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Prepare for the holidays: Write and send a newsletter with Word

Data being sourced from Outlook contacts, a spreadsheet, and a database

Your recipients' details can be kept in a number of different programs.

To do a mail merge, you need to have a list of contacts—friends, family members, and so on—that also includes other details, such as their addresses.

You can create this list in a Microsoft Excel worksheet or a Microsoft Access database, or you can create it in Word as you set up your mail merge (you'll do this in the practice session). The file where the contacts are stored is called a data source.

Another popular data source is your Microsoft Outlook Contacts folder. See the course So that's how! Great Outlook features to organize your contacts for more information on Outlook Contacts.

If you haven't done so already, start setting up a list of holiday contacts that can be used year after year (for example, an Excel worksheet or Access table).

Before you start a mail merge, check your data source. Does it have the correct information in it? Do you need to update any names or addresses?

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