Do more with your Ap­ple gear

Ap­ple’s iWork apps lack mail merge but it’s pos­si­ble in Pages and Num­bers

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If you’ve ever had to send a let­ter to mul­ti­ple re­cip­i­ents, each dis­play­ing the re­cip­i­ent’s name and ad­dress, pos­si­bly with a per­son­alised greet­ing, you’ll un­der­stand the value of mail merge.

Mail merge al­lows you to write a let­ter once, se­lect the group of peo­ple you want to send it to, and al­low what­ever soft­ware you’re us­ing to cre­ate and save in­di­vid­ual in­stances of the let­ter. It’s a lot quicker and less labour in­ten­sive than copy­ing and past­ing your­self.

Mi­crosoft Of­fice has the abil­ity to mail merge, but Ap­ple’s iWork apps don’t have it built-in. For­tu­nately there’s a way to cre­ate let­ter tem­plates in Pages, and a ta­ble of names and ad­dresses in Num­bers, and those will mail merge – thanks to iWork’s sup­port for Ap­pleScript.

Pleas­ingly, you don’t have to write the script your­self, thanks to the OS X Au­to­ma­tion spin-off web­site, iWork Au­to­ma­tion (iworkau­toma­ Here you’ll find a tool, Pages Data Merge, which uses place­hold­ers

Mail merge is a lot quicker and less labour in­ten­sive than copy­ing and past­ing them all your­self

you de­fine in Pages and ta­ble rows you spec­ify in Num­bers, to gen­er­ate mail merged doc­u­ments.

So firstly, visit iworkau­toma­ pages/script-tags-data-merge.html and down­load the Pages Data Merge tool. Dou­ble-click the ar­chive and drag the app to Ap­pli­ca­tions. Kenny Hemphill

With a ta­ble of re­cip­i­ent data in Num­bers and de­fined place­hold­ers in Pages, you can mail merge in iWork.

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