Create an e-mail merge

Use e-mail merge when you want to send a large number of messages that are mostly identical but each of which also includes some unique information. For example, you can use e-mail merge to create individually customized e-mail messages that contain personalized notes, or varying content targeted at separate customer segments. You can also use e-mail merge to create a product announcement to send to your top 100 customers, in which most or all of the text of the publication is the same, but the e-mail address is different for each customer.

 Note   E-mail merge requires use of Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 or Microsoft Outlook Express (version 5.0 or later).

Use the E-mail Merge task pane to create an e-mail merge. To open the E-mail Merge task pane in a new or existing publication, point to Mailings and Catalogs on the Tools menu, and then click E-mail Merge.

In this article


Create or connect to the recipient list

To perform an e-mail merge, you must open a new or existing publication and then connect to a data source, which is a file that contains the unique information that you want to include. A data file may contain a list of names and e-mail addresses, product data, or pictures. The data file can be in a variety of formats, including:

  • Microsoft Office Outlook Contacts list
  • Microsoft Office Excel worksheets
  • Microsoft Office Word tables
  • Microsoft Office Access database tables
  • Text files in which tabs, commas, semicolons, or other separators divide the columns, and paragraph returns divide the rows

You can connect to an existing list or data source, or you can create a new recipient list. If you want to use only some of the list entries in your merge, you can filter your list by a specific criterion. You can also sort the entries in alphabetical order.

 Note   If you want to merge pictures into your publication pages, your data source must include either file names or paths (path: The route that the operating system uses to locate a folder or file; for example, C:\House finances\March.doc.) for the picture files that you want to merge. Do not include the actual pictures or images in your data source.

Use an existing list

  1. Under Create recipient list, click Use an existing list, and then click Next: Create or connect to a recipient list.

By default, Microsoft Office Publisher stores data sources in the My Data Sources folder. You may need to browse to locate your data source.

  1. In the Select Data Source dialog box, click the data source that you want.
  2. Click Open.

Depending on the type of data source that you select, other dialog boxes may appear, requesting specific information.

For example, if your data source is a Microsoft Office Excel workbook that has information located on multiple worksheets, you must select the worksheet that contains the information that you want, and then click OK.

All of the contacts in the list appear in the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, where you can filter and sort the list of recipients to be included in the merge.

Select recipients from Outlook Contacts

  1. Under Create recipient list, click Select from Outlook contacts, and then click Next: Create or connect to a recipient list.
  2. If you are prompted to choose a mail profile, click the profile that you want, and then click OK.
  3. In the Select Contacts dialog box, click the contact list that you want, and then click OK.

All of the contacts in the folder appear in the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, where you can filter and sort the list of recipients to be included in the merge.

Type a new list

If you don't have an existing list to connect to, you can create a new list.

  1. Under Create recipient list, click Type a new list, and then click Next: Create or connect to a recipient list.
  2. In the New Address List dialog box, add any needed new fields or column headings.

ShowHow?

In the New Address List dialog box, click Customize Columns, and then do any of the following:

  • To add a field, click the name of the field that you want to add, and then click Add.
  • To remove a field, click the name of the field that you want to remove, and then click Delete.
  • To rename a field, click the name of the field that you want to rename, and then, in the Rename Field dialog box, type the new name in the To text box.
  • To move a field up or down in the list, click the name of the field that you want to move, and then click Move Up or Move Down until it is in the position that you want.
  1. Type the information for the first entry in the relevant fields, including the recipient's e-mail address. You do not need to fill in every field.
  2. When you have finished entering information for the first entry, click New Entry.
  3. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you have finished adding entries, and then click OK.
  4. In the Save Address List dialog box, type a name for the address list in the File name box, and then select a folder in which to save the list.

By default, Microsoft Office Publisher saves address lists in the My Data Sources folder. It is best to keep the address list here because this is also the default folder in which Publisher looks for data sources.

All of the contacts in your new list appear in the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, where you can filter and sort the list of recipients to be included in the merge.

Select recipients

In the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, you can select the recipients that you want to include in the merge. Select the check box next to each recipient that you want to include, and clear the check box next to each recipient that you want to exclude.

ShowSelect or clear all entries in the list

  • Select or clear the check box in the heading row.

If you want to use only some of the list entries in your merge, you can filter your list by a specific field or criterion. After you filter the list, you can use the check boxes to include and exclude records.

ShowFilter entries in the list

  1. Click the arrow next to the column heading of the item that you want to filter by.
  2. Click any of the following:
    • (Blanks) displays all of the records in which the corresponding field is blank.
    • (Nonblanks) displays all of the records in which the corresponding field contains information.
    • (Advanced) opens the Filter and Sort dialog box, which you can use to filter by multiple criteria. You also can open the Filter and Sort dialog box by clicking Filter under Refine recipient list in the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box.

 Tip   If your data source contains multiple records that have identical information in some of their fields, and if there are 10 or fewer unique values in a column, you can filter by the specific information. For example, if there are multiple addresses that list Australia as the country/region, you can filter on Australia.

The Mail Merge Recipients dialog box displays only the records that match the criteria. To display all of the records again, click (All).

If you want to see the records in your list in alphabetical order, you can sort them.

ShowSort entries in the list

  • In the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, click the column heading of the item that you want to sort by.

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

  • To sort by using multiple criteria, click Sort under Refine recipient list in the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box. In the Filter and Sort dialog box, select the criteria that you want to sort by.

Click OK to return to the E-mail Merge task pane.

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Prepare your publication

An e-mail merge combines one message containing the information that is the same in each copy, and one or more placeholders for the information that is unique to each copy. After you create your publication, insert any additional text that you want to appear in every version of your e-mail merge publication, such as a greeting, and the placeholders for the unique information, such as names of recipients.

