> Mail merge

Can I do a mail merge us­ing the lat­est ver­sion of Pages, or is there an­other app that I should use in­stead?

Mac|Life - - ASK -

You used to be able to mail merge when print­ing from Pages, but this has be­come in­creas­ingly dif­fi­cult – see bit.ly/pgsmerge.

Ma­jor of­fice suites nor­mally still fea­ture mail merge. It has al­ways been an im­por­tant ben­e­fit of Mi­crosoft Of­fice, and Mi­crosoft has a se­ries of ex­cel­lent tu­to­ri­als at bit.ly/

ml135­mailmg1 show­ing this be­ing per­formed in Word 2013. The cur­rent ver­sion of Word for Mac can be used sim­i­larly. OpenOf­fice.org, which is free, also sup­ports mail merge, and there’s a tu­to­rial at bit.ly/ml135­mailmg2.

The lat­ter suite in­cludes a wizard which steps you through the process, and pro­vides pre­views. Es­sen­tially, you store de­tails of the ad­dressees in a spread­sheet or data­base, us­ing stan­dard­ized field names. Those match marked up in­ser­tion points in your word pro­ces­sor doc­u­ment: for ex­am­ple, the field “ti­tle” might be marked up as <ti­tle>. When you per­form the merge, copies of the doc­u­ment are gen­er­ated which sub­sti­tute per­son­al­ized in­for­ma­tion for the markup, in the re­quired num­ber of pages. Ad­dress la­bels should also be pro­duced ready for print­ing.

If you want to send merged email mes­sages rather than printed let­ters, two apps from the Mac App Store that you should con­sider are Mail Merge and Se­ri­alMailer. There’s a demo ver­sion of the for­mer avail­able from its web­site, while the Lite ver­sion of Se­ri­alMailer on the Mac App Store will give you a good idea of how it works.

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