A handy Outlook feature is the capability to print mailing labels and envelopes from your Contacts list. To take advantage of this feature, you also need to have Microsoft Word installed on your computer. Creating form letters , mailing labels or envelopes is called a mail merge . Basically, in Word, you create a main document (such as mailing labels, envelopes, and so on) that holds field codes that relate to the information you keep on each contact, such as name or address.
To actually start the merge process, open your Contacts folder and select Tools , Mail Merge . The Mail Merge Contacts dialog box opens (see Figure 17.4) and allows you to specify both the contacts for the merge and the Word document into which the contact information is merged. Using the option buttons at the top of the dialog box, you can specify that all the contacts or selected contacts are included in the mail merge. If you want to have only certain fields included in the mail merge, you can create a custom view of your Contacts folder (discussed in Lesson 3, "Using Outlook's Tools") before starting the Mail Merge.
Figure 17.4. Contact data can be merged with a document in Word for mass mailings .
After you specify the various options in the Mail Merge Contacts dialog box (see tip that follows ) and click OK , you are taken to Word, where the mail merge is completed. Lesson 5 in the Word section of this book, "Creating Personalized Mass Mailings," covers mail merges using Word in greater detail.