Microsoft Word
Mail Merge Tutorial

 

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Mail Merge Using A Text Document


To perform a mail merge, you can use text that was prepared from a flat (ASCII) text document.

You can create a text document from Notepad, WordPad, Microsoft Word, or any other text editor that allows you to save text in ASCII format. You could also convert an existing text created from another software such as a database's table, a spreadsheet, an HTML file, etc, into a text document. Most of the software products that support text files allow you to save their native document as a text file. Microsoft products recognize such a file with a .txt extension.

When creating the text, separate different fields by pressing Tab and follow it carefully. Sometimes, as some parts of the documents take more space, they will not appear aligned. You should not pay attention to that, just press Tab after typing a field of information. At the end of each record, which covers a line, press Enter (some people call this a hard return or a carriage return). Save the file as text and remember the folder where it is located.

Once you have a text file, in Microsoft Word, click Tools -> Mail Merge to initialize the mail merge process. After electing to create the document, such as letters, labels, envelopes, etc, click the Get Data button and select Open Data Source... From the Open Data Source dialog, click the Files Of Types combo box and select either All Files or Text Files. Using the Look In combo box, locate the folder where the file is located, select the file and click Open. Another dialog will prompt you for the file format you want to use, select text file and click OK. Finally, the Mail Merge Helper will ask you to edit the document.


Practice: Create The Letter

  1. Start Microsoft Word.

  2. On the main menu, click Tools -> Mail Merge...

  3. From the Mail Merge Helper dialog, click Create -> Form Letters...

    Mail Merge Helper

  4. From the Microsoft Word dialog, click New Main Document

    Microsoft Word

  5. From the Mail Merge Helper again, click Get Data and click Open Data Source...

  6. From the Open Data Source dialog, click the arrow of the Files Of Types combo box and select All Files. Using the Look In combo box, locate the folder where the exercise files were installed, it should be C:\My Documents\Mail Merge Files

    Open Data Source

  7. In the list of files, click Fraternal Pledge Association and click Open.

  8. From the Confirm Data Source dialog, click Text Files (*.txt)

    Confirm Data Source

  9. And click OK.

  10. Now Microsoft Word would like you to create the letter.

    Edit Main Document

    Click Edit Main Document

  11. Now we will create the main letter.
    Your cursor should be on the very first line. On the main menu, click View -> Print Layout to make sure the document is displaying in Print Layout View.

  12. Press Enter twice to move the cursor down.

  13. Press Ctrl + Home to return to the first, empty line.

  14. Click the arrow of the Font combo box and select Verdana.

  15. Click the arrow of the Font Size com box and select 22.

  16. On the Formatting toolbar, click the Bold and the Center buttons.

  17. If you have the Tables And Borders toolbar, fine. Otherwise, right-click any button on any toolbar and click Tables And Borders. Position the Tables And Borders toolbar at the bottom part of your screen.
    From the Tables And Borders toolbar, make sure the continuous line is displaying in the Line Style combo box. Click the arrow of the Line Weight combo box and select 2 1/4 pt.

  18. Click the arrow of the Borders button and select Top Border

    Top Border

  19. Click the arrow of the Borders button again and select Bottom Border.

  20. On the Mail Merge toolbar, click Insert Merge Field -> Association

  21. Press Ctrl + End to position your cursor to the end of the document (which is currently on the 3rd line).

  22. On the horizontal ruler, drag the Left Indent marker right at 1/2 and inch

    Left Indent

  23. On the main menu, click Insert -> Date And Time...

  24. From the Date And Time dialog, click the 3rd date and click OK.

  25. Press Enter twice.

  26. Type Dear and press Space

  27. On the Mail Merge toolbar, click Insert Merge Field -> FirstName

  28. Press Space

  29. Click Insert Merge Field -> LastName

  30. Type , and press Enter twice. If the Office Assistant comes up, click Cancel.

  31. Type Thank you for your recent pledge of

  32. Press Space

  33. Click Insert Merge Field -> PledgeAmount

  34. Press Space and type to our annual fund raising operation conducted last month.

  35. Press Enter twice and type Although we have not yet received your donation, we are convinced you will mail it to us upon reception of this humble thank you note.

    Mail Merge Letter

  36. Press Enter twice and type The

  37. Press Space

  38. Click Insert Merge Field -> Association

  39. Press Space and type you have generously decided to support is constantly conducting thorough research in the areas of

  40. Press Space and click Insert Merge Field -> Disease

  41. Press Space and type including prevention, pre and post occurrences, diagnosis, treatment, and all available extra care and assistance we can provide. We encourage you to review our brochure and visit our Web Site for more information.

