What are the steps to create a mail merge in Microsoft Word?

I need to personalize a batch of invitation letters using Microsoft Word. How can I use the mail merge function to achieve this?

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Using the mail merge function in Microsoft Word is an effective way to personalize batches of documents, whether they're invitation letters, form letters, emails, labels, etc. The fundamental working principle of a mail merge is that you setup a main document with text and fields placeholders, and merge it with a data source (a list of recipients, for example). Here's a simplified step-by-step guide to walk you through the process: **STEP 1: Start a New Mail Merge Document** 1. Open Microsoft Word and select the 'Mailings' tab from the ribbon at the top of the screen. 2. Click 'Start Mail Merge' and select 'Letters' from the dropdown menu. **STEP 2: Select Recipients or List** 1. Click 'Select Recipients'. You'll see three choices - 'Use an Existing List', 'Select from Outlook Contacts', or 'Type a New List'. 2. If you're using an existing list, navigate to your saved list (usually an Excel file), and click 'Open'. Make sure your list has headers like 'First Name', 'Last Name', 'Address', etc., in the first row to aid with mapping. 3. If you decide to type a new list, a dialog box will appear where you can type in your data. **STEP 3: Insert Merge Fields** 1. Navigate to where you would like the variable text (e.g. name or address) to appear in your document. 2. Click 'Insert Merge Field' in the 'Write & Insert Fields' section. This will drop-down a list of the column headers from your recipient list. Select the field you want to be inserted (such as 'First Name'). **STEP 4: Preview and Finish Merge** 1. Click 'Preview Results' on the ribbon to see how your merged documents will look. Use the arrows to scroll through the various documents. 2. If you're satisfied with your document, click 'Finish & Merge' in the 'Finish' section of the 'Mailing' ribbon toolbar and choose your desired options. Typically, it is best to choose 'Edit Individual Documents', which allows you to review each letter before printing or sending them out. Remember, practice makes perfect! If you're new to Mail Merge, you might need to complete this process a few times to get it down. Be patient with yourself and keep this guide handy for reference.
Answered on August 25, 2023.
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