Here’s a quick tutorial on how to do a mail merge using a Microsoft Word 10 primary merge document and Microsoft Excel 10 Table containing a list of names and addresses.
It’s a concise tutorial. Download the sample primary merge document which is just an Address Label template and the Excel document that contains all the names and addresses so you can follow along with the mail merge. If you need to create a mailing list, the sample Excel document is a great template to use. You’ll see that once you’ve created your Address list in Excel, it takes literally just over 2 minutes to do a mail merge.
Some lady just called. She said she needed help printing labels on our ML-3000 address labels. She said she had about 600 customers names to do a mailing with, and all she had was the blank ML-3000 template that we supplied. I told her I was sorry, but I could not spend the time on the phone to teach her how to do a mail merge…..on the phone. Teaching a person to do a mail merge in person is hard enough, but doing over the phone is fun. By fun I mean not fun. I have experience in this department. In leaner days, when I had time to help folks in this area, I would spend some time to show people what to do. But different people have very different learning curves. The process could take some time varying from about 20 minutes to .. well, forever. So, folks, learn to use the Google machine and put in the phrase Microsoft Word Mail Merge into the search box in google, and start clicking, because we sell labels. While we would love to teach you how to do a mail merge, it just does not make economic sense.
Doing a mail merge on address labels successfully can be a real project sometimes. Some mailing lists are nice and clean. You know, the kind that are residential addresses like:
1 Space Way
Akron, OH 42808
Don’t try getting in touch with John, he’s a fig newton of my imagination, and is used strictly as an example to show what a nice clean simple address is. Oops, there I go again ending my sentence in a preposition. I like to live dangerously. Then, you come across lists which are not so neat, with names like:
Quentin Farrington Popoudoupoulous, III
Popoudoupoulous, Popoudoupoulous, & Popoudoupoulous
2547 Doctor Martin Luther King Junior Highway
Hastings on the Hudson, NY 11082
Quentin is also a fig newton. These kinds of names need a little “massaging” to get the aches and pains out. If you’re printing on a 30 up label like the ML-3000 in Microsoft Word, depending on the font and font size you’re using, you’ll need to go through the list and find out if there are “Soft Returns” in your finished merged document. Soft returns occur when a line is too long to fit on a line, and the point at which the line wraps to the next line is a “Soft Return”. You can find these Soft Returns by doing a cntrl-f. Then once the Find and Replace dialog box pops up, select the “More” button if it isn’t already selected. If it’s already selected, then you should only see the “Less” button. Then hit the “Special” button.
There’s no soft return that you can search for in Microsoft Word or OpenOffice, but you can search for the soft return character in WordPerfect. Why has WordPerfect fallen off the face of the earth as a word processor. I attribute it to propaganda. WordPerfect is a great word processing program that has features that Microsoft Word doesn’t, and if you’re in the market for a word processor, give serious consideration to WordPerfect.
If you’re doing mail merges in OpenOffice, you’re going to need a little help. Here’s an article that helps you through the process a bit.