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Word 2010: Mail Merge in Depth
Illustration by Neil Webb

Matching fields from the data source


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Word 2010: Mail Merge in Depth

with Gini Courter

Video: Matching fields from the data source

After you identify and select a data source, Word loads the field, or column names used in your data source, into the Word document. Let's go ahead and open this VendorApps letter, and notice that it's got a SQL command that says we need to open a data source too. We talked about this in a earlier video. Just click Yes here, and you will be clicking Yes a lot as you open your merge letters from now on. Let's go to the Mailings tab. We are already connected to a data source. We can take a real quick look and see that we have a recipient list.

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Word 2010: Mail Merge in Depth
1h 31m Intermediate Sep 10, 2010

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In Word 2010: 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.

Topics include:
  • Choosing or creating a data source
  • Using Mail Merge with Outlook contacts
  • Merging data from an Excel spreadsheet
  • Inserting address blocks and greetings
  • Matching fields from a data source
  • Previewing merge results
  • Using rules for customized merges
Subject:
Business
Software:
Word
Author:
Gini Courter

Matching fields from the data source

After you identify and select a data source, Word loads the field, or column names used in your data source, into the Word document. Let's go ahead and open this VendorApps letter, and notice that it's got a SQL command that says we need to open a data source too. We talked about this in a earlier video. Just click Yes here, and you will be clicking Yes a lot as you open your merge letters from now on. Let's go to the Mailings tab. We are already connected to a data source. We can take a real quick look and see that we have a recipient list.

This is actually connected to the data source that's called Vendors-with named range. Now what we want to do is we want to make sure that the names that we used in our data source match up with the names that Word expects to see. For example, Word uses First Name, Last Name, Email. It doesn't really have anything for App Date and Ref Check. Instead of name of company, it uses Company, and instead of Business Street or Bus Street, it uses Address 1 and Address 2. So we want to be able to use built- in blocks, like an address block and a greeting line, when we construct our merge letter, and in order to do that we need to match up the names that are used in our data source with the names that Word expects to see.

We are going to do that by clicking on Match Fields. Now we can work our way down this entire list, or we can simply make sure that we account for every field that we have in our data source that could be a match. We have a field called First, Word has a field called First Name, and so it's able to make that match fairly well. It went out looking for a Middle Name, didn't find one. But guess what? We don't have one in our data source, so not a problem. Last Name, it matched with Last; that works, too. But when it got down to Company, it couldn't find anything that it felt confident matching on its own.

So it's asking us to do that, and we are going to choose Name of Company. We have an address. We call ours Business Street. We have a City, called Business City, and so on, matching the State and ZIP Code. Now if we scroll down, we have a couple of fields that we are not going to use, but we should match those up anyway. For example, we actually do have a business phone included in our data source. Word would like to have one, so let's match it up, and I do this now because later on, if I decide to modify this letter and include a verification of a phone number, I could spend a long time trying to figure out why that phone number doesn't merge.

Email address matched just fine. So all of the fields that Word expects to see, that actually exist in our data source, are here. If we make a mistake with one of these, if, for example, you chose this as title and you are, ah, that's wrong. Let's go back and change it to Not Matched. It's all good, and I am going to click OK. Now I have a map from the field names that are used in my Excel worksheet to the names that are used by Word in Address Blocks, Greeting lines, and other kinds of fields. We could have, of course, have started this exercise by making a copy that Excel workbook and changing the column names to match the names that Word is looking for.

But number 1, that's extra work. Number 2, then we end up with two copies of the data. Who is going to maintain that extra set for us? And besides, there's no reason not to do it using the built-in tools here in Word. This Match Fields feature is incredibly easy to use to tell Word how to make sense out of the field names that we have in our data source.

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