Generating Mail Merge documents using Evergreen reports and Microsoft Office 2007

A mail merge is the process of generating a set of documents based on a template document in a word processor and a data source. For the purposes of this document, we will use Microsoft Office 2007 as the word processor, and the Excel spreadsheet that is one of the Evergreen report options as the data source.

In Microsoft Office Word 2007:

  1. Download the Excel file for the report into a location like "My Documents".
  2. At the top of the window, click Mailings -> Start Mail Merge -> Step by step mail merge wizard. This will start a six-step wizard to create a mail merge document.
  3. The document type will default to "letters". Click Next: Starting document down at the bottom right.
  4. On the "Select starting document" pane, you can write a brand new letter form in this document, or import an existing document. You can edit it after, so let's just type in the return address, the basic text, and the closing. Click Next: Select recipients down at the bottom right.
  5. To pull data from the Excel spreadsheet, click Browse... under the "Use an existing list" heading on the right. A data source browsing window opens.
    1. Under the Look in header, select My Computer or My Documents and browse to wherever you downloaded the Excel spreadsheet. Select the spreadsheet and click Open. The Select table dialogue opens.
    2. Click OK to accept the defaults. Evergreen generates reports where the first row is the column heading. This makes our job easy. The Mail merge recipients dialogue opens.
    3. On this screen, you can filter and sort the data however you like. Hopefully the defaults work just fine. Click OK to accept the defaults, or whatever changes you made. The dialogue closes and you are returned to the Select recipients pane. Click Next: Write your letter down at the bottom right to continue editing your letter.
  6. While writing the letter, you can insert standard blocks (Address block..., Greeting line...) or individual fields (More items...).
    • If you click one of the standard blocks, Word will try to match fields like City with a field from the report. You can override those mappings yourself.
    • If you click More items..., you can insert any field from the report at the current position in the document. This is how you can add, for example, the title, author, call number, barcode, checked out date, and due date for a given item.
  7. When your letter is ready to go, with all of the fields ready for replacement, click Next: Preview your letters down at the bottom right. This will select one row from the report and show you what the letter will look like for that row of data.
    • If the letter needs to be changed, click Previous: Write your letter to continue editing it.
    • If the letter is ready, click Next: Complete the merge to generate all of the letters for the report.
  8. At the Complete the merge step, you can either send the letters directly to the printer, or generate a single Word document containing all of the letters separated by page breaks so that you can edit the resulting output.
Last modified 13 years ago Last modified on Nov 16, 2009, 4:27:59 PM