Mail merge step 1: Choose a document type and main document

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Applies to
Microsoft Office Word 2003
Microsoft Word 2002

This step in the mail-merge process involves two choices. First, you choose the type of document that you want to merge information into. Then, you choose the main document that you want to use. The main document is the document that you start with. It's the model for all of the merged documents that you eventually create.

 Note   Remember, we're using form letters as the example in this article series. If you are creating a set of merged labels or envelopes, the process is a little different. To go directly to information about labels or envelopes, click a link in the See Also section of this column.

Choose the type of document you want to merge information into

The Mail Merge task pane opens with a question about what type of merged document you are creating. After you choose, click Next at the bottom of the task pane.

Mail Merge task pane - select document type step

 Note   If you don't see the Mail Merge task pane, on the Tools menu, point to Letters and Mailings, and then click Mail Merge (or Mail Merge Wizard, if you're using Word 2002).

If you have fax support set up on your computer and a fax modem installed, you will also see Faxes in the list of document types.

Choose the main document you want to use

If your main document (called the starting document in the task pane) is already open, or you are starting with a blank document, you can click Use the current document.

Mail Merge task pane - select starting document step

Otherwise, click Start from a template or Start from existing document, and then locate the template or document that you want to use.


When you click Start from a template and then click Select template in the task pane, you open the Select Template dialog box. From there, you can open one of the many templates that are installed with Word. You can also access the hundreds of templates available on the Microsoft Office Online Web site.

Next step

Step 2: Connect to a data file and select records

Applies to:
Office 2003