Using Mail Merge With Custom FROM: Addresses in Word/Outlook 2007 or Word/Entourage 2008

The following was written for my lab group at work, however it strikes me as something everyone may benefit from. Mail Merge is an awesome tool, and this makes it much more useful when a group shares an incoming e-mail address that replies should be directed to (e.g., sales@ or info@ etc.. instead of the individual who sent the mail). I’ve had to sanitize some of the screenshots to remove private information, however it shouldn’t detract from the overall message!

You’ll need:

  • A copy of a mailing list, in either excel format or CSV.
  • Microsoft Word
  • Microsoft Outlook or Entourage
  • An SMTP username & Password to send out through SMTP Servers that require encryption.

First-Time Setup

You’ll do these steps once per computer you use this on. I’ve broken them down by Outlook 2007 or Entourage 2008, with screen shots. The basic process is…
Outlook 2007:

  1. In Outlook, click on “Tools” then “Account Settings”
  2. Click New to set up a new e-mail account
    Screenshot%20-%2010_26_2009%20%208_35_53%20AM
  3. Choose “Microsoft Exchange, POP3, IMAP, or HTTP”, and click “Next”
  4. Click “Manually configure server settings or additional server types”, and click “Next”
  5. Choose “Internet E-mail” and click “Next”
  6. Fill out the information in the box as is appropriate using your group e-mail and a valid username and password that can authenticate to the SMTP server. Then click “More Settings”Screenshot%20-%2010_26_2009%20%208_40_29%20AM
  7. After hitting “More Settings”, choose the “Outgoing Server” tab and configure as follows (Assuming you need SMTP Auth):Screenshot%20-%2010_26_2009%20%208_41_45%20AM
  8. Then click the “Advanced” tab and configure as follows if you need to specify SSL or TLS:Screenshot%20-%2010_26_2009%20%208_46_06%20AM
  9. Click “OK”, click “Next”, then click “Finish”. On the accounts box, select the new POP3 account you just created and click “Set as Default” so that the box looks like this:Screenshot%20-%2010_26_2009%20%208_43_02%20AM
  10. Hit “close”. You should now be set to use Mail Merge. Be sure to change your default back when done (See below for this step under “cleanup”)

Entourage 2008

  1. In Entourage, click on Tools, then Accounts.
  2. Click on New, then MailScreen%20shot%202009-10-26%20at%208
  3. Click on “Configure Account Manually”
  4. Choose “POP” then click “OK”
  5. Configure your account like the setup below, putting in your SMTP username and password:Screen%2520shot%25202009-10-26%2520at%25209_004
  6. Click on the button under SMTP Server that reads “Click here for advanced sending options”
  7. Configure as follows depending on your server, the following is for one that requires TLS encryption:Screen%2520shot%25202009-10-26%2520at%25208_002
  8. Click OK, and return to the Accounts window. Select your new account and choose “Make Default”. You’ll want to change this back later:Screen%2520shot%25202009-10-26%2520at%25208_003
  9. Close the Accounts window, you should now be ready to mail merge!

Running the Mail Merge (After Setup)

Word 2007/Outlook 2007

  1. Open Word, Choose “Mailings” tab from the Ribbon, and click “Start Mail Merge”, Then choose “Email Messages”Screenshot%20-%2010_26_2009%20%209_04_32%20AM
  2. Next choose “Select Recipients” and then “Use Existing List”. In the dialog that pops up, select the CSV file containing the mailing list:Screenshot%20-%2010_26_2009%20%209_05_12%20AMScreenshot%20-%2010_26_2009%20%209_06_40%20AM
  3. Clicking on “Edit Recipient List” should show you something like this:Screenshot%20-%2010_26_2009%20%209_07_41%20AM
  4. Click OK. Now you need to use “Match Fields” to make sure that title, firstname, lastname, and e-mail address are all matched up properly (The file in my example doesn’t have headings on the rows, so the first row values (my information) is what Word feels is the best identifier of each field):Screenshot%20-%2010_26_2009%20%209_09_54%20AMScreenshot%20-%2010_26_2009%20%209_09_31%20AM

    Screenshot%20-%2010_26_2009%20%209_09_43%20AM

  5. With everything all matched up, you can now type your letter including Merge fields as you’d like. Here’s my example:Screenshot%20-%2010_26_2009%20%209_12_51%20AM
  6. After you have everything written, click on “Preview Results” and you can see the “live version” that your readers will receive:Screenshot%20-%2010_26_2009%20%209_31_37%20AM
  7. Once you’re satisfied, hit “Finish and Merge”, then “Send e-mail messages”Screenshot%20-%2010_26_2009%20%209_32_18%20AM
  8. In the box that pops up, find the e-mail column in the the “to:” drop down. Enter a subject as well, and hit OKScreenshot%20-%2010_26_2009%20%209_33_17%20AM
  9. Mail Merge will rev up and spit a bunch of files into your Outbox in Outlook, and these will eventually go out to the masses
  10. Cleanup: Remember to go to tools -> Account Settings and change the default back to your usual email account instead of the account you created in the “First Time Setup” above!!

