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How to create series letters
in Word 2016

The function to create series letters Word actually has from the beginning, and of course always offers when the content of a message is always the same, and only the recipient changes.

But as long as there is this function, as long as there are always uncertainties about how fields must be inserted, and how the data source for the e-mail addresses and the salutation because now works exactly.

In our article we describe step by step how to create series letters with Word 2016, and what to look for.

Creating series letters in Word 2016
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How to create series letters in Word 2016

The function to create series letters Word actually has from the beginning, and of course always offers when the content of a message is always the same, and only the recipient changes.

But as long as there is this function, as long as there are always uncertainties about how fields must be inserted, and how the data source for the e-mail addresses and the salutation because now works exactly.

In our article we describe step by step how to create series letters with Word 2016, and what to look for.

Creating series letters in Word 2016
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Xbox One X Battlefield V Gold Rush Special Edition...*
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1. Prepare / select the address list

1. Prepare / select the address list

In order for Word to be able to create series letters, it needs a data source / address list that can be accessed.

In this all necessary information like:

  • salutation
  • Name, first Name
  • House no.
  • Postcode / town

be saved.

Basically, you can use almost any database where the contacts are reasonably organized. This can be an Excel list, or an Access database, or even your Outlook contact list. If you have not prepared yet, you can set it up under Word, and then save it later as an Access file.

See picture: (click to enlarge)

1. Series letter Create recipient list
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Important:
In the database, it is particularly important that this has a clean structure. What does that mean in columns and lines already mentioned above? Information is organized.

For our example, let’s just take an Excel list with fictitious names and addresses to illustrate. Here you can see how the whole thing should be organized.

Of course, they are not just set to the columns shown here, but you can add as many others as you like. These will be available later in the selection of merge fields.

See picture: (click to enlarge)

2. Excel recipient list for series letter
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If you later want to work with such an Excel list, you should also save it under a correspondingly clear name on your computer if you later need it again.

It certainly can not hurt to keep your contacts in a well-organized location.

In order for Word to be able to create series letters, it needs a data source / address list that can be accessed.

In this all necessary information like:

  • salutation
  • Name, first Name
  • House no.
  • Postcode / town

be saved.

Basically, you can use almost any database where the contacts are reasonably organized. This can be an Excel list, or an Access database, or even your Outlook contact list. If you have not prepared yet, you can set it up under Word, and then save it later as an Access file.

See picture:

1. Series letter Create recipient list
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Important:
In the database, it is particularly important that this has a clean structure. What does that mean in columns and lines already mentioned above? Information is organized.

For our example, let’s just take an Excel list with fictitious names and addresses to illustrate. Here you can see how the whole thing should be organized.

Of course, they are not just set to the columns shown here, but you can add as many others as you like. These will be available later in the selection of merge fields.

See picture:

2. Excel recipient list for series letter
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If you later want to work with such an Excel list, you should also save it under a correspondingly clear name on your computer if you later need it again.

It certainly can not hurt to keep your contacts in a well-organized location.

2. Insert the merge fields in the recipient field

2. Insert the merge fields in the recipient field

Now that we have completed a data source, we can already start creating our series letter.

So that the address field also sits where it should sit, and later (for the mailing) fits into an envelope with a viewing window, we set the page margins in the layout as follows:

  • Above: 4.5 cm
  • Left: 2.5 cm
  • Right: 2.5 cm
  • Below: 2.0 cm
  • Gutter: 0.0 cm
  • Gutter position: left
  • Orientation: Portrait

Note:
On the topic “Letter templates” we also have a separate article, which you can look at here >>>

First, we’ll set the previously created data source.

To do this we go to the “Shipments” tab and select “Recipient” and then “Use Existing List” again. In the following dialog window, simply select your created list, and then confirm in the second window that our columns have headers.

See picture: (click to enlarge)

3. Excel recipient list for series letter
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As a next step, we will insert our merge fields, starting with the field “Salutation”, and then correspondingly below:

  • First Name
  • Surname
  • Street, house number
  • Postcode / town

For this we go again in the tab “Shipments” on “Insert merge field” and select there “Salutation”.

Here you can also immediately see which merge fields are available. Namely exactly which of the column headers of our data source are the same.

See picture: (click to enlarge)

4. Insert merge fields
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When the recipient field is finished, the placeholders of our column headers will be everywhere, and Word will automatically fill them with the corresponding entries.

See picture: (click to enlarge)

5. Recipient field with merge fields
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Now that we have completed a data source, we can already start creating our series letter.

