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Originally published December 8, 2012 at 8:45 AM | Page modified December 8, 2012 at 8:46 AM

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Word feature will solve address dilemma

Special to The Seattle Times

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Regarding the 12/8 MORE
Regarding the 12/8 discussion about Word and mail merge. For years I have been using... MORE

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Q. I have Windows 7 and Office 2010. I need to make 125 labels from an Excel spreadsheet of 125 addresses. Yes, that is a lot of Christmas letters, but we spent 20 years in the Air Force and connected with a lot of people around the world.

Anyway, I cannot figure out how to get multiple addresses onto a sheet of address labels. I started with Word and used the label Wizard, but I ended up with one address label per page of labels. I turned off my printer on the second page.

How can I get the labels printed so that my wife does not have to hand write 125 addresses?

— Larry Brickman, Bellevue

A.Use Word’s mail-merge feature. The task is a little more complicated because your addresses are in a spreadsheet rather than Outlook. If your address information was in Outlook, you could simply select Mailings from the Word toolbar, then Select Recipients followed by Choose From Outlook Contacts.

Because the addresses are in an Excel spreadsheet, you’ll have to prepare the file in Excel first. The simplest way to do so is to export the data as a comma separated value (CSV) file.

Next, go to Word and select the Mailings menu item. Click on Select Recipients and then Use an Existing List. In the window that pops up, locate the CSV file you created and select it.

The last step is to click on the Start Mail Merge menu item in Word. You can then select what you want to print — envelopes, labels, letters, etc. — or you can launch the Mail Merge Wizard, which will lead you through the process step by step.

Q. I am running Windows XP with all updates on a Compaq Presario. I frequently encounter a substantial slowdown with Internet Explorer 7. When this happens, a right-click on taskbar brings up Task Manager.

That source shows two copies of iexplore.exe. One copy uses about 10 to 15MB and the other, about 180 to 220MB (infrequently, there is even a third copy of about 110,000 KB).

If I delete the larger copy, normal operating speed returns. If I delete the smaller one, IE7 drops offline. Is there a simple fix for this problem? Or even a nonsimple fix?

— Jerry L. Lundry, Bellevue

A. Web browsers — and some websites and scripts that run on them — tend to be resource hogs. And I find that Internet Explorer tends to hog more resources than some other browsers.

But, again, it may be the site you’re visiting and not the browser that is responsible for the major slowdowns. That’s why it can be difficult to troubleshoot Web performance. The problem can be local, with the browser, with the website, or with malware.

Another possibility is that it seems that you’re opening multiple instances of Internet Explorer rather than loading multiple sites into one instance. That, too, will consume more resources and potentially result in a slowdown.

So the first thing I’d do when encountering a major slowdown is take note of what sites you are visiting and whether multiple instances of IE have launched.

Q. I’m running Outlook 2007 with Windows 7 (64-bit). The auto-archive utility has created a second Archive Folder (also called Archive Folders). Is this because the first Archive Folder is too big? The first is 1,157,924 KB. The second is 258,135 KB.

Previously, I successfully copied the contents of the second Archive Folder into the first Archive Folder, and then deleted the second Archive Folder. However, if this is happening because there is a size limit to the Archive Folders, then perhaps I should leave the second Archive Folder alone.

If that’s the case, will a third Archive Folder be created when the second one reaches its limit? Then a fourth, fifth, etc.?

— Greg Goodell, Seattle

A. You’re not hitting the ceiling. The maximum file size for Outlook 2007 data files is 20 gigabytes. My guess is that the extra folder is from a previous installation.

Questions for Patrick Marshall may be sent by email to pmarshall@seattletimes.com or pgmarshall@pgmarshall.net, or by mail at Q&A/Technology, The Seattle Times, P.O. Box 70, Seattle, WA 98111. More columns at www.seattletimes.com/columnists.

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