Mail Merging

Mail merging is the process of automating software to read addresses off of a spreadsheet to generate letters. You can take a spreadsheet of addresses and configure your word processing software to print letters, inserting those addresses into them at the top.

Please note that the following steps refer to mail merging in Microsoft Word 2010, using Microsoft Excel 2010 – if your software is different, the process may be slightly different. Please refer to a search engine for specifics concerning mail merging using your software. You can also refer to the documentation on mail merging that Microsoft provide.

Basic Steps

  • Your data must contain a header on Line 1 of your spread sheet containing the following information:
    • Company Name
    • Title
    • First name
    • Surname
    • Address 1
    • Address 2
    • Address 3 (if applicable)
    • Town
    • Postcode
  • Save your data somewhere in this format, possibly on your desktop. Use the default “Excel Workbook” option as the file format when you save.
  • Keep all the data on one tab – if you have additional tabs you will need to do a separate mail merge for each tab.

Letters

  1. Open your Word document.
  2. On your letter, click your cursor arrow onto where you would like the address to be displayed.
  3. Click onto the MAILINGS tab at the top of the document.
  4. Click onto the START MAIL MERGE button in the toolbar.
  5. From the drop-down menu, choose STEP BY STEP MAIL MERGE WIZARD.
  6. A mail merge toolbar will appear to the right of your document – from here is how we instruct our computer to mail merge.
  7. ‘Select document type’ – click “Letters“.
  8. At the bottom of the toolbar click the Next: Starting document arrow.
  9. ‘Select starting document’ – choose ‘use the current document‘.
  10. At the bottom of the toolbar, click the Next: Select recipients arrow.
  11. ‘Select recipients’ – choose ‘Use an existing list’. This then highlights in blue an action below called ‘Browse…‘ – click on this.
  12. Locate your data and click OPEN.
  13. Press ‘OK’ and then ‘OK’ again.
  14. At the bottom of the toolbar, click the Next: Write your letter arrow.
  15. ‘Write your letter’ – choose the ‘Address block…‘ Option
  16. A box will appear with a preview of how your address will look on your letter.
  17. You will now need to check all applicable fields are correctly showing (name, company name etc.) and that other fields are not.
  18. Click onto MATCH FIELDS, which will bring up another box.
  19. The box is split into two sides. The information going downwards on the left will contain all fields from NAME to COUNTY to POSITION. Not all of these are applicable to your letter so you must now move through the list and amend any onto the column on the right.
  20. The trick is to work your way down the list and match up the info from the left side to the info on the right side by the options you are given in the drop down arrow. Examples: Company Title (Mr, Mrs, Miss) – match up with Title, First Name – matches up with first name. Any field you DO NOT want to appear, choose the ‘not matched’ option.
  21. Once you are happy with your selection, click ‘OK’.
  22. You will be faced with a preview of your address set. Using the arrow buttons above the previewed address, you can view more of the addresses from your data selection. This is very much worth doing because some addresses are longer than others. Click ‘OK’ to proceed.
  23. You will notice an <<AddressBlock>>appear on your letter.
  24. At the bottom of the toolbar click Next: Preview your letters.
  25. Your address should now appear in full on your letter.
  26. It’s now time to arrange your letter to fit onto the letterhead paper you may be printing onto making sure there are no unsightly gaps or that the letter is spilling over onto 2 pages.
  27. Once you are happy with the display, go to the bottom of the toolbar and click Next: Complete the merge.
  28. If you require adding the company or contact name to the letter itself, please see the section below before proceeding.
  29. Fill your chosen printer with the appropriate letter-headed paper required.
  30. We recommend doing a test print of the letter to make sure the layout is correct and the address fits perfectly into the window of your envelope. To do this,  click ‘Print…’ and choose the ‘Current record’ option.
  31. Once you are happy with your test print, you can go ahead and choose the ‘All’ option in print.

Adding a Company or Contact Name to Your Letter

  1. Once you have set up your mail merge on your letter click on the part of your letter you wish to add the name to.
  2. Click the MAILINGS tab at the top of the document.
  3. Click onto button that reads ‘Insert Merge Field’, this will automatically give you a drop-down menu of fields for you to choose from.
  4. Pick the appropriate field.
  5. This will automatically appear and match up to the name given in the full address above.

Labels

  1. Open up a new Word document.
  2. Click onto the MAILINGS tab at the top of the document.
  3. Click onto the START MAIL MERGE Button in the toolbar.
  4. From the drop-down menu, choose STEP BY STEP MAIL MERGE WIZARD.
  5. A mail merge toolbar will appear to the right of your document – from here is how we instruct our computer to mail merge.
  6. ‘Select document type’ – click ‘Labels’.
  7. At the bottom of the toolbar, click the Next: Starting document arrow.
  8. ‘Select starting document’ – please choose ‘Change document layout’.
  9. Below will be a blue highlighted button called ‘Label options…’ – click on this.
  10. A box will appear so you can choose what printer you wish to print your labels from and to what size labels you will be using.
  11. Start by amending the TRAY option to the relevant tray on your printer.
  12. You need to now ensure the correct size label has been chosen. As an example, L7160. Click ‘OK’ once you have selected your label size.
  13. You will see boxes appear onto your Word document. This should show 3 across and 7 down.
  14. At the bottom of the toolbar click the Next: Select recipients arrow.
  15. ‘Select recipients’ – choose ‘Use an existing list’. This then highlights in blue an action below called ‘Browse…’ – click onto this.
  16. Locate your data and click OPEN.
  17. Click ‘OK’ and then ‘OK’ again.
  18. <<Next Record>> will appear in all the boxes.
  19. At the bottom of the toolbar click Next: Arrange your labels.
  20. ‘Arrange your labels’ – choose the ‘Address block…’ option.
  21. A box will appear with a preview of how your address will look on your label.
  22. You will now need to check all applicable fields are correctly showing (name, company name etc.) and if other fields are not.
  23. Click onto MATCH FIELDS which will bring up another box.
    The box is split into two sides. The information going downwards on the left will contain all fields from NAME to COUNTY to POSITION. Not all of these are applicable to your letter so you must now move through the list and amend any onto the column on the right.
  24. Any field you DO NOT want to appear please choose the ‘not matched’ option.
  25. Once you are happy with your selection, click ‘OK’.
  26. You will be faced with a preview of your address set. Using the arrow buttons above the previewed address, you can view more of the addresses from your data selection. We recommend doing this because some addresses are longer than others. Click ‘OK’ to proceed.
  27. You will notice an <<AddressBlock>>will appear in the first box. You need this to appear in all the boxes so click the ‘Update all Labels’ button on the toolbar.
  28. At the bottom of the toolbar click Next: Preview your labels. Addresses should now appear in full on your labels.
  29. It’s now time to arrange your addresses and ensure each address fits nicely inside each box. Once you are happy with the display, go to the bottom of the toolbar and click Next: Complete the merge.
  30. Fill your chosen printer with the labels – put them into the tray with the labels facing upwards.
  31. We recommend doing a test print of the labels to make sure the layout is correct and the address fits perfectly. To do this click ‘Print…’ and choose the ‘Current record’ option.
  32. Once you are happy with your test print then you can go ahead and choose the ‘All’ option in print.