To become familiar with the mail-merge process, you can use the Mail Merge wizard to create letters, e-mail messages, envelopes, labels, and directories. When you are comfortable with the process, you can use the individual buttons on the Mailings tab to create and modify mail-merge documents.
The mail-merge process works by combining static information from one document with variable information from another document. The static information is stored in a main document, such as a form letter. You insert merge fields into this document to tell Word where to merge items of variable information. The variable information is stored in a data source. This file is organized into sets of information, called records, with each record containing the same items, called fields.
You can use a structured file created in another program, such as an Excel worksheet, an Access database, or a contacts list from Outlook, Windows Mail, or Outlook Express, as a data source.
You don't have to use all the records in a data source in the mail-merge process. You can filter the data and exclude specific records.
You can merge the main document and the data source into a new document that can be edited and saved, or you can print the merged documents directly on your printer.