How does mail merge work?

Mail merge is when you add names and address details to a printed letter or email, and may be used to personalise each message. It is helpful for contacting members or supporters in a personal way and can save you time.

You require two elements:

  • a main document
  • a data source

The main document will usually be a letter in a word processor, with spaces to drop in name, address or other information eg membership number. The data source is typically names and addresses in your address book, a database or a spreadsheet.

The merged document puts the information from the data source into the gaps in the main document, and can be then printed or emailed. You can preview the results before sending or printing. The main document, data source and merged documents can be saved for re-use.

USEFUL LINKS

www.documentation.openoffice.org

www.office.microsoft.com/en-gb/help

Or

Search for ‘How to Mail Merge” and add the name of the software you use e.g. Microsoft Word 2003 or Open Office

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