So that the address field also sits where it should sit, and later (for the mailing) fits into an envelope with a viewing window, we set the page margins in the layout as follows:

  • Above: 4.5 cm
  • Left: 2.5 cm
  • Right: 2.5 cm
  • Below: 2.0 cm
  • Gutter: 0.0 cm
  • Gutter position: left
  • Orientation: Portrait

Note:
On the topic “Letter templates” we also have a separate article, which you can look at here >>>

First, we’ll set the previously created data source.

To do this we go to the “Shipments” tab and select “Recipient” and then “Use Existing List” again. In the following dialog window, simply select your created list, and then confirm in the second window that our columns have headers.

See picture:

3. Excel recipient list for series letter
300x250_PlatinumDouble
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As a next step, we will insert our merge fields, starting with the field “Salutation”, and then correspondingly below:

  • First Name
  • Surname
  • Street, house number
  • Postcode / town

For this we go again in the tab “Shipments” on “Insert merge field” and select there “Salutation”.

Here you can also immediately see which merge fields are available. Namely exactly which of the column headers of our data source are the same.

See picture:

4. Insert merge fields
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When the recipient field is finished, the placeholders of our column headers will be everywhere, and Word will automatically fill them with the corresponding entries.

See picture:

5. Recipient field with merge fields
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3. Set Rules for the Salutation

3. Set Rules for the Salutation

After we have inserted our letterhead with the appropriate merge fields and also the subject, now comes the point where the salutation is concerned.

Now you could just type in “Dear Sir / Madam”, but that looks pretty unprofessional and is also impersonal. The problem that arises now is “How should Word know who is man and who is a woman” and then adjust the salutation accordingly?

The solution is that we set rules for it. We do this (similar to Excel) with a “IF- THEN- ELSE” rule

To do this, we go back to the tab “Shipments” and click on “Rules” and select “If … Then … Else…”.

Here we can say: IF SALUTATION = Mr. / THEN = Dear Mr. / ELSE = Dear Mrs.

Of course, you can also extend this, which is especially useful if there is no specific contact person and, for example, addresses an organization or a company.

Then you could specify an additional rule that says: IF ANREDE = empty / THEN = Ladies and Gentlemen, or IF ANREDE = Company / THEN = Ladies and Gentlemen. And the ELSE rule just leave blank.

So here you are not just relying on a single rule, you can set several.

See picture: (click to enlarge)

6. The If-Then-Else rule in the series letter
7. Insert rules in the series letter
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Now that the rule is set, we can position our cursor in the line where the salutation should be, and insert a greeting line.

Again, go back to the tab “Shipments” then “Greeting Line” and confirm with “OK”. You also have the opportunity to check a preview of the respective salutation to see if the rule has been set correctly.

Of course, you can also use the merge fields everywhere in the flowing text to give the whole an even more personal touch. This is also how we like to work in advertising letters, which the reader is repeatedly addressed with his name.

See picture: (click to enlarge)

8. Insert greeting line in series letter
9. Personal address in the series letter

If you have finished your text so far, you can now get a preview before printing / shipping, to check whether everything was really done right.

Especially with serial letters, mistakes can of course have fatal consequences, and the iron is not as easy to get out of the fire as if you made a mistake only with a receiver.

To view the preview go back to the tab “Shipments” and then to “Preview Results”.
Here you can easily switch through the receiver with the arrow keys.

See picture: (click to enlarge)

10. Preview serial letter
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After we have inserted our letterhead with the appropriate merge fields and also the subject, now comes the point where the salutation is concerned.

Now you could just type in “Dear Sir / Madam”, but that looks pretty unprofessional and is also impersonal. The problem that arises now is “How should Word know who is man and who is a woman” and then adjust the salutation accordingly?

The solution is that we set rules for it. We do this (similar to Excel) with a “IF- THEN- ELSE” rule

To do this, we go back to the tab “Shipments” and click on “Rules” and select “If … Then … Else…”.

Here we can say: IF SALUTATION = Mr. / THEN = Dear Mr. / ELSE = Dear Mrs.

Of course, you can also extend this, which is especially useful if there is no specific contact person and, for example, addresses an organization or a company.

Then you could specify an additional rule that says: IF ANREDE = empty / THEN = Ladies and Gentlemen, or IF ANREDE = Company / THEN = Ladies and Gentlemen. And the ELSE rule just leave blank.

So here you are not just relying on a single rule, you can set several.

See picture:

6. The If-Then-Else rule in the series letter
7. Insert rules in the series letter
friendsurance.de
Anzeige

Now that the rule is set, we can position our cursor in the line where the salutation should be, and insert a greeting line.

