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How to Write Letters Using Mail Merge and an Excel Spreadsheet

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How to Start a Mail Merge

1) Ensure your spreadsheet is organised, with clear titles describing the information below.

2) Write your letter in Microsoft Word, leaving spaces where you wish to place individual's information, such as addresses and names. Save the letter.

Start Your Mail Merge

Once you have written your letter in Word, click on the 'Mailings' tab at the top of the screen.

Click on the 'Start Mail Merge' button and from the drop-down menu, select 'Letters'. This will activate some other buttons on the ribbon at the top of the screen.


Click on the 'Start Mail Merge' button and from the drop-down menu, select 'Letters'. This will activate some other buttons on the ribbon at the top of the screen.

Click 'Select Recipients' and select 'Use Existing List...'.

A dialogue box will appear allowing you to select the Excel file where you have stored your information. Once you have selected the file, you will be prompted to select the tab in the file where the information is stored (normally there are three tabs and you may have stored the information on tab 1).

Congratulations! You are now able to start entering your mail merge information.

Place the cursor in the position where you wish to enter your first line of information from the spreadsheet.

Go to 'Insert Merge Field'. The drop-down menu should contain the headers from your Excel table. For letters, it is common for the first field to be the address.

Select the Excel table title of your first piece of information. It should then appear on your letter with the symbols '<>' around the name of the field, e.g. <address>.

Continue entering merge fields throughout your letter until you have entered all the fields you require. Don't forget to place your cursor where you need the information to appear before inserting the field.

To check the final mail merge is going to look the way you want it to, you can press the 'Preview Results' button in the 'Mailings' ribbon.

This will show you what the first letter will look like when completed.

Select the 'Finish & Merge' Button at the end of the 'Mailings' ribbon and select 'Edit Individual Documents...'. This will allow you to add or change things in individual letters if you wish and allow you to save all the letters as one complete file before printing.

A dialogue box will appear. Ensure it has 'All' selected and click okay. Your finished letters should now appear on screen.

You may now edit the finished letters any way you wish, as you would a normal Word document.

Don't forget to save the file. You can then print the letters using your normal printing method.

Ever wondered how a company can enter your name into an e-mail that you're sure they didn't write just for you? Mail merging can also be used for things such as e-mail newsletters. Now you can mail merge letters, e-mails will be a lot easier to master!

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