Friday, April 3, 2009

Mail Merge - Patricia Wallace

Before I begin, let me first state that I am deeply honored to be selected as a 'Geek'. I am still in the learning stage of my craft as an educator and am very fortunate to be in an environment that encourages learning and sharing of ideas and then kind of doing an ‘a-la-carte’ to tweak new information and strategies to fit your needs and style. I must admit that as a ‘newbie’ to Chets, I feel very privileged to have the opportunity to give something back to our community by having something to share that I think will be beneficial to all who chose to use it.

So let’s begin… What is mail merge? Mail merge is kind of an ‘old school’ technology tool available in MS Word. It is a merge of your data stored in MS Excel or MS Access into a Word document (i.e. labels, letters, brochures, etc.)

There are many videos and tutorials available on the internet on how to use mail merge. The help with MS Word has demos available as well. Here are my 'basic' instructions...

What are some of the different ways I’ve used mail merge? Throughout the year, I use mail merge for customizing my student's labels. Also, I use mail merge for progress reports. And when the time comes, I most definitely use mail merge for diagnostics letters home to parents.

Why do I love to use mail merge? My kids love to see things customized for them. Mail merge is a great tool that allows me to individualize labels and letters home such as progress reports or diagnostics letters. I setup one individual, and then mail merge will automatically setup all other 60 students with a click of a button. No more do I need to first print off all my labels or letters then hand write each student’s information. What an awesome way to save time!

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