A Quick Workaround to Create a Name and Address Format for Letters and Envelopes


Q: When I was using Office 2003, I could pull up the names and addresses of clients and business associates from Outlook’s Contacts, and then with just a few more clicks I could prepare the fully formatted data to address letters and envelopes. But I can’t find that feature in Office 2007. Can you help?


A: For some reason that nifty feature, in which Outlook’s Contacts teamed up with Word to produce the formatted name/address data, was dropped in the upgrade. But I’ll show you a workaround that’s almost as good. But before I do, I’ll explain how it works in Office 2003 for those who haven’t upgraded and aren’t aware of that feature.


I’m assuming, first of all, that you have each target’s name and address already in Outlook’s Contacts. Start by clicking on Contacts and then on the target name. In the screenshot below I’ve clicked on American Institute of CPAs and then on Actions in the taskbar on top of the Outlook screen. That superimposes another screen on top of the AICPA listing. There you have the choice of clicking on New Letter to Contact (see screenshot below).



That brings up the Letter Wizard screen that walks you through customizing the listing with, among other things, a date line and a header and footer (see screenshot below).



Now back to the workaround for Office 2007. You can use the Mail Merge feature in Word or the Address Book in Word, but they are overkills if all you want to do is prepare addresses for a few letters and envelopes.


To format a letter, I found, instead, a built-in tool in Word that does the job simply and easily. However, it’s not in the Ribbon, but you can easily place it into your Quick Access Toolbar. For instructions on how to set one up, see the March 2010 column item “Create your own lookalike Office 2003 toolbar and add it to the Ribbon” (page 66). If you have a Quick Access Toolbar, click the symbol () at the left end of the toolbar and on More Commands (see screenshot below).



Then, under Choose commands from:, click on All Commands (see screenshot at right). Now cursor down the long list to Addess Book and then click on Add>> (see screenshot below) to connect it to your Quick Access Toolbar. From then on, clicking the icon in the toolbar will evoke the name lookup dialog box, from which you can access all your Outlook contacts. Selecting one and clicking OK places the name and address in the active document at the current cursor location.



To address an envelope, select Envelopes from the Mailings tab in the Ribbon. Then click on the tiny icon of an address book to access the name lookup dialog box.



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