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Printing membership cards using mail merge

Using Microsoft Word's mail merge feature and your Wild Apricot member database, you can print personalized membership cards, as well as event badges and mailing labels.

To print personalized items like membership cards, you:

  • export your Wild Apricot member list
  • create and print your mail merge document in Microsoft Word

Exporting your Wild Apricot member list

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To export your Wild Apricot member list, follow these steps:

  1. Hover over the Members menu and select the Summary option.
  2. Do not filter the list unless you want to print cards only for selected members.
  3. Click the Export all button. 

  4. On the screen that appears, select CSV as the export file format.
  5. Choose which fields to include in the export file. 
  6. Click the  Export  button .

While the export file is being generated, you can click the Continue working button and safely switch to another Wild Apricot admin screen. Once the file is generated, you'll receive an email with a link to the file.

If you waited until the export file was generated, the file will be automatically downloaded. As well, a dialog with a link to the file will appear, and an email with the link will be sent to you. 

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Before clicking the download link within the email, make sure you are logged into your Wild Apricot account as an administrator, and in admin view.

Creating your mail merge document

The next step in printing membership cards involves creating a Word document that is formatted to print onto sheets of perforated business cards. The document will include codes to insert member-specific information on each sheet.

Using templates

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To create the Word document, you use a pre-designed template provided by Microsoft or by the vendor of the specialty paper you are planning to use. A number of specialty paper templates are installed along with Microsoft Word. Additional templates can be downloaded from Microsoft or vendors such as Avery.

For this help topic, we downloaded the Avery club membership card template from Microsoft.

Launching the mail merge wizard

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Even though we'll be using a document template as the basis for the mail merge document, you start by running Microsoft Word and opening a blank document. Next, you launch the mail merge wizard. The mail merge wizard walks you through the steps involved in creating and printing your mail merge document.

The table below shows how to launch the wizard from different versions of Microsoft Word.

Version

Steps

Microsoft Word 2002

Click the Tools menu, click Letters and Mailings, then click Mail Merge Wizard.

Microsoft Office Word 2003

Click the Tools menu, click Letters and Mailings, then click Mail Merge.

Microsoft Office Word 2007 or later

Click the Mailings tab, click Start Mail Merge, then click Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard.

Step 1: Choosing the document type

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The first step in creating your mail merge document is to select the document type. For membership cards, you'd need to select the Labels option.

If you're producing form letters or other documents, you'd select a different option.

After you've made your selection, click the Next link at the bottom to continue.

Step 2: Selecting the document template

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Next, you select the document template to use as the basis for the mail merge document. You can choose from templates installed as part of Microsoft Word or open a template that you downloaded.

Choosing an installed template

To choose an installed template, make sure that Change document layout is selected then click Label options.

From the Label Options dialog, you can select different document types from the list in the bottom left, and click the Label vendors drop-down to display templates from particular specialty paper providers.

Using a downloaded template

To open a template that you downloaded, click the Start from existing document option then click the Open button. 

Select the document template file and click the Open button.

When you are finished making your selection, click the Next link to continue.

Step 3: Selecting the member list

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Now, you attach the file containing your member list. Make sure the Use an existing list option is selected, then click the Browse link.

Select the .csv file you generated earlier, then click the Open button.

A list of your members will appear. At this point, you can edit your database list, sort it by any field, remove duplicates, and decide which entries to use or exclude.

When you are ready to proceed, click the OK button then click the Next link at the bottom of the mail merge wizard.

Step 4: Entering merge fields

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With the member list selected, you can now finalize your document design and insert the fields used to represent the member-specific information, such as name.

Depending on which document template you are using, the page is probably formatted as a table with each cell formatted to print a single business card. Each cell should be identical with a combination of static text or graphics, and merge fields, which appear as codes within angle brackets (e.g. <<First_name>>).

When you print the document, the merge fields will be replaced by actual data, with each page displaying information about a different member. For example, the first page you print will display information about the first member in the database, and the second page will display information about the second member, and so on.

To insert a merge field into your document, click where you want the field to appear, then click the More items link.

From the dialog that appears, click the Database fields option then select the field from your membership list that you want to include on the card. (e.g. First_name).

Click the Insert button to insert the field into your document. Repeat this for each field you want to include. You can choose from a number of contact fields as well as any custom contact fields you have added.

Once you have finalized the your membership card design and inserted merge fields for any member-specific information, click the Next link at the bottom.

Step 5: Previewing your output

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Now, before printing your membership cards, you can preview your print job so you can correct any errors you didn't notice while designing the cards. For example, you may have forgotten to put a space between the first name and last name fields, something that you only notice when the fields are replaced by actual data.

To scroll through previews for each member in your list, click the >> and << buttons.

Once you are satisfied with the appearance of your cards, click the Next link at the bottom of the wizard. 

Step 6: Printing your cards

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Now, all that's left is for you to do is save and print your document. After saving your document, click the Print link within the wizard.

You can choose to print cards for all members, only for the currently displayed member, or for a range of members (where the range indicates the position of the members within the .csv file).

Once you have chosen which records you want to print, click OK. 

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