Use Outlook contacts as a data source for a mail merge

You can use contacts from Microsoft Outlook as the data source for mail merges in Microsoft Word.

 Note    Because mail merge is a task in Word 2010, it cannot be started from Outlook. For more information on mail merge, including printing labels and envelopes, see help in Word.

  1. In Word, on the Mailings tab, in the Start Mail Merge group, click Start Mail Merge and then click the type of document that you want to make. The active document becomes the main document (main document: In a mail-merge operation in Word, the document that contains the text and graphics that are the same for each version of the merged document, for example, the return address or salutation in a form letter.).
  2. In the Start Mail Merge group, click Select Recipients, and then click Select from Outlook Contacts.

 Note    If you want more help with the mail merge process, on the Mailings tab, in the Start Mail Merge group, click Start Mail Merge and then click Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard. You can refer to the information in this article when you reach Step 3 of the Mail Merge Wizard, Select recipients.

  1. In the Select Contacts dialog box, click the contact folder that you want to use in the mail merge, and then click OK.

The list of recipients appears in the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, where you can refine the list of recipients. For example, you might want to send a form letter to only those customers in your file that have a specific postal code.

ShowHow do I refine the list of recipients?

Do one of the following:

ShowUse the check boxes to designate recipients

This method is best if your list is short.

  • Select the check boxes next to the recipients that you want to include, and clear the check boxes for recipients that you want to exclude.

 Tip    If you want to include most of the list in the mail merge, click Select All and then clear the check box for the entries to exclude. Similarly, if you want to include only a few records in the list, click Clear All, and then select the entries that you want.

ShowSort items in the list

This method is best for viewing items in alphabetical or numeric order.

  • Click the column heading of the item you want to sort by. For example, if you want to display the list alphabetically by last name, click the Last Name column heading.

ShowFilter items in the list

This is best when you know the list contains records that you don't want to see or include in the mail merge. Once you have filtered the list, use the check boxes to include and exclude records, as described earlier.

  1. Click the arrow next to the column heading of the item you want to filter by.
  2. Click any of the following:
    • (Blanks) All records in which the corresponding field is blank.
    • (Nonblanks) All records in which the corresponding field contains information.
    • (Advanced) Used for advanced sorting and filtering. Use the Filter Records and Sort Records tabs to create a sorting or filtering query. For example, if there are multiple addresses that list Australia as the country/region, you can filter on Australia.

The filtered records appear in the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box. To display all the records, click (All).


  1. Click OK, or if you are using the Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard, click Next: Write your document type.

Finish composing the document and then complete the mail merge.

 Tip    Save the main document, which also saves the connection between it and the data source. The next time you want to do a similar mail merge, open the main document, and then you can quickly complete the merge or connect to a different source.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2010