How to Use Mail Merge Lists in Word

mail merge word

I don’t know about you, but many a time I have opened up a new Word document only to be met with the old familiar feeling of intimidation. There are so many fantastic features that seem to be hidden away in an endless array of tool bars and drop down menus.

This intimidation surely has no place. Microsoft has done a wonderful job of making all features of their Office products rather user friendly. My first attempt at completing a mail merge was timid and slow as I familiarized myself with the process and its features. Once familiarized however, this process has become second nature.

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How to Use the Mail Merge Feature in Word

how to use mail mergeThe Microsoft Mail Merge feature and I have a love-hate relationship. About twelve years ago, while I was employed as an intern for a consular service, I was asked to draft a letter that was to be mailed to five hundred people. I was given a list of addresses on a sheet of paper and asked to print the letters and envelopes after drafting them in a Word document and send them on their way. I was given two days to complete this task along with the excessive amount of other work I was to keep up on simultaneously.

I spent hours typing out each address and copying and pasting the content of the letter into each document prior to sending the envelopes and letters to print. Imagine the anger I felt when upon completing the project with little time to spare, my boss pointed out that I could have used the Excel version of the address list and the mail merge feature to have completed the task in a fraction of the time.

So you see, I love the mail merge feature for its ability to simplify my life immensely, but I hate it for not having introduced itself sooner.

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