From the Kenosha News on 11-25-07

Use MailMerge to send your Christmas letters

      If you send out Christmas cards or letters, you can use the Mail Merge feature of MS Word to create mailing labels or print the addresses on your envelopes.  This topic was suggested to me by Val, my dental hygienist.  The instructions below are for Office 2007, but should be similar to Office XP or 2003. 

      Let’s start by creating some mailing labels using the Mail Merge wizard.  Launch MS Word and open a new document.  Click on the Mailings tab.  Click the “Start Mail Merge” button in the second box from the left, and click “Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard.” A new panel will appear at the right to prompt you at each step: 

  • Click Labels, then click “Next: Starting document” at the bottom of the panel. 
  • Select the label size and type by clicking “Label options” in the middle of the panel.  This will open a new dialog box.  Select the correct printer, most likely “page printer” such as a laser or inkjet.  Now select your label type.  If you have a brand name label, such as Avery, select that vendor from the Label Vendors drop-down box, then select the product number of your label.  If you have generic labels or don’t know the type, select Microsoft and pick the label type that most closely matches yours – probably the second “30 per page” item on the list.  Click OK to close the dialog box.  Click “Next: Select recipients” at the bottom.
  • If you do not have an existing list, click “Type a new list,” then click Create and fill out the information in the grid.  When your have finished, you will be prompted to save your entries a special format for merging so that you can use it again later.  If you already have a document containing your addresses, click Browse, and select your document.  More about source documents, below.  When finished, click “Next: Arrange your Labels”
  • Click Address Block.  Take a look at the sample format of the first label.  You may need to do quite a bit of work to get your labels looking right if you are using an existing file.  Once you like what you see, click OK, then click “Update all labels.”  Click “Next: Preview your Labels.” 
  • Check if your labels look correct.  If not, you must edit your source document.  Changes you make here will not carry through to the final document.  “Next: Complete the merge.”
  • If you are very confident all is well, click Print to send the output to your printer.  I recommend instead, that you put the output into a new document by clicking “Edit individual labels.”  Once the labels are in a new document, you can save it to use again later and/or change the font, line spacing, etc.

      If you want to create a source document containing your addresses to be used for multiple merges, I recommend that your type them into Excel.  In the first row, enter your field name:  Name, Address 1, City, State, Zip.  In the second row, enter your first recipient with name in column A, street address in column B, city in column C, etc. 

by Carol Sabbar from the Kenosha News on 11-25-07