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Answer from our Guest Expert John Klinger of Call A Techie

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Step 1: Go to the "Tools" Option and Open Mail Merge Tab

In the "Tools" drop-down menu in MS Word, you'll see a mail merge tab. When you open the mail merge tab, you'll then see that it's broken up into three sections.

Step 2: Choose Your Source Document.

The first section is for the source document. When you click on "create," you get a drop-down menu showing you the types of documents you can create. The choices are form letters, envelopes, mailing labels or catalogues. For example, let's say you want to do a form letter. When you choose the type of document you want (form letter), you're prompted whether to create a new document or use an existing document. If you have already written the form letter, use the existing document. Or take the time to create your new form letter. After you select "use current document," move to the next section, which is select data source.

Step 3: Select Data Source.

The data source is where you keep your addresses or customer lists. If you're trying to send a form letter to your customer list, for instance, you probably have your customer names and addresses in either a database or a contact list. Since Access is the most common (and easy to use) database program, let's use it for our example. Notice that after you select the choose data source, the data type will automatically default to Word. Because of this automatic default, manually change it to Access or whatever data type you're actually going to use.

Step 4: Select Your Fields.

Once you select your customer database, Access will open up and you'll get a list of possible tables to use as your source. Select the table(s) you'd like to use. If you're more adventurous, you can even design a query to select only specific records right then. After selecting your fields, you'll get a warning message that will say you haven't entered merge fields into your document.

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