Learn how to set up your template using merge fields, and make sure all the data matches up correctly.
- [Instructor] We've identified who we're sending our letter to, we've made sure the Excel file is all nice and tidy and in merge condition, now, let's write our letter. I'm in Microsoft Word, still on the mailings tab and now I can just start typing my text as normal. In fact, I'm going to paste in some things that I've already written. Here's my letter about the old drone receiver and how it's being discontinued. I'm going to zoom out a little bit on the bottom right just so that you can see it more clearly. We need to select our recipients. I did show you that in the Excel file and I showed you what the three options were but we never told this Word document to use an existing list. So, still in that mailings tab, I'll click select recipients and I'll choose to use an existing list which is the option if you have an Excel file. I'll browse my computer. I stored it on the desktop. Here it is, so I'll select it and click open. Now it's giving me the option to select the worksheet. We only have the one sheet in that Excel file so I'll make sure it's selected and I'll make sure there's a check mark beside first row data contains column headers. Click okay. And while initially nothing appears to have happened, some things that were grayed out now are available for us to use. For example, I can click edit recipient list and edit that Excel file right from here. In fact on the bottom right hand side of the screen I can click and drag to make this a little bit bigger. This is everything that was in that Excel file. Something fun that you can do from here is further refine your list. For example, here's a state field. If I only wanted to do this mail merge and send this letter to people who lived in a certain state, I can filter it. At the bottom of the dialog where it says refine recipient list, I'm going to click filter. I'll click the down arrow next to field and it's pulling these right from those column headers in Excel. I'll choose my state field and I'll leave equal to and I'll put in a state. I'll click okay and it refines the list. To get everything back, click filter again and then just choose clear all. I'll click okay and everything's back. So you can filter based on any particular field in that Excel file. You can also click find duplicates if your list wasn't that tidy to begin with. Finally, if you want to leave out certain people, you can always uncheck them from this list. I'm going to keep everybody selected and I'll click okay. What we need to do now is take this text and turn them into merge fields. For example, I'll start by deleting the text dear customer. Let's put in a proper greeting. Still in the mailings ribbon tab, I'm going to click greeting line. It's going to give me some choices. I can click any of these arrows for a pull down menu and further refine this. For example, I do want it to say dear, but I don't want the first and last name; that's too formal for me. So I'll scroll all the way down and pick just the first name. I can also choose whether I want a comma, a colon, or nothing. I'll keep the comma. If it has trouble with the first name, I can manually override this and this is what it will put it in its place. I'm going to keep it as dear sir or madam. Finally, I can click these arrows to preview it directly from my list to see how it's going to look. If you notice that this first name field isn't matching up, for example, maybe you have a zip code in here instead, click match fields down at the bottom. This is going to allow you to match up certain known fields with what's in your Excel file. For example, Word is going to look for something called first name. I can click this pull down and choose which header file in my Excel document I want it to use. I'll click cancel on this. Everything looks good so I'll click okay. There's one more thing I want to do. Because this is a business letter, I want their address to appear at the top so I'm going to hit the enter key a few times to make some room, and still on the ribbon tab, I'll click address block. I do want the user's first and last name, so I'll keep it this way and I can see a preview of what that address block is going to look like on the right hand side. I can match more fields up if I run into the same problem of fields not lining up in the right place that they should. This looks great so I'll click okay. Here's our address block. This looks great so we're just about ready to go. In the next video, I'm going to show you how we'll finally merge and create our documents.