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Old 04-21-2011, 11:43 AM   #1
Mare of Earth
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Do these instructions make sense to everyone?

I have an important writing assignment, and I need some feedback.
If you have time - read below and let me know if these instructions make sense to you (or don't make sense - that is kind of the point! ).
Thank you for any feedback!
Mare

A Mail Merge is a quick and efficient way to create customized documents for mailings. Using a main document and a data sheet of recipients, Microsoft Word will customize one document per recipient in the data sheet.

Open Microsoft Word 2007. Start > All Programs > Microsoft Office > Word 2007

Set up your Main Document. This can be a letter, an email message, an envelope, a label sheet, or a directory.
If you already have a document you want to use as your Main Document, open it by left-clicking on the Office button (round button with a multi-colored symbol in the upper left corner of the window), select Open, and then navigate to where you saved the document. Left-click on the document name, and then left-click on the Open button at the bottom of the selection window.
If you are creating the document from scratch, please refer to the Single Point Lesson Plan concerning the type of document you are creating.


Once your Main Document is open or complete, left-click on the Mailings tab at the top of the window, and left-click on Start Mail Merge. Select the type of document from the drop-down menu by left-clicking on your selection.

Next, click on Select Recipients and choose the data source you will select the Recipients from. You can create a new list of recipients, you can open a previously created list of recipients, or you can pull recipients from your saved Outlook Contacts.
- If Type New List is chosen, a data entry window will open. Enter in the data for your recipients, using the tab key to move to the next field. When all recipients are entered, save your file with an appropriate file name. Once saved, you will return to your Main Document screen. Left click on Select Recipients again and select Use Existing List from the drop-down menu.
- If Select From Outlook Contacts is chosen, a window will appear that lists the available Outlook Contact folders. Select the appropriate folder, and left-click on OK. This then brings up the Mail Merge Recipients window.

Open your Data Source by browsing to the folder within which you saved your Data Source file, left-clicking on the file name you saved your data file under, then left-clicking on the Open button at the bottom of the window.
Left-click on Edit Recipient List to open the Mail Merge Recipients window. This window allows you to organize, review, and make corrections to the recipients from your Data Source.

Sort the data by clicking on the name of the column you would like to sort the recipients by. If you would like to sort by last name, click on the column name LastName.

The next step is to insert the Merge Fields into your document.
Place the cursor in the document where you would like the data to appear by left-clicking at the insertion point.
On the Mailings tab in the Write & Insert Fields group click the bottom half of the Insert Merge Field button to activate the drop-down menu that contains the field names from your data source.
Select the name of the field from the drop-down menu that you want to insert at the chosen point. The field will appear in your document as <FieldName>. Repeat this step until all of the desired fields are entered into your Main document.

Now left-click on Finish & Merge to create your merged document. Look over your merged document carefully. If the merged document is incorrect, close the window without saving and return to your Main Document. Make the necessary adjustments to your Main Document and then left-click Finish & Merge again to create your Merged Document. When the merged document is exactly how you want it to be, save, then print as desired.

Last edited by Mare of Earth; 04-21-2011 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 04-21-2011, 02:56 PM   #2
jbcohen
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Depends on who your audiance is. Members of these forums tend to be rather tech savy people so we are more capable then most of understanding these sorts of instructions. If you are talking to the average joe on the street then you are going to need to be a lot more basic with your instructions by leaving out lengthy discussions that take on concepts and convey ideas to your audiance. I typically put instructions in the form of a numbered list:

1) Start
2) All Programs
3) Microsoft Office
4) Microsoft Word
5) Insert
6) Main Document

Like that.
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Old 04-21-2011, 06:48 PM   #3
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I think it is pretty good. I'm not sure about a number list though like jbcohen mentions, most instructions I've seen, especially when you're navigating a menu have been shown like you did with the > between them.

If you can do it I'd add screen shots through out, those are very helpful to people that may not be familiar with it.

The other thing I'd do is make clear breaks between the sections: create the main document, create the mail list, add the merge fields, and merge and finish. That helps to break it up a bit for the reader so it is not just one long list of instructions. Formatting like headers, bold, and italics helps with that too.

The only other thing you may want to do is remove the part about opening Office and creating and saving a document. I only suggest that because it is not part of the topic your teaching, it would make the instructions shorter, and can be easily referenced to an another source like you did with creating a document from scratch.

Finally, if you have the time, have some people run through them with you sitting there and them actually doing it on the computer to see how they work for them.

Good luck, let us know if you get an A!!
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:28 PM   #4
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Might want to specify it's for MS Word 2007 ONLY. Both the previous and and subsequent versions of Word have different UIs.
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Old 04-21-2011, 08:49 PM   #5
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Are you allowed to use any images?

Like this for example.

http://www.pixel2life.com/publish/tu...oft_word_2007/
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