Are you hesitant to try MS Word mail merging because it seems unfamiliar or complicated? If you use Microsoft Word 2007 or above, the included mail merge tool is quite easy to use. Once you understand the basics of mail merge 2007, you’ll soon be mail merging like a pro!
Create a Data Merge between Word and Excel
While there are many ways to create a mail merge document in Word, using an Excel data source and creating a document from scratch is a fundamental skill that you can use later to create all types of Word mail merges. First, open a blank Excel worksheet and create a simple list. For example purposes, let’s make it a list of names, email addresses, and phone numbers. Label the column of names “Name,” the list of email addresses “Email,” and the list of phone numbers “Phone Number.” Enter a few records, save your spreadsheet, and name it “Contact List.” Next, open a blank Word document and get ready to create your first mail merge. Word 2007 and above stores the Word merge tools in the Mailings section of the Ribbon. Click Mailings and then find the Start Mail Merge section.
Click the down arrow next to Start Mail Merge and select Normal Word Document. Now, click the down arrow next to Select Recipients and choose Use Existing List. You’ll be prompted to select a Microsoft Office Data Connection. Ignore the suggested choices and navigate directly to your Contact List you made in Excel. You’ll be prompted to select a table and three worksheets will be displayed. Since you typed your list in the default worksheet, highlight Sheet1$ and click OK. If you named the worksheet in Excel, select the named worksheet. This tells Word where to find the “recipients.”
MS Word Mail Merging Basics
Now that your Word merge document and data source are linked, you can begin mail merging. Under the Write & Insert Fields section of the Ribbon, you’ll see an icon labeled Insert Merge Field. Click the down arrow and you’ll see a list of available fields, in this case Name, Email, and Phone Number. Go ahead and select one to see how it appears in the document. The name of the field will appear like this: .
In the Ribbon’s Mailings tab, you’ll also see a section labeled Preview Results. Click the magnifying class and will change to an actual name stored in your Excel spreadsheet. Click the magnifying glass again to go back to the other view.
Anywhere you insert a Word merge field, data from your worksheet will eventually appear once the data merge is completed. If you’re writing a letter, you’d type your text and then insert the Word merge field for data. For example, “Dear ,” would become “Dear Joe,” after Word merging.
Create a basic contact list by typing:
Next, enter the appropriate mail merge field next to each label. Place your cursor below your initial list and click the down arrow next to Rules. Choose Next Record. Now, copy and paste the entries you made above . Your page should look like this:
Phone Number: «Phone_Number»
Phone Number: «Phone_Number»
If you click on the Preview Results icon, your entries will look like this (with your own example data filled in):
Phone Number: 555-1212 ext 1
Phone Number: 555-1212 ext 2
Completing the Word Mail Merge 2007
Now, click the Finish & Merge icon and choose either Edit Individual Documents or Print Documents. Choosing Edit Individual Documents creates a data merge into a brand new document without all of the Word merge fields. You can save and manipulate this document like any other Word document. Printing sends the merged data to the printer.
Once you know this basic Word merging technique, you’ll be able to create data merges for all types of purposes far beyond basic letters, Word mail merge labels, and directories.