The power of mail merge
You use mail merge when you want to create a set of documents that are essentially the same but where each document contains unique elements. For example, in a letter that announces a new product, your company logo and the text about the product will appear in each letter, and the address and greeting line will be different in each letter.
Using mail merge, you can create:
- A set of labels or envelopes The return address is the same on all the labels or envelopes, but the destination address is unique on each one.
- A set of form letters, e-mail messages, or faxes The basic content is the same in all the letters, messages, or faxes, but each contains information that is specific to the individual recipient, such as name, address, or some other piece of personal data.
- A set of numbered coupons The coupons are identical except that each contains a unique number.
Creating each letter, message, fax, label, envelope, or coupon individually would take hours. That’s where mail merge comes in. Using mail merge, all you have to do is create one document that contains the information that is the same in each version. Then you just add some placeholders for the information that is unique to each version. Word takes care of the rest.
Start the mail merge process
To start the mail merge process:
- Start Word.
A blank document opens by default. Leave it open. If you close it, the next step won’t work.
- On the Tools menu, point to Letters and Mailings, and then click Mail Merge.
Note In Word 2002, on the Tools menu, point to Letters and Mailings, and then click Mail Merge Wizard.
The Mail Merge task pane opens. By using hyperlinks in the task pane, you navigate through the mail-merge process.