This is how you create handy mailing lists in Word

There will undoubtedly be days when you don't send out four hundred letters that all have to be provided with a personal salutation and other personal information. That is precisely why there is a good chance that you are not familiar with the mailing lists function in Word and that you spend hours on something that can be done in a few minutes (and is also less prone to errors). We help you save that time.

1 What are mailing lists?

Mailing lists is a function within Word that allows you to import data from, for example, an Excel document. Suppose you have an Excel document with the data of 25 people, then Word will use the Mailings function to produce 25 documents that contain that data. The rest of the document is completed with standard information that is the same for every document and every letter. So you can generate personal letters very quickly, while you only have to do the work once. Also read: Become a real Word expert in 12 steps.

2 Think for a moment

It sounds a bit clumsy, but slowing down is one of the most useful steps in this workshop. Nothing is more annoying than having everything in pitchers, only to find that you have to adjust the Excel document because you forgot something. Think about what you want in the Word document. To illustrate, we send an invitation to a wedding. First of all, we need name and address details for the address and personal salutation, but we would also like to assign table numbers for dinner. Two hundred guests are coming, so you can imagine that it would be a huge job manually. With a mailing list that is so easy.

3 Create Word Document

Now that you have a basic idea of ​​what you want to put in your document (in our case, a letter), it's time to actually work it out. Start Word and create a new document, via File / New / Empty Document. You can also just choose to use a template, that has no influence on the end result. Then create the document or write the letter you want to send. Complete this letter, including salutation, address at the top right (if applicable) and in our case: assignment of the table numbers. Make the data that you want to have automatically filled in later in bold, so you won't forget it later. By completing the letter, you have a concrete overview for yourself whether you have forgotten anything. Check the document and have it checked by other stakeholders (your partner, colleague, etc.) to make sure you haven't forgotten anything. Save the document.

4 Create Excel document

Then you create the Excel document. Of course, it saves a lot of time if you already have all names and addresses in Excel, so that you only have to add the missing elements. click on File / New / Empty Workbook to create the new document. Templates are not desirable in this case, that only creates confusion, keep it as bare and simple as possible. What's important to know is that the columns in Excel serve as subjects (i.e. name, address, table number, and so on) and the rows serve as an enumeration of all that data, ie, in our case, each row is a different person.

5 Fill out an Excel document

Now you can start filling in the Excel document. In our case, we place the following headings in the first line of the document: First Name, Last Name, Address, Postal Code, City, and Table Number. Once you've done this, block the top row in the document by clicking the tab Image in the ribbon and then Block / Block top row. That's handy; this way you can see in which column you are working with long documents when you scroll down. Then you fill in the document: so on each line of everyone the information that belongs to the headings (in our case, first name, last name, etc.). If you want to send the documents by e-mail, an E-mail address is also required.

Pay attention to the correct cell properties

If you only use text in the Excel document with which you want to generate documents in Word, then you don't have to worry about cell properties. But if you also want to mention amounts in the final document, for example, then cell properties are important. Cell properties tell Excel exactly what the contents of a cell are. Because we may be able to easily see the difference between an amount, a date or a house number, Excel cannot. To tell Excel exactly what the contents of a cell represent, right-click on the cell and choose Cell properties. In the window that appears, you can choose what kind of content the cell contains on the left, and further configure this on the right (for example, by specifying how many numbers to display after the decimal point).

6 Mail Merge Wizard

Your Word document is in the pipeline and all addresses and other information have been entered in the Excel document. Word can do a lot with the information from Excel, but then of course the program must first know which document it concerns and what exactly it should do with it. You can make that link very easily with the help of the wizard in Word. Make sure you have the document in Word where you want to insert the data open and click Mailings / Start Mail Merge / Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard.

7 Select Excel document

Now it's time to make the important choices. You don't have to choose anything in the first step, because we have already created a document. click on Next one and leave the option Using the current document are selected. Click again Next one. Leave the option Using an existing list are selected and click To leaf through. Now navigate to the address file you created and click To open and on OK in the window that appears. You will now see the addresses from the Excel document appear, with the first row (with the descriptions name, address and so on) being used as the header. click on Next one.

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