Microsoft has a series of articles describing the process, but it basically involves two parts, the main document and a data file. The Microsoft article applies to Word 2003/2002, but we'll assume that you are using Word 2007.
The Main Document
- Open or compose the document (letter, exam, etc.) that you want to use
- In Word 2007 click on the Mailings tab, click Start Mail Merge then click Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard... the Mail Merge wizard pops up on the right
- You'll likely want to choose Letters as the document type, then click Next: Starting document at the bottom right
- Choose Use the current document unless you skipped step 1. above. Click Next: Select recipients
- You are now given the option to Use an existing list or Type a new list . If you have the list of names and/or other inf0rmation in an Excel spreadsheet then you'll choose the first.
The Data File
- Hopefully you have a data file that is a list of students' names and/or other data that you want to put into your letter or test title page. This will likely be an Excel spreadsheet. The first line in each column should be the label for that column (e.g. firstname, lastname, ID#).
- Click the Browse... link on the Mail Merge Wizard that you've been using and then find your data file from the previous step. If you don't have a data file, select Type a new list .
- If everything worked out, the Mail Merge Wizard should read something like "Currently, your recipients are selected from:" and you can click Next: Write your letter at the bottom.
- It's now time to add the fields to your main document.
- In the appropriate places you can now add fields from your data file (firstname, lastname, etc.) by clicking More items... and selecting fields from your data file. You can also try out the preset Address block... or Greeting line... options and/or use the buttons in the ribbon bar at the top to insert the fields you want to merge.
- Once you have the fields in the appropriate places, click Next: Preview your letters (or the Preview Results button on the ribbon bar). You can use the forward and back buttons to go through the individual copies of your resulting mail merge to make sure everything looks like it should.
- When you click Next: Complete the merge you are given the option to Print... your mail merged documents or Edit individual letters... which creates a new document with each mail merge result starting on a new page.