Word 2008 / Entourage 2008

  1. Open Word 2008 and choose “Tools” then “Mail Merge Manager”
  2. In the window that opens, choose “Form Letter” under “Select Document Type”, then under “Select Recipient List” choose “Open Data File”Screen%20shot%202009-10-26%20at%209
  3. Chose the CSV file that contains your mailing list.
  4. Drag and drop placeholders where you’d like them in your mailing. Here’s my example:Screen%2520shot%25202009-10-26%2520at%25209_005
  5. Under “Preview Results” click “View Merged Data” to see the resulting e-mailsScreen%2520shot%25202009-10-26%2520at%25209_003
  6. Click “Generate e-mail messages” on the “Compete Merge” tab. NOTE: If Entourage is not your default mail client, this button will be grayed out. To make Entourage your default mail client, go into Entourage preferences and click the button that says “Make Entourage my default mail client”.Screen%2520shot%25202009-10-26%2520at%25209_002
  7. Fill in the appropriate values in the Mail Recipient dialog, and click “Mail Merge to Outbox”:Screen%2520shot%25202009-10-26%2520at%252010_002
  8. Because the world is a scary place, Entourage pops up a warning message like this below. Go ahead and let it send your mail since you know what script sent it!Screen%20shot%202009-10-26%20at%2010
  9. Cleanup: After the mail merge is done, you’ll want to go to Tools -> Accounts and set your e-mail default back to your original account so that you send as yourself and not as the group e-mail address you used for mail merge.

So there you have it, mail merge to any particular list you have, with a custom FROM header.

Migrate A Google Sites to a Google Apps Installation

After much gnashing of teeth and cries of angst, I was able to move a Google Site to a Google Apps Installation. In the end, it was actually really simple…

The first approach was to use the Google-Sites-Liberation tool, published recently on Google code, which looked very promising. However I soon found 2 issues with our particular domain (This one and this one) which unfortunately prevented me from using the tool. I also didn’t have much time to devote to debugging it. Desperate, I pieced together the following method through a few inferences and forum posts. It’s pretty simple: Copy the site from your account to your apps account!

You’ll need to be an “owner” of the site you’re trying to migrate to do this, and will probably need GMail enabled on the destination apps installation, here are the steps:

 

1. Log into the google site you want to migrate and bring up sharing properties.

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Next, share the site to your Google Apps account’s e-mail address

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2. Log into your Google Apps GMail and you should find an e-mail telling you that you’ve been added as an owner to the original site:

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3. Click on the link (you may want to sign out of your original GMail account here so that you enter the site as your Apps identity). You should see your Apps e-mail address in the upper right, not your GMail address. If you see the GMail address, sign out and then click the link again from your Apps GMail.

4. click on “More actions” then “Manage Site”

 

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5. Click on General in the left link bar.

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6. On that page, click “Copy This Site”

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7. The dialog box for copying should be for your Apps domain, not for regular Google Sites, it should look something like this (With your apps installation name where I’ve blacked out):

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8. Click Copy Site (Unchecking revisions if you have a lot of them, and site members if you don’t want them), and you should now have an exact copy of the Sites site in your Apps installation!

9. You’ll probably want to close off editing of the old site to the new, if applicable to you. Now pop some champagne and enjoy!

Add Facebook Friend’s Birthdays to your Calendar Automatically

Lifehacker recently published an article detailing a few ways to help remember the things you actually care about, as opposed to those you don’t but remember anyway (such as the MVP of the 1996 All-star game). One of the little gems that was tucked in the article was the application fbCal which integrates your Facebook Birthdays and events with the calendar of your choosing. I have this now set up on my Google Calendar and am extremely happy as it’s A) always up to date and B) putting information where I’ll actually look for it, not where I don’t look (e.g., a sidebar on facebook.com)

To get it set up, all you need to do is install the fbCal application to your facebook account and allow it offline access (So you’ll have two prompts to hit “OK” to when installing):

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Once it’s installed, you can then choose how to export your calendar. The tool exports in the standard iCal format, so it’s easily imported into desktop PIMs like iCal on the Mac and Outlook on the PC. It not only includes birthdays, but can include events as well:

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Since I use Google Calendar, I clicked on the Google Calendar link and was taken to my calendar, then asked if I wanted to add the new fbCal calendar to my list of calendars. It adds as a shared calendar, which means that it will automatically update whenever I add a friend (Or I guess if a friend changes their birthday!). It gave a very long and annoying name to the calendar, so I changed that by drilling into settings and changing the name:

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Now on my Google Calendar main page, I have the FB Birthdays calendar, which I can toggle on and off as desired:

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All of this took around 10 minutes, and the feed took about an hour (for some reason) to show up in my calendar. Now it’s working just fine and I thought it was cool enough to share here! Happy calendaring!