Microsoft Word 2007 Tips: Part 2

Last week we started our mini series covering Microsoft Word 2007, and began with a few tips and tricks for minimizing the ribbon, using quick access buttons and more.  This week we’ll be covering mail merges and how to use them. Mail merges tend to be one of the most helpful features included with Microsoft Word, yet many people don’t use them because they don’t know how.  It sounds intimidating, yet it’s so easy to use.

The purpose of a Mail Merge is to help speed up the process of creating a document that would be sent to multiple people, but yet it’s customized with names, perhaps even addresses, and/or other details.

The first thing you’ll do is start by opening up a new document in Microsoft Word.  In Word 2007, there’s a tab just for mailings. 

  1. Start by clicking the “Mailings Tab.” Here you’ll find everything you need to complete your mail merge.
  2. Click “start mail merge”
  3. Select the type of document that you want to create – you can choose to do a form letter, envelopes, address labels (with different address on each label), etc.
  4. Select the recipients (there are a few options here):  You could use an existing list (like a spreadsheet in Excel that has separate columns for names, addresses, and phone numbers), pull in Outlook Contacts, or create a new list right in Word (pictured below).
  5. Insert Merge Field – this means that you will insert each of the different fields that you want included.  For example, the fields that I chose to insert into my form letter included the typical address fields like first and last name, address, city, etc. The first image shows the list of fields to insert, and the second image below shows what my document looked like with the merge fields inserted.
    Mailmerge6 Mailmerge2
  6. Next you can preview the results to make sure that everything looks the way you want it to. The image below shows what each document would look like after the information from the recipient list was placed into the document.
  7. Once everything looks just the way you want it to, you’ll click “Finish & Merge.” You’ll have a few options there. The first will be to edit the individual documents.  If you choose this, it will create a separate page for each entry in your recipient list. You’ll be able to make any edits if necessary. The next option would be to print the documents, and the final option would allow you to send each of the pages as an email message.

Mail merges are one of the most useful, time-saving features included with Microsoft Word, yet people don’t use it .  If you’re sending out invitations to a party, a wedding, or batch mailings of any kind, this would be a HUGE timer saver. They even offer a Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard under the “start mail merge” feature that will guide you through the entire process every step of the way.

Stay tuned to next week with Part 3 of our mini series to help you make the most out of Microsoft Word 2007!