Mail merge, or data merge (InDesign), is an easy way to automate adding unique information into a document. For example, names and addresses into form letters or mailing labels.
How to do it
Step 1: Create a list in excel of the names and addresses.
Step 2: Select [File] + [Save As] and choose Excel Workbook, CSV (Comma delimited) or Text (Tab delimited). Note, for InDesign save as CSV or Text (Tab delimited).
Step 3: Click [Save]
Step 4: In MS Word, create a letter. In the example below, we've highlighted the areas we want to add unique information - the address and name of each person.
Step 5: Select [Mailings] + [Start Mail Merge] + [Letters]
Step 6: Select [Select Recipients] + [Use an Existing List...]
Step 7: Choose existing list and click [Open]
Step 8: Select "Sheet1$" and click [OK]
Step 9: In the document, highlight where you would like to insert a field and select [Insert Merge Field] and choose which field you would like to insert.
Step 10: Repeat step 9 until all fields are inserted as in the example below.
Note, to check that the merge is going to work properly, you can click on [Preview Results]
Step 11: By selecting the fields you can change the location and formatting.
Step 12: When you are happy with the look, Select [Finish & Merge] + [Edit Individual Documents] or directly send to print by selecting [Print Documents].
Congratulations, you've completed a simple mail merge!
Setting up mailing labels is similar to the instructions above.
How to do it
Step 1: As above, create and save a list in excel of the names and addresses.
Step 2: In MS Word, select [Mailings] + [Labels]
Step 3: Select [Options] to change the label size and type.
Step 4: Select [Select Recipients] + [Use an Existing List...]
Step 5: Click in the first blank label and select [Insert Merge Field]. Add all the fields to complete the label. You can copy and paste into the rest of the labels on the page.
Step 6: Important! If you preview the results of above, every label will have the same name and address. To fix this, you need to select [Rules] + [Next Record] and insert this before <<First_Name>> on every label except the first one.
Step 7: You can adjust the location of the text on the label by the ruler at the top or by selecting [Table Tools] + [Layout]
Step 8: To finish the labels, select [Finish & Merge] + [Edit Individual Documents...]
How to do it
Step 1: Follow steps 1, 2 and 3 in the MS Word instructions above to prepare a list of names and addresses.
Step 2: In InDesign, create a letter.
Step 3: Select [Window] + [Utilities] + [Data Merge]
Step 4: In the Data Merge dialogue box, select the small icon on the top right, then [Select Data Source]
Step 5: Select the data source
Step 6: The data will show up in the Data Merge box. In the letter, click where you would like to insert the fields and then click on each field in the Data Merge box.
Step 7: In the Data Merge box you can preview the results and Create Merge icon (top right).
Step 8: When you click on the Create Merge icon (top right), the following dialogue box will appear. Click [OK]
Step 9: A new document will appear with a different page for each name and address.