Again, go back to the tab “Shipments” then “Greeting Line” and confirm with “OK”. You also have the opportunity to check a preview of the respective salutation to see if the rule has been set correctly.

Of course, you can also use the merge fields everywhere in the flowing text to give the whole an even more personal touch. This is also how we like to work in advertising letters, which the reader is repeatedly addressed with his name.

See picture:

8. Insert greeting line in series letter
9. Personal address in the series letter

If you have finished your text so far, you can now get a preview before printing / shipping, to check whether everything was really done right.

Especially with serial letters, mistakes can of course have fatal consequences, and the iron is not as easy to get out of the fire as if you made a mistake only with a receiver.

To view the preview go back to the tab “Shipments” and then to “Preview Results”.
Here you can easily switch through the receiver with the arrow keys.

See picture:

10. Preview serial letter
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4. Print a series letter for the mailing

4. Print a series letter for the mailing

If you want to print out your series letter and send it by mail, go back to the tab “Shipments”“Start Mail Merge” and select “Letters”.

Afterwards, continue in the column “Finish and merge”“Print documents”

See picture: (click to enlarge)

11. Print a series letter
12. Finish and merge mail merge letter
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If you want to print out your series letter and send it by mail, go back to the tab “Shipments”“Start Mail Merge” and select “Letters”.

Afterwards, continue in the column “Finish and merge”“Print documents”

See picture:

11. Print a series letter
12. Finish and merge mail merge letter
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5. Send a series letter by e-mail

5. Send a series letter by e-mail

Of course it is most economical to send the form letter by e-mail.

However, here it is helpful to have an additional merge field inserted in our data source, in which the e-mail addresses are assigned to the respective recipients.

If you have not done this in advance, you can easily add a column to your e-mail address table later. To have Word accept this field, follow these steps:

  • Save serial letter
  • Open data source
  • Add a column with e-mail addresses
  • Save and close the data source

When you reopen your series letter afterwards, the new mail merge field will be available with the email addresses.

Note:
You can not make any changes to the data source while the form letter is open. This can only be opened during read-only.

To start sending by e-mail, go back to “Shipments”“E-mail messages” and then again “Finish and merge”“Send e-mail messages”

In the following dialog box, select the mail merge field “E-Mail”, add the subject line and then have the option to send all or select only certain recipients.

See picture: (click to enlarge)

13. Send a mailing list by e-mail
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And that was it.

As you have seen, you can use the mail merge feature to do a whole lot, not just quickly reaching multiple recipients, but also giving each letter a personal touch.

Of course it is most economical to send the form letter by e-mail.

However, here it is helpful to have an additional merge field inserted in our data source, in which the e-mail addresses are assigned to the respective recipients.

If you have not done this in advance, you can easily add a column to your e-mail address table later. To have Word accept this field, follow these steps:

  • Save serial letter
  • Open data source
  • Add a column with e-mail addresses
  • Save and close the data source

When you reopen your series letter afterwards, the new mail merge field will be available with the email addresses.

Note:
You can not make any changes to the data source while the form letter is open. This can only be opened during read-only.

To start sending by e-mail, go back to “Shipments”“E-mail messages” and then again “Finish and merge”“Send e-mail messages”

In the following dialog box, select the mail merge field “E-Mail”, add the subject line and then have the option to send all or select only certain recipients.

See picture:

13. Send a mailing list by e-mail
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And that was it.

As you have seen, you can use the mail merge feature to do a whole lot, not just quickly reaching multiple recipients, but also giving each letter a personal touch.

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About the author:

Michael Suhr
Michael SuhrWebdesigner / Economist
After 20 years in logistics management, I have been working as a freelance web designer and office trainer since the beginning of 2015. Incidentally, I give tips and tricks for more digital skills in my blog as time permits.

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About the author:

Michael Suhr
Michael SuhrWebdesigner / Economist
After 20 years in logistics management, I have been working as a freelance web designer and office trainer since the beginning of 2015. Incidentally, I give tips and tricks for more digital skills in my blog as time permits.

Search by category:

Anzeige
LG G7 ThinQ Smartphone (15,47 cm (6,1 Zoll) FullVision LCD Display, 64GB interner Speicher, 4GB RAM, Einstellbare Notch, IP68, MIL-STD-810G, Android 8.0) Schwarz
List Price: € 459.00 You Save: € 35.00 (8%)  Price: € 424.00 zum Angebot*
Price incl. VAT., Excl. Shipping
*Zuletzt aktualisiert am 14. November 2018 um 22:22 . Preise können sich geändert haben. Alle Angaben ohne Gewähr.
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