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Mail merge consists of combining the information from two separate files/documents together. The standard document, which contains the fixed content (labels), is merged with an external data source (your mailing list). Mail merging allows you to produce multiple copies of a document modified for each individual recipient.

Mail merge can be used for many different tasks such as:

  • Envelopes
  • E-mails
  • Labels
  • Directory-style listings
Here is a clear instruction guide for mail merging labels in Word 2002/XP.

1. Open Word and make sure that a new document is on screen. Click the word “Tools” on the top toolbar, placing the cursor over the “Letters and Mailing” option. New options will appear, select “Mail Merge Wizard…” A panel will become visible on the right hand side of the screen. This panel will guide you through every step of the mail merge. Select the radio button titled “Labels”. Click “Next: Starting document” in the bottom right hand side of your screen to continue.

2. Ensure that the option “Change document layout” is selected and then click “Label options…” The “Label Options” dialog box will appear; Select the label type that you wish to print to, along with the product number. Click “OK” and then "Next:Select recipients" to continue.
3. Select the radio button titled “Use an existing list” (this will be the mailing list that we supplied).
Click “Browse…” and use the “Select Data Source” dialog box to locate the desired file.
After selecting your mailing list, the “Mail Merge Recipients” dialog box will appear. You can use these options to customize your recipients list. However, in most cases you will use the entire list. After selecting your required records click “OK”. Click “Next: Arrange your labels” to continue.
4. Click “More items…” to open the “Insert Merge Fields” dialog box. All the fields incorporated in your mailing list will now appear e.g. Title, Initial, Surname etc.
Highlight and click “Insert” or double click the left mouse button to place the required field into the label. Make sure that you insert them in the order that you want them to occur. The selected fields are now shown on one of the labels. You can now manually alter the layout of the label until you are happy with the way it is displayed.
When you are satisfied that the labels format is ok click “Update all labels”. Click “Next: Preview your labels” to continue.

5. This part of the process allows you to preview the labels before completing the mail merge. If you are not happy with the layout click “Previous: Arrange your labels” to re-format the labels. When you are satisfied, progress to the next step by clicking on “Next: Complete the merge”.

6. This is the final step of the mail merge process. If you wish to print your labels immediately, select the “Print…” option. To save the file as a complete document for later use, click “EDIT INDIVIDUAL LABELS”, choose the “All” option from the “Merge to New Document” dialog box and click “OK”. After a short while you will have a new completed Word document on screen. You can now save the document as normal.

If you require further help with mail merge, try using the help facilities provided within Word 2002.

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