Mail Merge using CMS and Microsoft Word

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Mail Merge using CMS and Microsoft Word

You can create personalized form letters using CMS and Microsoft Word!  

While you can export data from the Contribution, Attendance, and Outreach modules, these instructions will help you merge from the Membership System.

From CMS Membership, click Process | Merge/ Export File | New Report | give it a name, such as Data for Form Letters and click OK.

If you are sending one letter per family, leave the File Type at Household.  If you would prefer to send one letter per person, change the File Type to Person.

Click the Member/Participation Status buttons and select those people whom you would like to include in this file.  For example, you may not want to include those people marked as Deceased or Transferred/Moved.  Click OK.

Make any other selections as you would a set of labels (Activities, Classes, etc.).

Check the box in the lower right corner at Field Names in First Record.

If you have a lot of "Snowbirds", you may also want to check the box at Use Alternate Addresses if in Effect.

Click the Browse button and enter the correct file name and location if you would like to change the file location of the data.

If burning the data to a CD-R/CD-RW, click the Browse button and save the file to the Windows Desktop.  Then using your CD writing application to burn the file to a CD.You may also choose to click the View File button on the right side of the screen to print up the information included in the file.

You may also choose to click the View File button on the right side of the screen to print up the information included in the file.

Click the Output File button on the right side of the screen.

Once complete, exit out of CMS and open Microsoft Word.

You can access Microsoft's step-by-step instructions Word Mail Merge: A Walk Through the Process by clicking here.

If you have already typed the letter, open that letter.  If you have not yet typed the letter, open a new, blank document.  This sample will start from a new, blank document.

From the pull down menu at the top of the screen, click Tools | Letters and Mailings | Mail Merge.

This will display a Mail Merge Helper on the side of the screen that will guide you through the step to mail merge the letter. 

At Step 1 of 6, Select Document Type, choose Letter.  Click the Next link at the bottom of the display.

At Step 2 of 6, Select Starting Document, choose Use the Current Document.  Click the Next link at the bottom of the display.

At Step 3 of 6, Select Recipients, choose Use an Existing List.  Then click the Browse link.

This is where you'll need to refer to the File Destination from your CMS Merge/Export File.  You'll need to find where your data is located. In our example, the File Destination was C:\CMS4WIN\CMSHH.CSV.

Click the down arrow at Look In: [My Data Sources] and select the C: drive or network drive letter and select the CMS4WIN folder.


Click the down arrow at Files of Type and choose Text Files.

Select the CMSHH.TXT file (or whatever file name you may have used if you redirected/renamed the export file).

From the Mail Merge Recipients listing display, click OK.

Click Next at the bottom of the display.

At Step 4 of 6, Write Your Letter, you'll need to prepare the letter.  Click File | Page Setup and adjust your top and left margins for your letterhead, just as you would a normal letter.  Click OK.

Type in the Date of the letter and position your cursor under the date where you want the Recipient's Address line to print.

Click the Address Block link.

Click the Match Fields button in the lower left corner of that display.

As Microsoft Word does not uses slightly different phrasing than CMS, you will need to match the fields as follows:

  • Click the down arrow at Surname and choose (not matched).
  • Click the down arrow at First Name and choose Label Name.
  • Click the down arrow at Company and choose Special Address.
  • Click the down arrow at Address 1 and choose Delivery Address.
  • Click the down arrow at Spouse First Name and choose (not matched).

Click OK | OK.

The Address Block should now be inserted on your letter.

Press your Enter Key to position your cursor where you want the Salutation to print on the letter.

Click the More Items link.

Highlight Salutation and click Insert.  Click Close.

Type a comma or semi-colon after the salutation.

Finish typing your letter.

Click Next at the bottom of the display.

At Step 5 of 6, Preview Your Letter, you should be able to view the results of the letter with each person's data merged into the letter!

You can click the arrows to scroll through the recipients to double check your merged letter.

Ensure that the letter's appearance is just how you want it to look, then click File | Save.

You'll want to save the Pre-Merged Letter, or the letter before you actually merge it to a new document or printer.  If you do, then you'll be able to re-use this merge for next week's batch of pledge cards!

Click Next.

At Step 6 of 6, you can choose to either load up your printer with letterhead and choose Print or click the Edit Individual Letters and allow Word to create a single document with as many pages as you have recipients!  You can then edit the single letters as you need, or print page ranges, etc.

If you choose Edit Individual Letters, once you've made changes, or scrolled through the document to review for accuracy and are happy with the merge, load your printer with letterhead and click File | Print!


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Last Modified:Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Last Modified By: Administrator
Type: How To
Level: Advanced
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Article has been viewed 8,285 times.