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In Word 2007: Mail Merge in Depth, author Gini Courter demonstrates how to take advantage of Word's Mail Merge feature to save a tremendous amount of time creating customized documents. The course offers tutorials on creating letters, emails, envelopes, and labels. It also shows how to use Mail Merge with Outlook and Excel, creating data sources, inserting fields, using IF and other rules for customized merges, and troubleshooting Mail Merge issues. Exercise files are included with the course.
The directory merge feature in Word 2007 is a feature that used to be referred to as catalog merge, and it's used to create a directory or a catalog of names and addresses or parts or an inventory. Anything that you would like to list is distinguished from labels because you're not going to print it on labels stock, and it's different than letters, because the assumption is that you want to put more than one record on a page. So let's go ahead and create a directory using the information that we have: names and addresses of our vendor applicants.
We will begin as we always do by going to Mailings and saying that we would like to start a mail merge, and in this case, we would like to start a directory. And then let's go ahead and connect it to a data source. We will use an existing list and locate and select in our Exercise File folder our vendors and we're going to use the folks who have applied to be vendors for this particular merge, so that we can create a directory of vendor applications. Now we don't have a whole lot of excitement going on here, I actually want to print these in a table, sort of three up across the page.
So I am going to begin by going to the Insert tab and I am going to simply insert a one row table three across, and now we will return to the Mailings tab and we are going insert our recipient information. Now if I wanted specific fields like the App_ Date, I would choose those and put them in. If I would like to have then the Address block following, I'd need to choose the format of that address block and that looks fine to me, and there's my information. Let's go ahead and preview the results, and you can see what that looks like for this single application.
Now here's the part that's something that's a little bit different. We need to instruct Microsoft Word that we want to do exactly this same thing in the next two cells across the table. So what we are going to do is we are going to use a merge field that's a special type of field called rule, and it's called Next Record. So we are going to put a Next Record in here, we can't see it when we are previewing results, because there is nothing to show, but if I turn it back off, you will see Next Record, and we are going to insert then a Next Record rule in the third column of our table.
We also need then to insert our App_Date and address block in these two cells as well. So let's go ahead and insert our App_Date here. This Next Record will take up no space, so don't let it bother you that it's shoved the field over, because that App_ Date field will appear right here on the left, and if we simply go and do a quick preview, you will see that we have three different values here. Let's go back and insert our address block, and we want this to be the same in each case, so you would make the same choices. I am simply choosing the default choices in that Address Block dialog box.
Now if we preview we will notice that we have three records across, a directory. If I wanted to, then I can apply whatever formatting I would like here. This is a table, so I can go back and go to Design, and I can format this table so that I have different colors in the different rows. All of the table formatting tools are accessible to me here in my directory merge. So I am going to go back and what we are going to do is actually going to finish this merge, so that you can see what it looks like. I will choose Finish & Merge and we are going to say that we want to edit the individual documents when we are done, so that we can check out the appearance there and say we would like to do all.
Here is what our directory looks like. Even though I only gave one table row, that's all I need to give. As a matter of fact that's all I want to give. That one single row that shows the layout. Now I might want to make some other choices about how this actually appears. It's not as roomy as I would like it to be. If I want to make choices about formatting, notice that I will have to go back to my primary document to make those choices. So we can go back to our primary Word document and create, for example, some more space between the records if we wish. Or make some other formatting design choices if we wanted to have.
For example, alternated text on the different rows, we could do that here. All of these choices are available to me here and then when I go back to my Mailings tab and I Finish & Merge again, all of the records in my directory. So creating a directory is something like creating letters, but it's also like creating labels. When I am all done, what I will have is I'll have a merged list that I can print with the format that I have determined, where it's multiple records per page like labels, but with the information located and formatted where I placed it, like letters. You will find a lot of good uses for this directory merge in Word 2007
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