Among Microsoft Word 2010’s improvements is its integration with Microsoft Excel. This has led to several interesting new options, including the insertion of Excel tables and charts into a Word document. This is in sharp contrast to the features of some of the older versions, which promised much but delivered little.
One popular task that has historically been performed as a two-handed procedure between Excel and Word is that of the mail merge – typically creating a set of address labels using data stored in a spreadsheet and imported into Word.
Microsoft Word 2010 features a new version of the mail merge tool beloved of personal assistants, secretaries and administrative staff the world over.
Let’s take a look at how to create a set of mailing labels with a few address imported from Excel.
Performing a Mail Merge in Word 2010
Before performing a mail merge, you will need a source from which the mail merge will pick up the addresses you want to include. With these, you can create a set of letters, emails or even envelopes.
To begin, in Word go to the Mailings tab and select Start Mail Merge > Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard.
The Wizard will appear as a right-hand column – choose Labels, then Next to continue. At the next stage you will be asked whether you want to use the existing document or one that already exists – choose Use the current document and then move onto the next stage by clicking Next. At this point you will be asked to choose your paper format – select whatever is most appropriate for your task
It is now time to choose your recipients – these can be selected from your Outlook contacts, or picked up from an existing list, typically in Access or Excel. Data from other Word documents or HTML files can also be used. To import from Excel or Access, choose Use an existing list, then Browse… for the file.
Importing Contact Information into Word 2010
Word will ask you to confirm the data in the file, which will then be prepared in the background for importing. If you’re using an Excel import, you will need to select the correct worksheet to bring into Word.
Click Next to arrange your labels, then use the Address block… > Match Fields… tool to assign the imported data fields to the correct values, such as Name, Address Line 1, etc. Once you have completed this, click OK then Update all labels. Click Next to preview the labels – here you might wish to resize the text, so simple select all, go to the Home tab and alter the font size. You can cycle through all of your recipients in the Preview your labels stage of the Wizard, and Edit the recipient list… at any time.
Once the mail merge has completed, you will be ready to print your labels. However don’t go rushing for that label sheet straightaway. Many problems with mail merge can occur after the document has been prepared, at the printing stage.
The worst problems are incorrectly prepared printers, although these issues can be resolved by choosing the right printer drivers. Before printing to a label sheet, however, make sure you do the following:
- Never leave a sheet of labels in the printer for more than a few minutes. The heat from the printer can cause the labels to detach and become stuck to the rollers.
- Make sure your printer is clean inside; dirt and dust can lead to printer jams.
- Print to a plain sheet of paper first and hold this and your label sheet up to the light to check the addresses line up with the label edges.
You’re now all set to print your labels!