Using Mail Merge to Create Confirmation Letters in Research Tracker II

Research Tracker® II can save hours of clerical time by instantly creating professional looking Confirmation Letters.

Research Tracker® II uses information on the main Job Data screen & the Sessions sub screen, along with Respondent information to create a file that can be used in Microsoft Word to create a variety of personalized letters, postcards, tent cards, labels, or other materials.

Be sure your computer has Word 2003 or a newer version installed before proceeding:

1. Create a template of your letter in Word. This does not require any special formatting, just create the letter as a normal Word document, leaving a space where each merge field will be inserted. Examples of merge fields are first name, last name, address, date of group, time of group, coop amount, job number. Save the letter and close.

2. Create the data file in Research Tracker. This is done from the Job Confirmations/Roster screen. Locate the desired Job.  Choose the Confirmation Output option, then click Mail Merge Output.  Click the "Include All" button to include all respondents scheduled for the job. (If your version of Research Tracker II does not have a "Include All" button, click the Include? check box beside each name on the list).  Click Run.  You will receive a message that your file has been created and it is located at C:\RT2\studydat.doc.  Verify that there is indeed a file by that name in that location.

3. Go back to Word, open the document created in #1, click Tools, Letters and Mailings, Mail Merge.

4. Select Letters as the Document Type, then Next.

5. Click Use the Current Document, Next

6. Make sure Use Existing List is selected, then click Browse

7. Locate C:\RT2\studydat.doc in the browser box, and Open

8. A table of all scheduled respondents for the job will appear.  Click OK, Next

9. You will be prompted to insert one or more Merge Fields into the document.  These would likely include the respondent's name and address and/or respondent's first name after the words Dear ___ as a personal greeting. To do this, click More Items, then, with the cursor positioned at the appropriate place in your message, highlight the entry "fname" and click insert.  Do the same for "lname", leaving a space between the two entries.  Insert specific information about the group, including date, start time, length, and coop at the desired place in the letter. When finished, click Next.

10. You may preview individual messages and edit them individually if desired.  Click Next to get to Step 6.

11. Your letters should appear as a document, one letter per page. If they don't look right, close the merged document without saving it and edit the form letter.  If your letters have blanks in some of the merge fields, check the Job Data and Sessions screens in Research Tracker to make sure you have input the necessary data about the job and its sessions.  You may also need to check the Job Recruitment screen to make sure each scheduled Respondent has been assigned to a Session.

12. Once you finish, back up to Step 4 and save the Word document along with the inserted merge fields and named data source.  The next time, you will be able to skip most of the above steps and go directly to the final merge