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Word Mail Merge
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Word Mail Merge
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Word Mail Merge

Word Mail Merge
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Learn step-by-step how to do a Word Mail Merge and understand what you're doing, the easy way.

Thanks to the miracle of computing, you can produce form letters in the privacy of your home or office, just like the big companies do.

Word Office Helper What's on this page...
What is a Mail Merge?
Create a Mail Merge

Before you start with the Word Mail Merge, know the following:

To generate letters for mass mailing using the Word Mail Merge helper, you basically have 3 things: Data, Letter and the Final Merge of the two.

Creating a Mail Merge might seem like a daunting task, but just try the steps once or twice and you'll see that it actually will make your work must easier than you think, so let's start...

Create a Word Mail Merge

Before you generate the form letter, write a first draft. That way, you will know precisely what information varies from recipient to recipient, the names and addresses, for example before you start generating the letter.

Your Word table, or data file, must contain all the variable information that you will add to the main document when you merge the documents to generate a letter specifically for each person.

To do a Word mail merge, follow these steps:

1. In a new document, create a table with the information of your recipients.

Using the first row of the table for headings called fieldnames, and the rest of the rows for each persons information, called records.

Don't add any formatting to the table or text, this is a simple table with data in it and this file will be called a DATA file.

For example: As an exercise, use the information below to practice using the Mail Merge Wizard.
  Word Mail Merge: data table for mail merge - example
Word Office Helper
Do the following:

1. Type the above information in a new document using a table.

2. Save this document as
DATA LETTERS.doc, and then close the document.
2. Open a new document and choose Tools from the menu bar, and select Letters and Mailings.
3. Select Word Mail Merge Wizard to open the Mail Merge task pane on the right-hand side of the document window.
4. From Select Document Type, choose Letters.
5. Click Next: Starting document at the bottom of the Mail Merge task pane.
6. From Select Starting Document, choose Use The Current Document.
7. Click Next: Select Recipients at the bottom of the Word Mail Merge task pane.
8. From Select Recipients, choose Use An Existing List.
9. From Use An Existing List click on Browse. Now you need to select the word file in which you have saved the table with the list of recipients.
Word Office Helper
Do the following:

Select the document file containing the recipient list, called DATA LETTERS.doc, and click Open.

2. Make sure that all the records that you need are selected in the Word Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, and choose

10. Click Next: Write Your Letter at the bottom of the Word Mail Merge task pane.
11. Now it's time to type the letter which you want to send every person.

From Arranging Labels, you have to insert the fieldnames from your recipient list and do some formatting to the letter on your page.

You can also change fonts and any of its attributes, add text or images, etc.

This example shows how to add, change and adjust fieldnames in a letter.
Word Mail Merge: fieldname in letter example
  Click More Items.

You'll see Word shows the fieldnames of your DATA file you have chosen.
Word Office Helper
Do the following:

1. In the More Items dialog box, click a fieldname to insert into the letter.

2. Click Insert, and then click Close. Unfortunately you can't insert more than one fieldname at a time.
Word Office Helper Whatever you do, don't erase the angle brackets (<<>>) or press Enter inside them.

The brackets are there to mark off the parts of the address.
  You'll see the fieldnames inserted into the document letter at the cursor's position. Keep inserting fieldnames and typing the letter, until you have all that you require.

If you've accidentally inserted a fieldname you don't need ― with the cursor at the end of the fieldname, press BACKSPACE TWICE to remove the unwanted fieldname.
12. Click Next: Preview Your Letters at the bottom of the Mail Merge task pane.
13. Word Merges the DATA LETTERS.doc file containing the people's information with the letter file containing the fieldnames to allow you to see what the final letters will look like.
Word Office Helper
Notice the grey background of each record?

Don't be alarmed, they are grey because they are records from a specific data file. Choose Print Preview to see what a printed version of the letters will look like.

Word Mail Merge: print preview button Print Preview button
Word XP : fieldnames in letter preview
  Once you're happy with the outcome of your letters, go to the next step.
14. Click Next: Complete The Merge, at the bottom of the Mail Merge task pane.
15. From Merge, click Print.

Choose which records to print and click OK.

This will take you to the Print dialog box, from where you can print the letters directly.


Choose Edit Individual Letters.

Word opens a new document with the completed Merged information into separate pages for every person.

You can now decided to have certain letters different from others, do the changes in this document.
16. You can choose to Save and Print this file. This would be your final outcome of merged letters.
Word Office Helper
Do the following:

1. Choose FileSave As, and save this file as FINAL MERGED LETTER.doc

Close this document once you're done.

3. You'll be back at the document with the Mail Merge Wizard. You can choose to save this document as well.

See also... What is a Mail Merge
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