Easy-to-follow video tutorials help you learn software, creative, and business skills.Become a member

Previewing merge results

From: Word 2007: Mail Merge in Depth

Video: Previewing merge results

We have our primary letter with merge fields in it. We have our data source, but it's not quite yet time to merge. First we're going use Word's Preview Results features to see how a sample of the individual letters will look if we completed the merge. We started out with one letter and about 80 data records. Once we put those two together, we are going to have 80 individual one-page letters. The time to proof this letter is now. There's nothing like a mistake that's repeated in every single one of these merge letters.

Previewing merge results

We have our primary letter with merge fields in it. We have our data source, but it's not quite yet time to merge. First we're going use Word's Preview Results features to see how a sample of the individual letters will look if we completed the merge. We started out with one letter and about 80 data records. Once we put those two together, we are going to have 80 individual one-page letters. The time to proof this letter is now. There's nothing like a mistake that's repeated in every single one of these merge letters.

So first we're going to click the Preview Results button in the Preview Results group, and you'll notice that the data from the very first record is filled in here, and we can use the familiar First, Last record buttons in order to move through the records, and determine if they look good. You will notice for example that we don't have a company for Ross Atkins, and yet that record looks great as we go along. Another thing we can do is we can actually look for a letter to one particular person, and check that one out if we're concerned about it.

So I can say I'd like to look for Tabitha's record, either by searching in all fields or by searching in a particular field, and it will take us to the record for Tabitha Castro. That record looks great. Sort of a bulk analysis is supported when we use the Auto Check for Errors feature. Auto Check for Errors gives us three different possibilities. One possibility is to go through the merge to simulate it and to report any errors that occurs. So if I have 50 records, 100 records, 200 records, I can just say to Word, "go ahead and merge and tell me what you get." So I am going to click OK and it goes through the simulation and it says it didn't find any errors.

That was really, really fast. However, if I have a large database for example, thousands of records in SQL Server and Access database then this simulation which actually goes through only a small sample of records might not accurately identify errors that occur if they were in my data. So what I can do then, my second option, is to say complete the merge. If you find any errors, pause and tell me about them, actually show me the letter that has the error in it, or finally go ahead and complete the whole merge.

merge all of the documents and then report errors if you find any in a separate document and present it to me. So again, the second and third choices are useful when you actually want the entire merge to be completed and then provided to you. So I'm going to complete the merge without pausing. Again, fewer than a hundred records, and I can look at the lower left -hand corner of the screen and actually notice Word completing this merge page by page, and it will pick up speed as it goes along and adds one more record.

Remember I had about 80 records and you'll notice that I'm getting a lot more than 80 pages and yet I only have a one page letter that I am using. We'll talk about that in just a moment. I can scroll through and notice that any of my pages look good. If I go all the way out to the end, one of the things I'll find is lots of records that are addressed to Dear Sir or Madam. Earlier we actually said that if a value in the record was blank, if it had no name, to go ahead and place Dear Sir or Madam, and you will notice also where we would expect a person's name to appear here, there is nothing.

In our data source, we actually included a number of extra rows in Microsoft Excel, and that was to build in capacity for us to add more records later to that Excel merge. We'll find out how to get rid of these extra rows that we really don't want to merge later on in this title. But for right now, we could simply choose not to print those records when we complete the merge later on. So our merge is all set. It has no errors and we've been able to check all of that without wasting a single sheet of paper.

You may have used other older word processing programs that really made it hard to preview your results, or made it difficult to check for errors before merging, but here in Word 2010, we have a number of different tools that allow us to preview results right down to actually completing a merge and doing everything but printing it. So I'm going to close this sample merge that we did, and we're very happy with this document now, so we are actually going to save this merged letter again, because we're ready to merge.

I'm going to go to File > Save As, I'm going to save this as our Ready to Merge Vendor Letter, and now we're ready to complete our mail merge.