  42. Press Enter twice and type Supporting our on-going efforts in all areas involving

  43. Press Space and click Insert Merge Field -> Disease

  44. Press Space and type is a major step toward eradicating this disease. And, once again, we thank you.

  45. Press Enter twice and type Celestine Hancock

  46. Press Enter and type Pledge Program Director.

  47. Press Enter 4 times and type Please send your check payable to

  48. Press Space and click Insert Merge Field -> Association

  49. Press Enter four times

  50. On the Standard toolbar, click the Insert Table button and select a table with 4 columns and one row (1 x 4 table).

  51. Click inside the first cell, the most left cell of the table, and type Please Mail-in This Form With Your Payment

  52. Select the text you just typed. On the Formatting toolbar, click the Font Size combo box and select 8

  53. Right-click inside the first cell and choose Text Alignment...

  54. From the Text Direction dialog, in the Orientation section, click the button in 1st column, 2nd row.

    Text Direction

  55. Click OK

  56. Select the text in the first cell and press Ctrl + C.

  57. Right-click in the last cell, the most right cell, and click Paste.

  58. Change the direction of the text in the last cell to appear vertically aligned like the first cell.

  59. move the 2nd vertical line left and the 4th vertical line right.

  60. Click inside the 2nd cell and press Enter.

  61. On the Mail Merge toolbar, click Insert Merge Field -> Association and press Enter

  62. Click Insert Merge Field -> AssAddress and press Enter

  63. Click Insert Merge Field -> AssCity

  64. Press Space and click Insert Merge Field -> AssState

  65. Press Space and click Insert Merge Field -> AssZIPCode

  66. Press Enter 4 times.

  67. Click Insert Merge Field -> FirstName

  68. Press Space and click Insert Merge Field -> LastName

  69. Press Enter and click Insert Merge Field -> Address

  70. Press Enter and click Insert Merge Field -> City

  71. Press Space and click Insert Merge Field -> State

  72. Press Space and click Insert Merge Field -> ZIPCode

  73. Press Enter twice.

  74. Click the empty cell in the right side.

  75. Press Enter.

  76. Type Pledge:

  77. Press Space and click Insert Merge Field -> PledgeAmount

  78. Press Enter 6 times

  79. Click Insert Merge Field -> Association

  80.  and press Enter

  81. Click Insert Merge Field -> AssAddress and press Enter

  82. Click Insert Merge Field -> AssCity

  83. Press Space and click Insert Merge Field -> AssState

  84. Press Space and click Insert Merge Field -> AssZIPCode

  85. Once again, move the 2nd vertical line to the left and move the 4th vertical line to the right.

    Mail Merge Letter - From Text

  86. Select the whole sentence that starts with Thank you for your...

  87. On the Formatting toolbar, click the Bold, the Italic, and the Center buttons

  88. Click anywhere on the line starting with Please send...

  89. On the Table And Borders toolbar, click the arrow of the Line Weight combo box and select 1/2 pt.

  90. Click the arrow of the Borders button and click Top Border.

  91. Click the arrow of the Borders button again and click Bottom Border.

  92. On the same Tables And Borders toolbar, click the arrow of the Shading Color button and select Gray 10%.

  93. On the Formatting, click the Center button.

  94. Right-click any button on any toolbar and click Drawing.

  95. From the Drawing toolbar, click the Line button.

  96. Click between the line Please send... and the top border of the table and drag to draw a horizontal line. Resize the line so that it covers the (whole) width of the letter.

  97. While the line is still selected, on the Drawing toolbar, click the Line Style button and click More Lines.

  98. From the Format AutoShape dialog, make sure the Colors And Lines property sheet is selected. Click the Dashed combo box and select Dash.

  99. Increase the Weight spin button to 2 pt

    Format AutoShape

  100. Click OK.

  101. Click on the line under the graphic line you just added.

  102. Press the up arrow key to move the cursor on the same line the graphic line is.

  103. On the Formatting toolbar, set the Font Size to 22.

  104. On the main menu, click Insert -> Symbol...

  105. From the Symbol dialog, make sure you are in the Symbols property sheet. Click the arrow of the Font combo box and select Wingdings.

  106. From the list, click the symbol on the 3rd column, 1st row:

    Symbol

  107. Click Insert. And click Close.

  108. Adjust the graphic line and the scissors symbol so that the scissors appear cutting the graphic line.

  109. Right-click inside the table and click Borders And Shading...

  110. From the Borders and Shading dialog, click the Borders property sheet.

  111. In the Setting section, click None. Then click Box.

  112. In the Width combo box, select 1 1/2 pt.

  113. Click the Shading property sheet.

  114. Click More Colors...

  115. On the Colors dialog, click Custom.

  116. Set the color to Red:221, Green:242, Blue:255.

    Colors

  117. On the Colors dialog, click OK.

  118. On the On the Borders And Shading dialog, click OK.

  119. To read the letter, on the Mail Merge toolbar, click View Merged Data.

  120. Use the navigation buttons to review all the letters with each recipient.

 


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