christmas Cards (print this out and it will be a lot easier to follow!). Go in to Word and do the following:

1. Get into a blank document and choose Tools, Mail Merge, Create, Envelopes, and Select Active Window.

2. Then go to "Get Data" and Choose "Open Data Source". A window will come up that will allow you to navigate to where your Access Database is (make sure you change the "Files of type" to "Access Databases" so that you'll be able to see your database in the selection window). Choose your database and select "Open", then choose the Table you want to use (if you have more than one table in your database).

3. You'll then be prompted to set up your main document. It will ask you what size of envelope your using, so you can just choose "10", then hit "OK". It then brings up a window where you can insert fields from your Access Database. Just hit "Insert Merge Field" and you'll see a list. Insert the first name, then the last name (you should have first and last names as separate fields in your database, by the way). Also make sure you leave a space between the first and last name just as you would if you were typing out a name. Then go to the next line and put in the Street, then the next line and put in the City, type a comma, then the State and space twice and put in the Zip Code. Then hit OK and your back to your screen with your mail merge helper. Note, if you have already set up your default return address previously in Word, than your return address will already be in the envelope (you'll see it in the background).

4. Now here's the great part. Select "Query Options" and you'll see a screen that allows you to select any field in your database and apply conditions. For example, I used the Access Wizard to set up an Address book and it has a separate field for "Spouse Name". This comes in handy because when we do our Christmas Cards, we do one merge for married couples and another for single people. The first merge, I have the condition that Spouse Name is not blank and of course, we get all the people in our address book who have a spouse. In that situation, I use "First Name" & "Spouse Name" "Last Name" in the first line of my envelope address. What's nice is that if you know the man, you put his wife as the spouse. If you know the woman, you put her husband as the spouse so her name comes out first on the envelope and visa versa. One more thing you'll note is that you'll see another tab that says "Sort Records". As you would suspect, this sorts the records in various ways for you.

Anyway, to see how the query works, choose a field (like State for example) and make the condition equal to the state where you live, which will give you all of people that live in your state--Hit "OK". Now choose "Merge" and you'll see a screen that gives you choices to merge to a new doc, printer, e-mail, etc. For now, just leave it as "new document" and select "Merge" in the upper right. In a few seconds, you'll now have a list of names and addresses in the form of an envelope for everyone in your list that lives in your state, which you can print. You could also have set it up as mailing labels initially instead of envelopes.

5. Go ahead and click the lower "X" in the top right (don't click the top X or you'll be prompted to exit Word). This will get out of the doc that Word just created (don't save it when prompted) and you'll see you're back at the actual mail merge that has the field names (greyed) instead of the actual names. You'll see a new helper bar at the top of the Word doc that has "Insert Merge Field", etc. Go across until you see a little icon that has a doc, a "+" sign, and a smaller doc--that's the button for the Mail Merge Helper. Click that and the mail merge helper will be back up and you can run a new Query. You can also save this doc and when you bring it up again later, it will automatically link back to your Access database (make sure you save the doc with the merge fields, not the one after you run the merge, although you could save that one too, but its just a doc with data in it, but not linked to your database). Click the mail merge helper icon and you're right back where you were. Doing your Christmas cards will be a breeze next year!!!

See, that's why I asked what you were trying to do. For what you want (i.e., just to run some queries for Christmas cards and birthdays, etc.) its better to use Word Mail Merge. You would use Access to do this when you want to do more sophisticated query operations with large amounts of data. By the way, I would use the Access Wizard to set up an address book as it will leave you an excellect model of simple design--try it. I've been using it for the past few years for doing my Christmas cards. Once you set up the two docs (i.e., married couples and singles), you just bring those up every year and run your merge and you have your envelopes or labels. You can also use whatever nice font you want for Christmas for the envelopes.

Hope this helps and Merry Christmas.
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