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How to Create Form Letters in Word

Sometimes you may need to create a letter that you will be sending to many different people, but you want certain parts of it to be individualized for each recipient: parts such as greeting, name, address, etc. In Word In language, this means that you should create a letter template, which is really easy to do.

Before you start working with email templates, you should make sure that you already have a database set up with all the fields you want to include. A database can be as simple as an Excel spreadsheet with columns for first name, last name, address, etc.

Word can import data from Excel, Access, and text documents. If you don’t already have a database, you can always create one in Word, and I’ll show you how.

Create sample letters in Word

First, create a document with standard text, like in the Christmas letter example below:

Please note that there is no greeting, address, etc. in it, because they will all be added later as fields in our letter form. The first thing you need to do is click on “Select recipients” in the “Mailings” tab:

This is where you add people who will receive the email, or import a list from a database file.

You can click New List Type if you want to create a list inside Word itself. To import, click “Use an existing list”. In this example, we’ll just print a list.

Note. When you move on to saving the recipient list, Word will prompt you for a location on your hard drive to save the data file that it will create.

After saving the recipient list, you will notice that many of the icons on the Mailings ribbon are now clickable.

To start adding fields to your letter form, click in the document to indicate where you want to place the field, and then click Address Block.

The Insert Address Block dialog box appears.

Click OK to go to the default format and you should get something like this:

Then add Enter after the address block to move the text down the line, then click the welcome bar icon:

The Insert Greeting Line dialog box appears.

Once again, let’s leave the default format and just click OK.

Then highlight the space labeled

, right-click, select Paragraph, and select the Do not add spaces between paragraphs of the same style check box.

This will result in the correct connection of the address block, instead of having an empty line between each part.

Then click the Result Preview icon located on the Mailings tab on the ribbon.

Now, instead of the address block field indicator, you should see the actual content as specified in the Word document.

When you’re done previewing, click the results preview icon to turn off previews. Then, to see how to add other fields, click immediately behind

in your document to make it the current location, then click the Insert Merge Field icon.

You should end up with something like this:

Select your country or region, then click the Insert button.

Try clicking the View Results icon again to see what it looks like. Here’s my example below:

Now that the email template is configured correctly, you can perform more complex operations, such as setting up rules. Rules will let you show one text to certain recipients and hide it to others. Click the “Rules” button to get started.

You will see a dropdown menu with several options like Ask, Fill, etc.

For our example, let’s select If… Then… Else, which will take us to the following dialog:

Change the field name: to Country_or_ Region and enter USA in the Compare to: field. Then add text to the boxes that say “Insert this text” and “Otherwise, insert this text.”

In this example, if the recipient lives in the United States, they will receive the text Merry Christmas embedded in their letter, and everyone else will receive the message Seasons Greetings . P>

This is how it will look after you click OK and then Preview Results.

Then take a look at the Preview section:

Here you can press the arrow buttons (when View Results is on) to the left and right of the number to scroll through all the emails that will be sent. This way, you can be sure that all of your emails will look correct before being printed or emailed.

Note. The field matching menu item in the Rules section is used to match the field names in the database with the header names in the recipient list.

Also, to make it easier to see where you inserted the fields into the document, use the Highlight Merge Fields button.

This is a switch that you can turn on and off as you like. Finally, when you are happy with your letter, click the Done & Merge icon:

You should receive this dropdown menu with three options.

Select Edit Individual Documents to have Word consolidate all of your letters into one large document that you can preview before printing or emailing.

As you can see, creating letter templates with Word is no longer the chore as it used to be, and you can create and send documents quickly and easily. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!

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