Step-by-Step Instructions to Do a Mail Merge With Windows 2007

By Renata Barber

Microsoft's Word 2007 mail merge feature is used to create identical documents, but each individual document contains unique information, such as a name or address. In Word 2007, the Ribbon or groups of commands appear instead of the customary tool bar. Commands are divided in groups of activities, such as Create, Start Mail Merge, Write and Insert Fields. Using the Merge Wizard, it's easy to merge names and addresses for envelopes, labels or documents.

Start Mail Merge

Click on the "Start Mail Merge" arrow. A drop-down menu will appear. Choose the last option, "Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard." A task pane will appear that lists the types of document you wish to create, such as letters, envelopes, labels and so forth. Click on the one that's appropriate. Located just below this pane, another pane will have a start link that goes with that particular type of document to start the process. Click on the link.

Selecting a Template

In the Mail Merge window, you'll be given the option to use the current document you've chosen, to select a template or to browse for a document currently closed. If you want to use a template, click on "Start From a Template." When the "Select Template" link appears, click on it. A dialogue box will open, showing various options. If your document is a letter, select the Letters tab. You'll be able to preview the various formats on the right side of the screen. When you've decided on a format to use, click on it and then click "OK."

Selecting Recipients

For an existing list, click on "Browse." Locate and open the file that you want to use for recipients. If your list is contained in an Excel spreadsheet, choose "MailMergeList.xls." A dialogue box will open. Choose the table containing the recipients' information that you will put into the merge fields in your document. According to what you named the range in your spread sheet, select the names and addresses for your mail merge. Don't forget to check the "First Row of Data Contains Column Headers" box . That way the field labels won't be mistaken for data on your spreadsheet. A Mail Merge Recipients dialogue box will open. Check only the names and addresses you wish to use. Using the drop-down menu located next to each name, you can sort, filter and refine your list.The greeting line and address block will already be inserted in the template. If you aren't using a preformatted document, simply click on the links located at the right to insert the corresponding information. If you click on the Address Block link, you'll be able to format your address. You can also choose Matching Fields to match the missing address field, or use the drop-down feature if you're using an Excel template. Now preview the information. Then, click on "Next: Complete the Merge." A window will appear. If you need to make changes, click "Edit Individual Letters;" otherwise, choose "Print."