Create a data source for a mail merge or a catalog merge

If your information is not already organized into a data source (data source: A file that contains information that can be merged into a publication. For example, a list of names and addresses, or paths to pictures you want to use in a mail or catalog merge. You must connect to a data source to perform a merge.) file format that Microsoft Publisher can use, you can create a data source to use for your mail merge (mail merge: The process of combining information from a data source with a publication to print a batch of individually customized publications.) or catalog merge (catalog merge: The process of combining information from a data source with a template to create pages that display multiple records per page. You can add the merged pages to an existing publication or create a new publication. ) project.

Before you create your data source, think about the kinds of information you want to include in your final merged publication. The data fields (data field: A category of information that corresponds to one column of information in a data source. The name of each data field is listed in the first row (header row) of the data source. "PostalCode" and "LastName" are examples of data field names.) in your data source correspond to the merge fields (merge field: A placeholder for text or pictures that you insert into your publication. Information from a data source (such as a name, address, or image) is inserted in each merge field. You can format, copy, move, or delete a merge field.) that you insert into your mail merge publication or catalog merge template. Be sure to structure your data source file so that it has all of the data fields that you will need for your merge.

ShowCreate an address list for a mail merge

You can use Publisher to create an Address List for a mail merge project. After you create and save this list, you can use it over again for future mail merge projects.

  1. On the Tools menu point to Mail and Catalog Merge, and then click Create Address List.
  2. If you want, before you begin typing information for your list, add fields to the list that appears in the New Address Lists dialog box.

ShowHow?

  1. In the New Address List dialog box, click Customize.
  2. In the Customize Address Lists dialog box, click Add.
  3. In the Add Field dialog box, type a name for your new field, and then click OK.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until you have added all of the fields that you want, and then click OK.
  1. In the New Address List dialog box, under Enter Address information, type the information for the first entry in the relevant fields.
  2. When you've finished entering information for the first entry, click New Entry.
  3. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have finished adding entries.
  4. Click Close.
  5. In the Save Address List dialog box, type a name for your address list in the File name box.

By default, the address list is saved in the My Data Sources folder. It is best to keep the address list here because this is the default folder in which Publisher looks for data sources (data source: A file that contains information that can be merged into a publication. For example, a list of names and addresses, or paths to pictures you want to use in a mail or catalog merge. You must connect to a data source to perform a merge.).

  1. Click Save.

 Note   You can use an Address List to merge pictures. You will need to add fields for the picture information and then type the path (path: The route that the operating system uses to locate a folder or file; for example, C:\House finances\March.doc.) for the picture file that you want to use for each entry in the list.

ShowCreate a data source listing text and pictures

You can use either Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word to create a data source for your mail merge or catalog merge project. If you create an Excel worksheet or a Word table, your information will be organized into table form.

The columns in your Excel worksheet or Word table should represent the distinct categories of information, or data fields (data field: A category of information that corresponds to one column of information in a data source. The name of each data field is listed in the first row (header row) of the data source. "PostalCode" and "LastName" are examples of data field names.), that you want to use in your mail merge or catalog merge. The first row of the table, the header record, should list the column names. These column names will become the names of the merge fields (merge field: A placeholder for text or pictures that you insert into your publication. Information from a data source (such as a name, address, or image) is inserted in each merge field. You can format, copy, move, or delete a merge field.) that you insert into your mail merge publication or catalog merge template. Each row in your table after the header record should list a complete set of information for each of the data fields.

  1. Create the Excel worksheet or Word table that you want to use as a data source.

ShowHow?

Do one of the following:

ShowCreate a worksheet in Excel

  • In Excel, on the File menu, click New, and then click Blank Workbook in the New Workbook task pane.

ShowCreate a table in Word

  1. In Word, on the File menu, click New, and then click Blank Document in the New Document task pane.
  2. Click in the document where you want to create a table.
  3. In Word, on the Table menu, point to Insert, and then click Table.
  4. In the Insert Table dialog box, select the options that you want, and then click OK.
  1. In each cell of the first row of the worksheet or table, type a unique column heading that describes the information to be listed in the column. For example, if you are creating a table that will list item names, descriptions, and photos that you want to merge into a catalog, you could type the following column headings: Item name, Description, Photo.

Each of these column headings will become a merge field that you can insert into your mail merge publication or catalog merge template.

  1. In each of the following rows of the table, type the information for each of your records. For example, if you are creating a table that will list item names, descriptions, and photos, type the information for each individual item in its own row.
  2. If you plan to merge photos into your final publication, you will need to type either the file name or path (path: The route that the operating system uses to locate a folder or file; for example, C:\House finances\March.doc.) for each picture file that you want to use in the appropriate column or data field for each record. Do one of the following :
  • If you plan to save your picture files and your data source in the same folder, type the file name for the relevant picture. For example: firstphoto.jpg.
  • If the picture files will be located in a different folder from the data source, type the path for the relevant picture. For example: C:\Documents and Settings\Username\My Documents\My Pictures\Catalog Project\firstphoto.jpg.
  1. Repeat steps 3 and 4, as necessary, until you have finished typing the information that you want.
  2. In either Excel or Word, click Save as on the File menu.
  3. In the Save as dialog box, double-click the My Data Sources folder to open it, type a name for your data source file, in the File name box, and then click Save.

 Note   If you want, you can save your data source file in another location. The My Data Sources folder is a convenient location because Publisher opens it first by default when you connect to a data source. If you save your data source file somewhere other than the My Data Sources folder, you will have to browse to locate it when you connect to a data source during a mail merge or a catalog merge.

 
 
Applies to:
Publisher 2003