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Mail Merge With an MS Access Database

 

Introduction

Microsoft Access is a relational database system, which means its object components are generally interrelated to make sure data flows from one part of the database to another. This makes it easy and hard to perform mail merge.

A table in Microsoft Access is usually configured to accept certain data masks for effective data entry; for example a field can be configured to only accept a valid date or a recognizable employee number. A certain field can also be configured to receive its data either from a list of preset data (such as Ms., Mr., Mrs., or Dr.) or from another table. When this happens, a relationship will have been created between tables. This is wonderful for the functioning of the database. But such a table, when used in a mail merge process, would display numbers (because the fields providing lists or involved in a relationship) are using numbers to represent their data. In Microsoft Access the numbers are transparent, but during a mail merge, Microsoft Word can read only those numbers.

If you are not experienced with mail merge and Microsoft Access but would like to use a  database, create a table in your database so that all fields display obvious data, without involving tables relationships. Later on, when we learn how to program in mail merge, you will know how to deal with those issues.

Practical Learning Practical Learning: Mail Merging Using a Database

  1. Start Microsoft Word

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

  3. From the Mail Merge Helper, 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...

    Mail Merge Helper - Open Data Source

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

  7. Click Grier Summer Camp

  8. Click Open.

  9. From the Microsoft Access dialog, click tblMembers

  10. And click OK.

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

    Edit Main Document

    Click Edit Main Document

  12. Now we will create the main letter.
    Since in the beginning we decided to create a New Main Document, you should have two instances of Microsoft Word running. From the Taskbar, click the other instance of Microsoft Word, it might display Document1 - Microsoft Word.

  13. On the main menu, click File -> Open...

  14. Locate the C:\My Documents\Mail Merge Files folder

  15. Click MS Access Letter1, then click Open. That opens the document we will use.

  16. On the main menu, click Edit -> Select All.

  17. On the main menu again, click Edit -> Copy

  18. From the Taskbar, click the instance of Microsoft Word that is holding our mail merge process.

  19. On the main menu, click Edit -> Paste. After the letter has been pasted, all we have to do now is to edit the document for our mail merge.

  20. Press Ctrl + Home to get to the beginning of the letter.

  21. Double-click Date to highlight it.

  22. On the main menu, click Insert -> Date and Time...

  23. From the Date And Time dialog, click the 3rd date

  24. And click OK

  25. Highlight CI.

  26. On the Mail Merge toolbar, click Insert Merge Field -> EmergncyTitle

  27. Press Space and click Insert Merge Field -> EmergncyName

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

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

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

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

  32. Press Space and click Insert Merge Field -> Country

    Grier Summer Camp - Letter Top

  33. Click on the right side of Dear

  34. Click Insert Merge Field -> EmergncyTitle

  35. Press Space and click Insert Merge Field -> EmergncyName

  36. In the paragraph that follows, double-click CHILD to highlight it.

  37. Click Insert Merge Field -> FirstName

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

  39. In the paragraph that follows, highlight CHILD.

  40. Click Insert Merge Field -> FirstName

  41. In the paragraph that follows, double-click CAMP.

  42. Click Insert Merge Field -> CampSelected. Make sure you have some space between CampSelected and camp.

  43. In the same paragraph, double-click CHILD

  44. Click Insert Merge Field -> FirstName

  45. Click in the empty cell on the right side of Registration Date:

  46. On the Mail Merge toolbar, click Insert Merge Field -> RegistDate

  47. Click on the right side of Registration #:

  48. On the Mail Merge toolbar, click Insert Merge Field -> RegistrationNumber

  49. Click in the empty cell on the right side of Member Name:

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

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

  52. Click in the empty cell on the right side of Contact Information:

  53. On the Mail Merge toolbar, click Insert Merge Field -> Address

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

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

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

  57. Press Space and click Insert Merge Field -> Country

  58. Click in the empty cell on the right side of Emergency Contact:

  59. On the Mail Merge toolbar, click Insert Merge Field -> EmergncyTitle

  60. Press Space and click Insert Merge Field -> EmergncyName

  61. Click on the right side of Phone #:

  62. On the Mail Merge toolbar, click Insert Merge Field -> EmergncyPhone

  63. Click in the empty cell on the right side of Health Issues:

  64. On the Mail Merge toolbar, click Insert Merge Field -> HealthIssues

  65. Click in the empty cell on the right side of Hobbies:

  66. On the Mail Merge toolbar, click Insert Merge Field -> Hobbies

  67. Click in the empty cell on the right side of Camp Selected:

  68. On the Mail Merge toolbar, click Insert Merge Field -> CampSelected

  69. Click in the empty cell on the right side of Start Date:

  70. On the Mail Merge toolbar, click Insert Merge Field -> StartDate

  71. Click on the right side of End Date:

  72. On the Mail Merge toolbar, click Insert Merge Field -> EndDate

  73. To read the letter as merge with a Microsoft Access database table, on the Mail Merge toolbar, click View Merged Data

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

 

 

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