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* Instructions for using form letters

If you are planning to use any of the form letters included in the Genealogy "How-To" Guide, please follow these instructions. You can switch back and forth between these instructions and your word processor by pressing ALT+Tab on your keyboard. You may want to print these instructions instead. To print them, turn on your printer; then from the File menu of your Web browser, select Print.

To use any of the form letters:

  1. Start any Windows word processor that you have.
  2. Windows word processors include programs such as Microsoft Word and WordPerfect. In addition, Windows comes with a basic word processor called Write (WordPad in Windows 95 and Windows 98).

  3. Press Alt+Tab on your keyboard to switch back to your Web browser and the Web page containing the form letter that you want to use.

  4. On the Web page, click and drag with your mouse to highlight the entire letter. (Note: if your browser doesn't allow you to drag and scroll down the page at the same time, you may have to copy portions of the letter at a time.)

  5. From the Edit menu of the Web browser, select Copy.

    Windows copies the highlighted portion of the letter to the Clipboard.

  6. Switch to your word processor by pressing Alt+Tab on your keyboard.

  7. Paste the contents of the Clipboard into your word processor. In most word processors, the Paste function is located on the Edit menu.

    The contents of your Clipboard (the form letter) appear in your word processing document.

  8. Once the form letter is in your word processor, you can edit the letter to your liking. Replace all text contained in brackets < > with your own text. You'll also want to remove the title of the letter. Feel free to add more sentences if you need to.

    If you are writing to an organization whose address is listed in this Genealogy "How-To" Guide, you can copy their address from the Genealogy "How-To" Guide directly into your letter. Simply go to the page that contains the address you wish to copy, highlight the address, and from the Edit menu, select Copy. Switch back to your word processor by pressing Alt+Tab, and then paste the address into your letter.

  9. Print one copy of the letter and read it over. Make sure you have removed all of the brackets < > and there are no typos.

  10. If there aren't any errors in the letter, print another copy so you have one to mail and one to keep in your records. For information about keeping track of your correspondence, see the topic Tracking your correspondence.

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