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How do I perform a mail merge?
How do I perform a mail merge?

Describes what a mail merge is and how to do one.

Updated over a week ago

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A mail merge allows you to use a data source in the automatic generation of documents. The data and a document template merge to form a new document which contains the person's information. This can be useful for baptism certificates, welcome letters, address labels, and more. This article details how to perform a mail merge using One Church Software.

You will need to design a Word document containing the merge field and then upload it into One Church to perform the mail merge. The instructions below use Word 2017, but it should work for earlier versions of Word which support mail merge fields.

IMPORTANT: The query you write to serve as the data source for the mail merge must include the merge fields you are using in the document as columns in the results.

Mail Merge Template Structure

The mail merge template file should be a Word document containing merge fields for data you would like to replace. Since it is a Word document, you can design it however you want. The most important part is that the merge fields are defined correctly.

How to Add a Merge Field

The list of allowed merge field variable names are the same as the columns in the query results except with underscores ( _ ) instead of spaces. For example, the "First Name" column would have the corresponding variable name: FIRST_NAME. "Primary Email" would be PRIMARY_EMAIL. Gender would be GENDER, and so on..

To add a merge field, type the variable name where ever you would like it to appear in the document. Then highlight the text and then "Insert > Quick Parts > Field..."

In the pop up that appears, select "MergeField" under "Field names." Then enter the variable name (i.e. FIRST_NAME) in the "Field name" text box and make sure "(none)" is selected for the format. The form should looks as below.

Repeat these steps for each merge field you would like to add. Each merge field should appear between << and >> in the document if they were added correctly. The screenshot below contains an example for the FIRST_NAME and LAST_NAME merge fields.

Once you are done with the template file, upload the Word document into the system when performing the mail merge

Running the Mail Merge

Go to the People Query Builder and construct the query you like to use as the data source for the mail merge. Once finished, click on "Actions > Mail Merge." 

A pop up will appear with the following fields:

  • Template - a built in or previously saved mail merge template to use. The default is "Use New Template."

  • File Upload - upload the mail merge template containing content and data placeholders. See section above named "Mail Merge Template Structure."

  • Enter a name to save template - if you want to save the mail merge template you uploaded for future use, enter a name here. If no name is entered, this template will be one time use only.

After entering the information, click on "Merge" to perform the mail merge. Once complete, a single Word document will download containing the results of the mail merge.

The number of pages in the resulting document is the number of people times the number of pages in the mail merge template. For example, if the query returns 20 people and you use a mail merge template that is 2 pages long, the resulting mail merged document will contain 40 pages. 

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