Step 4 – Doing the Word Mail Merge
To set the mail merge document,
1. From the Tools menu, select Letters and Mailings and then Mail Merge…
The Mail Merge wizard opens on the right side. This is a 6 step panel that displays if you have Task Pane checked. The bottom of the pane should read Step 1 of 6.
2. Select the radio button for labels. Click the Next: link at the bottom of the Mail Merge pane.
3. In the middle of the Step 2 pane, select the link Label options…
4. The Label Option dialog opens. Select the custom label format you defined in Step 2 from the Part 1 article.
5. Click OK.
Your document should now show the outline for your 3 gift certificates.
At this stage, I add a border to each gift certificate as it helps me see my boundaries. This is an area where you can customize with color and line types. I used a 6pt dark green border.
Adding a border around the certificate,
1. Click just outside the middle of the first certificate. A black shaded area will appear.
2. From the Format menu, select Borders and Shading.
3. Select Box and apply your color and line thickness.
4. Click OK.
5. Repeat for certificates 2 and 3.
Now, we need to create the contents for the first certificate. Our simple example will use a table to lay out our content as we find it easier to tweak spacing by having items in different table cells.
To create the first certificate,
1. Insert your cursor in the first certificate
2. From the Table menu, select Insert and Table. We like to use 2 columns and 3 rows for layout.
3. Highlight the first table row and select Table and then Merge Cells.
4. Enter your certificate title in this first table row. As example, “Rosetta Roasters Gift Certificate”
5. With your cursor in the second row, select the Insert menu and select Picture. Point to wherever your logo or graphic file resides. If you artwork doesn’t fit, you may need to resize it by clicking the picture and using the sizing handles.
6. In the first cell on the last row, enter the business address.
Adding the certificate text and placeholders,
1. In column 1 of row 3, add the address you wish to use.
2. In the column 2 of row 2, add your certificate text and placeholders for the data. As example, you might type “This gift certificate entitles [name] to From: . The [name] is a placeholder to make it easier to see where the data will go.
2. In column 2 of row 3, I enter the certificate number such as Gift Certificate:
Your certificate looks similar to the one below. You’ll notice we have not done any refinements such as changing fonts or positioning.
Adding the data variables
1. If you inserted clip art, click the back button on the Clip Art pane to return to the Mail Merge wizard.
2. Click the Next link on the bottom on the task pane to go to Step 3 of 6
3. Select the radio button for Use an existing list.
4. Click the Browse.. link in the middle of the pane.
5. In the Select Data Source dialog, point to your Excel spreadsheet your created in Step 1 in the Part 1 article.
6. The Select Table dialog opens. Click OK.
7. The Mail Merge recipients dialog opens. You should see the contents from your Excel spreadsheet. Click OK.
The other item we like to do is to remove the table lines so they don’t show on the final product.
To remove the table lines,
1. Click anywhere in the first certificate.
2. From the Table menu, Select | Table. Your table contents will highlight.
3. From the Format menu, select Borders and shading.
4. Click the None box.
5. Click OK. You will still see table grid lines, but these will not print.
Adding the data fields,
1. In the Mail Merge pane, click Next to move to Step 4.
2. Place your cursor to the right of the first placeholder you used such as [name]
3. On the task pane, click More items…
4. In the Insert Merge Field dialog, highlight your field from Excel and click Insert. You should see your field name with chevrons on either side.
5. Remove your placeholder text for that field name such as [name].
6. Repeat this process for each data variable on Gift certificate 1.
This is a good time to apply any formatting and font changes. I also turn paragraph marks on as I sometimes will change the font size of an empty line to adjust line spacing.
Your certificate will look something like the one below.
Merging the gift certificate data,
1. Before doing the final merge, you should review your spelling and check Print Preview.
2. Click the grey boxed link Update all labels. Your 2nd and 3rd certificates should look similar to the first.
3. Click the Next link to preview your labels. You should see the first three certificates populate with data from your spreadsheet.
4. From here you can do the final tweaking. For example, you might decide to make the recipient’s name larger and in bold. You can click the previous link at the bottom of the Mail Merge pane and make those changes. Remember to click the Update all labels to have your changes apply to the other gift certificates.
5. When everything things correct on the screen, click Complete the merge.
The last pane also has a link to edit individual labels. I always use this feature. In this example, I would’ve edited some of the certificates that had 2lb to 2 lb. The other advantage is this link opens your certificates up in a new document you can save.
Last Updated (Friday, 18 June 2010 16:07)