Use Mail Merge In MS Word

Published Date
01 - Aug - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - Aug - 2005
Use Mail Merge In MS Word
Mail merge is a powerful tool available in Microsoft Word that helps create a set of documents that are the same, but each document contains its own unique elements. A good example of this is, where one document contains a list of addresses whereas, another contains a letter, the third contains your company logo and the three documents are merged onto a unique document that will contain the addresses and the letter such that the letter is individually mailed to each address in the list.

In other words, you can mass mail using the Mail Merge feature of Word. You can create a set of envelopes or labels where the return address is the same but the destination addresses are unique on each one.

Similarly, a set of form letters, faxes or e-mail messages can be created whose basic content is the same but each one of them contains information specific to the individual recipient, such as the name, address, etc. We shall see how mail merge is used.

Step 1. Start Mail Merge
To start the Mail Merge process, start MS Word. On the 'Tools' menu, point to 'Letters and Mailings', and click on 'Mail Merge'. The 'Mail Merge Wizard' will open in the task pane on the right.

Step 2. Choose Document Type
Choose the type of document you wish to create. Options include Letters, Envelopes, Labels and Directory. If you wish to send personalised letters to a group of people, choose 'Letters'.

Choose 'Envelopes' if you wish to print addressed envelopes for group mailing. Choose 'Labels' to print address labels for a group of people. To create a single document containing a catalogue or printed list of addresses, choose 'Directory'. We shall choose 'Letters' and click on 'Starting Document' at the bottom of the pane.

Select the document type

Step 3. Select Mail Template 
Now you have to choose the main document you want to use. If the document you are working on is the one that you want to use, select 'Use the current document'. You may also opt to use a ready-to-use mail merge template by selecting 'Start from a template'.

Select the starting document

Choose 'Start from existing document' to use an existing mail merge document and make changes to the content or recipients. We will select 'Use the current document' and click on 'Select recipients' at the bottom of the pane.

Step 4. Insert Recipients List
This step involves selecting the list of recipients of the letter. You may select 'Type a New List' to create a new list. You may also add recipients list from Outlook contacts. But a simpler way of doing things is to create an Excel file with the field names in the top row and the columns serving as different fields. Now save this file.

Select the recipients

Select 'Use an existing list' in the 'Mail Merge wizard' and browse and select this file. Click 'OK' to use the fields on Sheet 1 of the Excel file that you saved.

Create the recipient list in excel

The 'Mail Merge Recipient' list from this file is now displayed for you to review. Select the necessary recipient and click OK.

Mail merge  Recipient list

Click on 'Write your letter' at the bottom of the pane to proceed.

Step 5. Insert Data Fields
Write the basic letter. Now place your cursor on the position where you wish to place the 'Name' field form the database. Click on 'More items', select 'Name' and click on 'Insert' to place this field. Similarly, insert the e-mail field. Now, click on 'Preview your letter' at the bottom of the pane to proceed.

Insert data field into the document

Step 6. Preview the Merged Letter
You will now be able to preview one of the merged letters. You may even edit the recipient list if you so desire. Click on 'Complete the merge' to go to the final step.

Step 7. Finish Mail Merge
In the final step, you are given a choice to either print the merged document or create it. Clicking on 'Print' will print the final document whereas clicking on 'Edit individual Letters' will create the final merged document. Click on the latter and opt to merge all records to create the final merged document.

Complete the mail merge process

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