Show transcript

This video is part of

Image for Word 2007: Mail Merge in Depth
Word 2007: Mail Merge in Depth

22 video lessons · 6380 viewers

Gini Courter
Author

 

Start learning today

Get unlimited access to all courses for just $25/month.

Become a member
Sometimes @lynda teaches me how to use a program and sometimes Lynda.com changes my life forever. @JosefShutter
@lynda lynda.com is an absolute life saver when it comes to learning todays software. Definitely recommend it! #higherlearning @Michael_Caraway
@lynda The best thing online! Your database of courses is great! To the mark and very helpful. Thanks! @ru22more
Got to create something yesterday I never thought I could do. #thanks @lynda @Ngventurella
I really do love @lynda as a learning platform. Never stop learning and developing, it’s probably our greatest gift as a species! @soundslikedavid
@lynda just subscribed to lynda.com all I can say its brilliant join now trust me @ButchSamurai
@lynda is an awesome resource. The membership is priceless if you take advantage of it. @diabetic_techie
One of the best decision I made this year. Buy a 1yr subscription to @lynda @cybercaptive
guys lynda.com (@lynda) is the best. So far I’ve learned Java, principles of OO programming, and now learning about MS project @lucasmitchell
Signed back up to @lynda dot com. I’ve missed it!! Proper geeking out right now! #timetolearn #geek @JayGodbold
Share a link to this course

What are exercise files?

Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course. Save time by downloading the author's files instead of setting up your own files, and learn by following along with the instructor.

Can I take this course without the exercise files?

Yes! If you decide you would like the exercise files later, you can upgrade to a premium account any time.

Become a member Download sample files See plans and pricing

Please wait... please wait ...
Upgrade to get access to exercise files.

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Learn by watching, listening, and doing, Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along Premium memberships include access to all exercise files in the library.


Exercise files

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

For additional information on downloading and using exercise files, watch our instructional video or read the instructions in the FAQ.

This course includes free exercise files, so you can practice while you watch the course. To access all the exercise files in our library, become a Premium Member.

Join now "Already a member? Log in

Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched?

This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course.


Mark all as unwatched Cancel

Congratulations

You have completed Word 2007: Mail Merge in Depth.

Return to your organization's learning portal to continue training, or close this page.


OK
Become a member to add this course to a playlist

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses—and create as many playlists as you like.

Get started

Already a member?

Become a member to like this course.

Join today and get unlimited access to the entire library of video courses.

Get started

Already a member?

Exercise files

Learn by watching, listening, and doing! Exercise files are the same files the author uses in the course, so you can download them and follow along. Exercise files are available with all Premium memberships. Learn more

Get started

Already a Premium member?

Exercise files video

How to use exercise files.

Ask a question

Thanks for contacting us.
You’ll hear from our Customer Service team within 24 hours.

Please enter the text shown below:

The classic layout automatically defaults to the latest Flash Player.

To choose a different player, hold the cursor over your name at the top right of any lynda.com page and choose Site preferencesfrom the dropdown menu.

Continue to classic layout Stay on new layout
Exercise files

Access exercise files from a button right under the course name.

Mark videos as unwatched

Remove icons showing you already watched videos if you want to start over.

Control your viewing experience

Make the video wide, narrow, full-screen, or pop the player out of the page into its own window.

Interactive transcripts

Click on text in the transcript to jump to that spot in the video. As the video plays, the relevant spot in the transcript will be highlighted.

Are you sure you want to delete this note?

No

Your file was successfully uploaded.

Thanks for signing up.

We’ll send you a confirmation email shortly.


Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

Keep up with news, tips, and latest courses with emails from lynda.com.

Sign up and receive emails about lynda.com and our online training library:

Here’s our privacy policy with more details about how we handle your information.

   
submit Lightbox submit clicked
Terms and conditions of use

We've updated our terms and conditions (now called terms of service).Go
Review and accept our updated terms of service.