Latest posts by techwriter (see all)
- Hazards of Poorly Written Technical Documentation - December 26, 2016
- Get an ‘A’ on Your Next Research Paper With These 6 Simple Steps - November 28, 2016
- An Amazing and FREE Source of Magazines and Periodicals — ISSUU - November 25, 2016
© 2010 Ugur Akinci
For mail merge in MS Word 2010 you need to first prepare a database of the customized “merge fields” that you will use.
For example, imagine you’d like to create two letters like the following:
TO: Bob Smith
For Saturday’s interview please show up at 11 a.m. at the South Room.
TO: Jane Doe
For Monday’s interview please show up at 2 p.m. at the North Office.
As you can easily see, these two letters are pretty much the same accept for the BOLD components. Those are the customized fields that you need to store in a database so that when do mail merge Word will automatically take those values from the database (DB) and insert them at appropriate places in the letter text, creating individually customized letters that look unique.
In a DB TABLE, these variables for each person/letter would be represented by a separate RECORD (row), and the values of the variables would be displayed under a COLUMN, one column per variable.
|Bob||Smith||Saturday||11 a.m.||South Room|
|Jane||Doe||Monday||2 p.m.||North Office|
A mail merge ready (sample) letter template would look like this:
TO: <<Name>> <<Last Name>>
For <<Day>>’s interview please show up at <<Time>> at the <<Place>>.
Word would automatically replace those PLACE HOLDERS (e.g., <<Name>>) with their actual values from the database and create two separate letters from the two records in the DB.
The power of this operation may not be apparent when you’re creating just two letters. But imagine creating 10,000 such letters and the use of the mail merge function becomes very obvious.
Did you like this post? Can we improve it in any way? What do you think? Please feel free to share your mind…