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14 Essential Tips for Getting the Most out of Mail Merge

From Novice to Expert

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Mail merge is one of the best features of word processing software. If you need to create numerous documents that are similar but require at least a modicum of personalization, learning to use the mail merge feature in Word will save you a lot of time.

The following tips and tutorials will show you how to get the most out of using mail merge in Word:

Introduction to Mail Merge
Learn the basics of mail merge in Word

Choosing a Mail Merge Data Source
Learn which program will provide the best data source for your merge.

Using Outlook Contacts in a Mail Merge Operation
Outlook data can easily be used in a mail merge operation.

Using Excel Data in a Mail Merge Process
If you have Excel worksheets containing data such as names and addresses, you can use them to create personalized letters, invoices, or countless other documents.

Mail Merge Data Files and Excel
You can convert your Word data source to an Excel spreadsheet.

Retaining Excel Formats in Mail Merge
Learn how to have your Excel data appear as you would like it in your mail merge document.

Changing How Word Displays Numbers in Mail Merge
Decimal places can be difficult to retain if you’re using an Excel data source. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution.

Highlighting Mail Merge Fields
Highlighting your fields will help you when you proofread your mail merge document.

Mail Merge and Punctuation
If you require different punctuation for different records, then you should read this work-around.

Mail Merge and Verbs
Is subject/verb agreement in mail merge giving you a headache? Here’s a startlingly simple tip that will provide a solution to your problem.

Using Mail Merge for a Single Document
Believe it or not, mail merge can be handy when you’re creating a single document.

Mail Merge Proofing Tips
Find out what to look for when you’re reviewing your work.

Notes in Mail Merge Fields
Although Word gives you the option of personalizing documents created in mail merge after the data has been merged with the document, it makes more sense to personalize them before you complete the merge.

Inserting Text Based on the Contents of a Mail Merge Field
Learn how to insert text in your document based on the contents of a mail merge field. This is particularly useful when you want to include text to take the place of a field that doesn't contain data.
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