Saving Time with Address Blocks,Greeting Lines, and more
Inserting address blocks, greeting lines, and merge fields
We have created our letter, selected our data source as in Excel workbook, used Field Matching to match the fields in our data source with the fields that Word expects to see, and now it's time to actually insert those fields into our letter, so that we have data fields where we have text that needs to be variable, changed from letter to letter. This is wicked easy in Word 20010. So we are going to start with our letter, and we can insert fields in a number of ways. First, you can insert fields one at a time here.
You will notice these are the names of our fields that we matched up. We have First, Last, instead of First Name, Last Name, Name of Company instead of Company, and so on. So we could build this block out by simply choosing all of the different pieces. For example, we could build City, State and ZIP by putting in City and a comma space. We could then put in State and a couple of spaces, and we could then put in ZIP code, and that would work just fine. Notice that these fields have delimiters around them.
You don't want to ever type these in. These were inserted, not typed. However, I can insert the entire address block at one time. I can simply select all of this text and delete it, and let's drop in an address block. The Insert Address Block dialog box opens, and we get to choose how we want our address block to appear. Pay attention to the preview over here. So, for example, if we choose to have a Title and we have one it will be included, if we choose The Randall Family, it will put The, last name Family, on all of these.
If we don't want a company name, we simply clear the check box, no company name. If there was a field match that we missed earlier, you can get right back to that Match Fields dialog box right here. So I am actually going to choose the full name here. I want a company, and I am going to say OK, and there is my address block. Now it will be highlighted, so we will go clean up the formatting in a little bit. Let's now get rid of this text and insert a greeting line. Right here, in the Write & Insert Fields group, if I click Greeting Line, it opens the Insert Greeting Line dialog box.
Don't just insert a first name after the word "Dear." We want to look at that line as a whole, and there are a couple reasons for that. First, we get to choose Dear, To, (none). We will keep dear. That's kind of nice. And then do we want a whole name? If we have a First Name, do we want a First Name? That Joshua would be the First Name field, Josh would be the Nickname field, and if there's nothing in Nickname, it will use first name. So let's choose Dear Joshua, and then here is the reason you choose the whole line.
What happens if you had an invalid recipient name? Let me give you an example. You have a Company Name, but nobody listed by first name or last name, no contact for that company. Well, if all I do is replace the name with a first name, I will have Dear blank sent to anyone for whom I do not have a first name. I am going to say, if there is no first name, I simply want to have no greeting line whatsoever; no dear, no anything. I could also have chosen Dear Sir or Madam, or To Whom It May Concern. One of those three will usually get you where you want to go.
So here is a preview, and I can actually scroll through several of my records here. I am actually seeing folks from my data source as I scroll through. And again, if I was seeing last names, rather than first names in the preview, I could click Match Fields and go attend to that field match. I am going to say OK, and here is my Greeting Line. Then finally, I have a field down here that says Thank You in advance for your attendance in September, comma, first name. So I am going to select that, and we are going to just drop the first name field in right there. Now if you leave all these highlighted, it's kind of cool, because you can then preview the results, and you will actually see them laid out, and you will know what you are looking for.
There is John Rollins' letter, Pam Shepherd's, and so on. And you will see we have some things that we need to be attentive to. Not just the highlighting, but the spacing here, but the merge itself seems to be working just fine. So let's go back to the Home tab, and let's take care of our spacing. First, let's take this address block and tell that it's no spacing. We also need then, because the no spacing is a 10-point Calibri, and we have used a 12-point through the rest of the letter, so let's just select all of this, make it as 12-point as well, and let's update our Style, so that it's all going to be 12-point.
Then here, let's just get rid of this highlighting. No color. We'll get rid of our highlighting here. No color. That's looking good. Let's go back to our Mailings tab now. Now we can choose Highlight Merge Fields to see where all the fields are in our letter and preview the results the same way. The gray is not as pretty as the yellow, but it works just fine. Our document is all ready for mail merge now. We are hooked up to a data source, we have matched our fields, we have inserted our merge fields where we need them to be, and so let's save this. But first one more thing: spell-check.
This has a name in it. That's okay. We are going to ignore it, and it says we might want to not put a space here. We can ignore this as well. There is nothing like an error that you send to all kinds of people, because you included it in your primary merge letter. Now that I have proofed this and I feel good about it, we are going to go ahead and save this under a new name, and this is our Merge Apps Letter, and we will call this Final, because it's really ready to go, and we will be using it in the next video. You get a really big jump on creating a simple merge letter simply by using these built-in address blocks that use the fields that you matched up earlier using the Match Fields feature.
Use individual fields within the body of the letter, but try to use the Address Block and Greeting Line to kick off the beginning of your letter in Word 2010.
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