If you have not already done so, insert a text box, type the text that you want to appear in every version of your e-mail merge publication, and add the placeholders for the unique information.

Insert a text box

  1. On the Objects tool bar, click Text Box Button image.
  2. In your publication, point to where you want one corner of the text box to appear, and then drag diagonally until the text box is the size you want.

Insert the text that you want in every version

  • Click inside the text box, and then type the text that you want to appear in every version of your e-mail merge publication.

Insert data fields into your publication

  1. In your e-mail merge publication, click inside the text box where you want to insert a data field (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.).
  2. Insert any of the following:

ShowAddress fields

In the E-mail Merge task pane (Prepare your publication), from the list under Prepare your publication, drag the field that you want to include into the text box that you have created for it.

 Notes 

  • You can also click Address fields under More items, and then, in the Insert Address Field dialog box, click each address element that you want to include.
  • If the names of the data fields in your data source do not match the names of the fields that Publisher uses for the address fields, you may need to click Match Fields in the Insert Address Field dialog box. In the Match Fields dialog box, use the drop-down lists to select the fields in your data source that correspond to the Publisher fields.

ShowPersonalized hyperlink

  1. In the E-mail Merge task pane (Prepare your publication), under More items, click Insert personalized hyperlink.
  2. In the Insert Personalized Hyperlink dialog box, type the text that you want to be displayed and the address of the Web site that you want recipients to go to when they click the hyperlink.
  3. If you want to insert a data field in the display text, click in the display text box where you want to insert the data field, and then, in the list on the right, click the data field that you want to insert.

 Note   If you insert a data field, you can specify a substitute display text and Web address for any blank entries that correspond to the inserted data field. Select the Use default text for blank entries and Use default hyperlink for blank entries check boxes, as needed, and type the substitute text and Web address.

ShowPicture field

  1. In the E-mail Merge task pane (Prepare your publication), under More items, click Picture field.
  2. In the Insert Picture Field dialog box, click the field that corresponds to the list of picture file names that you want to insert.

ShowGreeting line

  1. In the E-mail Merge task pane (Prepare your publication), under More items, click Greeting line.
  2. In the Insert Greeting Line dialog box, select a greeting line format. Each greeting line format includes the salutation, name format, and following punctuation.
  3. Select the text that you want to appear if Publisher cannot interpret a recipient's name — for example, if the data source contains no first or last name for a recipient, but only a company name.

 Note   If the names of the data fields in your data source do not match the names of the fields that Publisher uses for the greeting line, you may need to click Match Fields in the Insert Greeting Line dialog box. In the Match Fields dialog box, use the drop-down lists to select the fields in your data source that correspond to the Publisher fields.

Format the data fields

If you want, you can apply text formats to the data fields and to any other text that you've added (such as a greeting of Hello or a salutation like Dear) to change the appearance of the merged data. To format the merged data, you must format the data fields in your e-mail merge publication.

  1. In your e-mail merge publication, select the field containing the information that you want to format.
  2. On the Format menu, click Font, and then select the options that you want.

Preview recipient data in the data fields in your publication

Now you can review how your publication will look when the actual data appears in the merged data fields.

  1. To preview your publication, do any of the following:
    • To preview entries in order as they will appear in your merged publication, click the navigation buttons under Preview recipient in the E-mail Merge task pane Button image Button image.

The information from the first record of your data source populates the data fields. You cannot edit your data source entries on your publication pages, but you can format, move, or delete data fields there.

  • To find and preview a specific entry in your data source, click Find a recipient, and then enter the search criteria in the Find Entry dialog box.
  1. If necessary, make changes to your recipient list. Do any of the following:
    • To exclude a particular recipient from the merge, click Exclude this recipient.
    • To change the list of recipients, click Edit recipient list, and then make your changes in the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box.
  2. After you complete your e-mail merge publication and insert all of the merge fields, click Save As on the File menu. Type a name for your publication in the File name box, and then click Save.
  3. Click Next: Create merged publications.

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Create the merged publication

In the E-mail Merge task pane, under Select E-mail Merge Output, you can:

  • Send your merged publication as an e-mail message.
  • Preview your merged publication (to see how it will look before you send all versions, and to resolve potential issues).

Preview your merged publication

  1. Click E-mail preview.
  2. Click the Next and Previous buttons to preview each e-mail message as it will appear when sent.

 Note   If Design Checker has found issues that may prevent successful completion of your e-mail merge, you are notified under E-mail preview in the E-mail Merge task pane. To view and resolve the potential issues, click Design Checker.

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Send your merged publication

  1. Click Send e-mail.
  2. In the Merge to E-mail dialog box, select the recipient field from the To drop-down list. In most cases, E-mail Address is the appropriate choice for an e-mail merge.
  3. Under Subject, type the subject line. Under Items to insert, click any data fields that you want to insert in the subject line.
  4. Click Options to specify any other options that you want, such as Cc or Bcc recipients or message attachments.
  5. Click Send.

The Send Merged E-mail Messages dialog box opens so that you can confirm the mailing by viewing a list of recipients to whom the e-mail either was or was not sent.

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Cancel a merge

At any time before you send your merged e-mail messages, you can cancel a merge to disconnect an e-mail merge publication from its data source.

  1. On the Tools menu, point to Mailings and Catalogs, and then click Cancel Merge.
  2. When asked whether you want to cancel the merge, click Yes.

The publication is disconnected from its data source.

 Note   If you cancel an e-mail merge, some data fields are converted to text, while address blocks, address fields, and greeting lines remain active data fields.

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Applies to:
Publisher 2007