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Answer from our Guest Expert John Klinger of Call A Techie

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Step 5: Insert Your Merge Fields.

Next, you're prompted to edit the merge document to insert the merge fields. You now have a new tool bar in Word. This toolbar is displayed when you make a mail merge document. When you click on the "insert merge field," you'll see all of the field names from your data source (Access Table). In some cases, this means you'll see the customer's first name, last name, customer number and/or Social Security number. Your database table may differ. Move your curser to where you want to insert a field, then click on "insert merge field" and select which field you want to insert.

You then see the field name enclosed with << >> around it.

Step 6: View and Finish the Merge.

After you insert your fields, you then click on the "view merged data button." Note that instead of seeing <> you'll see the value of the first record. If you click the red arrows on the mail merge tool bar, you can scroll between records. Now what you basically have is one form letter, which is linked to a database. Click on the "merge" tab of the mail merge tool bar. It will ask you whether to merge to a new document, a printer or e-mail. If you choose new document, you'll see a new copy of your letter appear. Notice that the new document will be many pages. Basically, this new document is multiple copies of the original. In many cases, you'll want to merge directly to your printer to print the personalized letters or you'll want to use the mail merge to send out mass personalized emails The process is similar, but there are a few distinct options for each of these selections.

If you experiment with the mail merge tool, you'll find out just how much you can do with it. If you have any questions on the mail merge feature or questions about any Microsoft software or operating system, please email me or visit my website.

John R. Klinger, Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer

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