If you use Outlook as your personal information manager (pim) and regularly update it with all the vital information on your contacts, you probably have a good mail merge data source. Fortunately, just as you can use Excel spreadsheets as data sources for a mail merge function, you can use your Outlook contacts folder(s) as a source for your Word mail merge documents.
If you don’t use Outlook to manage information on your contacts or don’t keep the information updated, now is a good time to start doing so. Updating the information incrementally, as you receive it or when it changes, will save you a lot of time when it comes time to send out letters to your contacts. Instead of having to create a Word data source or an Excel spreadsheet for mail merge, entering all the information into the file, your data will already be at your fingertips – effectively serving a dual purpose.
While there are no special steps required to prepare your Outlook data for the mail merge, you will want to make sure all the fields you intend to use in the merge are current and complete. If they’re not, you should take the time to update them before you move on to the next step.
Setting up the Main Document
With a new, blank document open, select the Mail Merge Wizard on the Task pane options list; if you are unfamiliar with the Task pane or how it works, you can refer to this tutorial or this tip for more information.
In the Mail Merge Wizard pane, select the type of document you wish to create. For this tutorial, click the radio button beside Letters.
Then, at the bottom of the pane, click Next: Starting document:
In the Mail Merge Wizard pane, step two will appear, asking you to specify what document you want to use to set up your letters:
Since we are going to create a new document, first click the radio button beside Use the current document and then Next: Select recipients at the bottom of the pane.
Next: Selecting Recipients
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