Many different data sources can be used with Word 2016 for Mac, including a Word table, Outlook contacts, Apple contacts, data from FileMaker Pro or Excel, or a new data source created for this mail merge. If data is stored in a different format, that data can often be exported to a supported format such as Excel for Mac.
- If you're just joining us, this is a file that we had saved at the end of the last movie. You'll find it in the Exercise files, Chapter One folder. You have access to those files and it's called "Merge-Brochure Letter." We have converted this to a mail-merge letter. We did that in the prior movie. Now, we need to select a data source to match up with this and if you click the list on "Select Recipients," you'll notice that we have some choices: "Create a New List," "Use an Existing List," "Choose from Outlook Contacts," "use your Apple Contacts," "use data that's in FileMaker Pro." Of all of these items, for me, the first is actually our last resort.
I wish it wasn't the first thing on this list because, any time I can use existing data that's on my computer, that is on my network, that is somewhere in the cloud for my organization, I'm better off for two reasons. One, I'm not spending time entering data and then needing to then have it proofed or checked to make sure that all the data's accurate. But, additionally, I'm not the long-term manager for this new data set going forward then. So I will go out of my way to try to find an existing list or use Outlook Contacts or something that I have access to already when I'm selecting my recipients.
If I'm only going to do a mail-merge occasionally, maybe once or twice a year, then I might ask whoever has a set of data to export that to Microsoft Excel for me because that's another great tool that I can use Excel for the Mac creates existing lists. Or I might ask my IT department to take a data set and export it as a text file or a delimited file. Again, lots of choices that we have because, when I choose "Use an Existing List," and look at what's listed under "All Files, "Word Documents," "Rich Text Format" or RTF files...
If you don't remember where those come from, they come from applications like Microsoft WordPad, other word processors that don't use the docx format. ...a "Text File" with, perhaps, commas separating the different items, "MS DOS Text," and "FileMaker Pro Database," lots of different choices that we have here to be able to choose a set of data that's actually going to work for us. If I don't have access to an existing list then I will need to create a new one. An example of when I might need to create a new list is, if I have a sign-up sheet at a workshop and I have people enter their information, or even if I have people throw business cards in a fishbowl but I don't have a card scanner, then I will be creating a new list to enter this information because that data set doesn't exist.
I'll show you how to use these different methods of selecting recipients in the next few movies.
Gini von Courter takes a deep dive into mail merge, showing how to efficiently create personalized letters, envelopes, labels, and even email messages. She explains how to connect to data sources in Excel, create new data sources, and add attachments to merged email messages. Plus, she covers how to troubleshoot mail merge issues, use rules like If…Then…Else for advanced mail merges, and more.
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- Selecting recipients from Outlook and Apple contacts
- Selecting recipients from FileMaker Pro data
- Mail merging data from an Excel spreadsheet
- Filtering recipients
- Inserting merge fields
- Sending merged email
- Troubleshooting mail merged letters
- Creating personalized email messages
- Creating envelopes, labels, and directories
- Using rules for customized merges