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Use Word fields to customize your form letters

When you need to send out two versions of a form letter, you don't have to create separate mail merge documents. Using Word's IF field, you can vary the text based on criteria you set.

At the end of the month, you send out a statement for each customer's account. You would like to send one statement to customers with outstanding balances and a second one to those with a $0 balance. You do not have to create two different mail merge documents. You can use the same mail merge document for both types of customers. Follow these steps:

  1. Open a blank document.
  2. In Word 2002/2003, right-click any toolbar and select Mail Merge. In Word 2007, click the Mailings tab.
  3. In Word 2002/2003, click the Select Data Source button. In Word 2007, click Select Recipients and then click Use Existing List.
  4. Navigate to the Customer database and click Open.
  5. Select the Customer table and then click OK.
  6. Click in the document. The figure below shows inserted fields after toggling field codes.

  1. Click the Insert Merge Field button.
  2. Select Customer_Number.
  3. Press Enter.
  4. Click the Insert Merge Field button and select Name.
  5. Press Enter.
  6. Click the Insert Merge Field button and select City. Press Enter.
  7. Click the Insert Merge Field button and select State. Press Enter.
  8. Click the Insert Merge Field button and select Zip Code. Press Enter twice.
  9. Type "The balance for the
  10. Click the Insert Merge field button and select Customer_Number.
  11. Type "account is ".
  12. Click the Insert Merge Field button and select Balance.
  13. In Word 2002/2003, click the Insert Word Fields button in the Mail Merge toolbar. In Word 2007, click Rules, then click If ...Then...Else.
  14. Enter the fields as shown below and click OK.

  1. Save the Mail Merge Main document as Monthly_statements. (To check your work, select the text in the document, right-click, and select Toggle Field Codes, as we did in the first figure.)

To produce the statements:

  1. Open the Monthly_statements document.
  2. In Word 2002/2003, click the Merge To New Document button on the Mail Merge toolbar. In Word 2007, click Finish And Merge and then select Edit Individual Documents. Click OK.


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