Mail Merge
Lesson Plan

Lesson Created by Patricia Janann Nicholson

The mail merge feature in Microsoft Word allows you to type one letter and individualize it for a number of people. For this activity, you are going to type a letter inviting your friends to a special event (birthday, baby shower, wedding shower). The event is of your choosing. However, you will set up your letter with proper letter formatting (Proper Letter Outline). Follow the directions below in create individualized letters, envelops, and mailing labels. The first thing you will have to do to make each letter personalized is to create a data file that holds the names and addresses of the people who you are going to send the letter to.

  • Create a data source with five fictitious names and addresses.
    • At a clear document screen create a data source named Data.
    • Click Tools and then Mail Merge.
    • At the Mail Merge dialog box, click the Create button.
    • At the drop-down list that displays, click Form Letters.
    • At the dialog box asking if you want to use the active document or a new document window, click the Active Window button.
    • Click the get data button and then click Create Data Source at the drop-down list.
    • At the Create Data Source dialog box, the fields provided by Word are shown in the Field names in header and row list box. Some of these fields are needed for the data source. Select the fields you do not need in your data source, then click the Remove Field Name button. Continue until you have removed all the fields you do not need to included. Fields needed to be included are title, first name, last name, address 1, city, state, and postal code.
    • Click OK.
    • At the Save As dialog box key Data, and then click Save, or press enter.
    • At the dialog box containing the warning that the data source contains no data, click the Edit Data Source button. This displays the Data Form dialog box.
    • At the Data Form dialog box, key the title, Mr. or Mrs., of the first customer and then press the enter key or the tab key.
    • Continue keying your fictitious customer information in the appropriate fields.
    • After entering all the information for your first customer, click the Add New button. (You can also press Enter after keying the postal code.) This saves the information and displays a blank Data Form dialog box. Continue keying the information for each person until five records have been created.
    • After creating the last record for the data source, click the View Source button.
    • Proofread the data source table.
    • At the data source document, click the Save button on the Standard toolbar.
    • Close the Customer data source.
    • Close the clear document screen without saving the changes.
  • Create a form letter telling your friends about your upcoming party.
    • At a clear document screen, click Tools and then Mail Merge.
    • At the Mail Merge Helper dialog box, click the Create button (located below Main document), and then click form Letters at the drop-down list.
    • At the question asking if you want to use the active document window or a new document, click the Active Window button.
    • At the Mail Merge Helper dialog box, click the Get Data button (located below Data source) and then click Open Data Source at the drop-down list.
    • At the Open Data Source dialog box, double-click Data in the list box.
    • At the Microsoft Word dialog box telling you that Word found no fields in your main document, click the Edit Main Document button.
    • At the clear document screen with the Mail Merge toolbar displayed above the Ruler, key in the date at the beginning of the letter, press the Enter key five times, and then insert the first field by completing the following steps.
      • Click the Insert Merge Field button on the Mail Merge toolbar (the first button from the left).
      • Click Title at the drop-down menu.
      • Press the spacebar once and then insert the FirstName data field by completing steps similar to those previously described. Continue in this manner until all data fields have been entered. Click on the Form letter outline below to see how the fields should be entered in your letter. (Be sure to press the Enter key to end a text line. Also, be sure to key the comma after the <City> Field.)

Form Letter Outline

      • Key the remaining fields in the main document.
    • Complete the letter using the letter format listed below.
    • Proofread, spell check, and save it with the name letter. Click on the link below to view proper letter format.

