One of the main advantages it offers Microsoft is the data matching function, this has undoubtedly become an advantage for most users, and that it is also a function that is available both in Word, Access, Excel, among other programs.
Being able to have this function also known as data file, will allow users to start use it to fill in the merge fields in mail merges, making this task even easier.
That is why in this post we are going to teach you a little more about these data sources and what are the main steps to configure a correspondence data source in Microsoft Word, To do this, follow in detail everything that we will explain below.
What is a correspondence data source and what is it for in Word?
Data files or matching data sources is a place where take some data, as its name indicates. This function has as objective to be able to fill in the corresponding fields with each of the data have there stored correctly.
Furthermore, these sources can be any type of data with any file format, while the program be able to read this data will be valid. In the case of Microsoft Office has several programs capable of developing this function, such as calculation software like Excel, databases like Access or word processors like Word.
In the case of Microsoft Word, the most common way to carry out this procedure is to have a Mail merge from data taken from an Excel document. It should be noted that any Text file can serve as a data source either a flat file or a real database file. So it can give rise to form letters, labels, envelopes, directories, email messages, among others.
Steps to configure the source of correspondence data in Microsoft Word
Taking into account everything mentioned above, and knowing in a way clearer what is this tool offered by Microsoft, now it only remains to explain what are the main steps So you can configure the source of the correspondence data in the word processor.
It is important to mention that there are three ways to choose the type of list to be used as a data source. To do this, follow each of the methods that we are going to teach you below:
The first way is by creating a new list in case it does not yet have any data source, keep in mind that the list that is created will be saved as a data file that can be used whenever you need it, to create it you must follow these steps:
- The first thing will be to go to “Archive”, In the menu that appears there you must select the item from “New” and then “Blank document”.
- Now when you are in the new document you must select the tab “Correspondence” located on the ribbon and there select the icon of “Select recipients”.
- In the options that appear there you must select “Write new list”.
- Now you will see a dialog box on the screen where you should create your new address list, here you must write the corresponding information for each of the recipients in their respective columns. Keep in mind that here you can add as many recipients as necessary.
- To add new records you must select “New Entry”.
- In case you need to add new columns to add new orders then you need to click on the option “Customize columns”.
- At this point you must select the name of the field you want to add and click on To accept, In the case that none is the one you want to add to the list then you must click on “Add”.
- At new frame that appears on the screen you must choose a filename you want and “OK”.
- Once you finish adding all the necessary data in the list, click on “To accept”.
- In the box “Save address list” you must put a name and click on “Save” this way you will be creating your data source list.
From an existing list
The other way to carry out this procedure is through Excel spreadsheets or from lto Access database or any other data program that allows to execute this function.
In the case of Microsoft Excel, this Spreadsheet works as a data source that is formatted correctly for the Word word processor can read them correctly.
To do this from Excel you need to perform the following steps:
- The first thing you should do is create excel data source, which will be used for the word mail merge. In this case, you need to check that the columns of numeric data are in the correct format.
- This means that it must create a number column to match a category as currency or percentage.
- In the case of percentage you must be very careful when choosing, since you must bear in mind that the percentage format will multiply each value in the cells by 100. In order to avoid this you must assign the format text to a percentage column.
- It is very important to be able map zip codes to text for so retain data during a mail merge.
- In this case you must choose the column containing postal codes or other data those you want to format.
- There you must go to the tab “Start” and select “Number”, then select the arrow below “Number format” and then choose some of the options that appear there.
- Here it is important that you make sure add corresponding symbols before or after each merge field. Then you can see the appearance of symbols if they are omitted and if they are included.
- In the mail merge documents it’s necessary that symbols are added before or after merge fields, as shown on the screen.
In the event that you want to perform this procedure from the Access database, you will be able to do it by selecting any table or query defined in the database. This process is very similar to the one mentioned with Microsoft Excel.
In the event that you want to perform this procedure from other database files, you will be able to do it by following these steps that we will teach you below:
- The first thing will be to enter “Correspondence” and there choose the option of “Select recipients”, “Use an existing list”.
- Now in the dialog box select the option “Data origin” and then “New origin” so you can open the “Wizard for data connection.”
- The next thing will be to select the type of data source you want to use for the mail merge. Once you have selected it, you must click on “Next”.
- Here you must follow each of the indications that are being indicated to you at “Data Connection Wizard” so you can complete this procedure with the merge document.
From the Outlook contact list
Another way to be able to retrieve contact information is through Outlook using your contact list in Word.
To do this, you must follow the steps that we will indicate below:
- The first thing will be to enter the Outlook platform and there you go to the option of “Contacts”.
- Once you are in “Contacts” you must select all the names you want include in the list. In case you want include all addresses you can also do.
- The next thing will be to go to “Start” and there you select “Combination of correspondence”.
- Here you must select the option you want and then click on “To accept”.
- Now in Microsoft Word you must go to the tab “Correspondence” and insert mail merge fields that extract information from the Outlook contact list.
- The following will be add the text you want in each of the documents, labels, post message, envelopes, among others.
- You must choose the results preview and then click on “Next” or “Previous” to see each of the documents established there.
- For complete and finish this procedure, you must go to “Finalize” and there choose “Finish & combine” and then click in “Print document or send email message” Here choose the method you want to finish the matching data source process.
If you have any questions, leave them in the comments, we will answer you as soon as possible, and it will also be of great help to more members of the community. Thank you! 😉