Proper Letter Format

  • Add a Letterhead to Your Letter
    • Create a letterhead for your form letter which includes your name, address, phone number, and e-mail address. Pick at least one of the following to include in your letterhead. You can use more than one if you would like.
      • Clip Art
      • AutoShape
      • WordArt
    • Include a border line directly beneath the letterhead text. You determine the line style/thickness by completing the following steps:
      • Click the Arrow button on the Drawing toolbar (the button that displays one arrows).
      • Draw a horizontal line under your letterhead by holding down the left mouse button and dragging horizontally across the page.
      • With the horizontal line selected, change the arrow style by clicking the Arrow Style button on the Drawing Toolbar (the button that displays three arrows), and then clicking the style option form the list.
      • Increase the width of the line by clicking the Line Style button (the one that displays three horizontal lines) on the Drawing toolbar and then clicking the pt size you want.
      • Change the color of the horizontal line by clicking the down-pointing triangle at the right side of the Line Color button (the button that has a paint brush icon over a colored line) and then clicking the color that will complement your letterhead. Deselect the line.

     

  • Merge the form letter with the data source to create five personalized letters.
    • Open the form letter you created for your upcoming sale.
    • Click the Merge to New Document button on the Mail Merge toolbar.
    • When the main document is merged with the data source, save the document and name it Sale.
    • Close Letter without saving the changes.
  • Create an envelope main document and merge it with the data source. There should be five envelopes when it is complete.
    • At a clear document screen, create a main document for envelopes with the Customer Data Source document attached by completing the following steps:
      • Click Tools and then Mail Merge.
      • At the Mail Merge Helper dialog box, click the Create button (located below main document) and then click Envelopes at the drop-down list.
      • At the question asking if you want to use the active document window or a new document, click the Active Windows button.
      • At the Mail Merge helper dialog box, click the Get Data button (located below Data source), then click Open Data Source at the drop-down list.
      • At the Open Data Source dialog box, double-click Data in the list box.
      • At the Microsoft Word dialog box telling you that Word needs to set up your main document, click the Set Up Main Document button.
      • At the Envelope Options dialog box with the Envelope Options tab selected, make sure the correct envelope size is displayed, and then click OK.
      • At the Envelope address dialog box, click Title from the drop-down list. (This inserts <Title> in the Sample envelope address section of the dialog box.)
      • Continue choosing fields from the Insert Merge Field drop-down list as shown in the Envelope Field Setup below:

Envelope Field Setup

      • When all fields have been entered in the Sample envelope address section of the dialog box as shown above, click OK to close the Envelope address dialog box.
      • At the Mail Merge Helper dialog box, click the Merge button.
      • Saved the merged document and name it envelope.
      • Close envelope.
      • At the envelope main document, save it and name it Envdoc.
      • Close Envdoc.
  • Create mailing labels for the five customer names and addresses. There should be five address labels generated.
    • At a clear document screen, create mailing labels for Avery 5163 shipping labels using the records in the Customer data source document by completing the following steps:
      • Click Tools and then Mail Merge.
      • At the Mail Merge Helper dialog box, click the Create button (located below Main document), and then click Mailing Labels at the drop-down list.
      • At the question asking if you want to use the active document window or a new document, click the Active Window button.
      • At the Mail Merge Helper dialog box, click the Get Data button (located below Data source), and then click Open Data Source at the drop-down list.
      • At the Open Data Source dialog box, double-click Data in the list box.
      • At the Microsoft Word dialog box telling you that word needs to set up your main document, click the Set up Main Document button.
      • At the Label Options dialog box, scroll down the Product number list box until 5163 - Shipping is visible, and then click it.
      • Click OK to close the Labels Options dialog box.
      • At the Create Labels dialog box, click the Insert Merge Field button, and then click Title at the drop-down list. (This insert <Title> in the Sample label box.)
      • Continue choosing fields from the Insert Merge Field drop-down list exactly like you did for the above envelope.
      • At the Create Labels dialog box, click OK.
      • At the Mail Merge Helper dialog box, click the Merge button.
      • At the Merge dialog box, make sure New document displays in the Merge to text box, and then click the Merge button.
      • Saved the merged document and name it labels.
      • Close labels.
      • At the labels main document, save it and name it labeldoc.
      • Close labeldoc.

Nicholson's Lesson Plan Blues