Simplify customer mailings with Publisher

Applies to
Microsoft® Office Publisher 2003
Microsoft Publisher 2002

If you regularly mail publications, such as postcards, newsletters, flyers, or brochures, to customers, employees, or members of an organization, you probably already know how to create a file for your contacts' addresses, and then use it to print mailing labels or envelopes.

However, if you create your publication in Publisher, you can take addresses from your existing contacts file and merge them directly into the publication itself. This way, you don't have to use labels or envelopes, and the address text will even be formatted like text in the rest of the publication.

Address from file printed directly on postcard created in Publisher

Using that same contacts file, you can also create personalized messages and merge them into some or all of your publications.

Personalized message from a contacts file added to a postcard created in Publisher

Handling a customer mailing in Publisher involves three steps:

  1. Create your postcard, newsletter, flyer, or brochure using Publisher.

For instructions on creating a publication, see:

Produce professional looking postcards using Publisher

Stay in touch with customers: Create a newsletter with Publisher

Entice customers and increase sales with Publisher flyers

Create brochures that help you sell in Publisher

  1. Prepare a contacts file that contains all the information you want to insert in the publication.
  2. Use mail merge to merge the content from the contacts file into the publication.

Prepare your contacts file

Before you merge content from the contacts file into your publication, make sure that:

 Tip   If you haven't already created a contacts file, you can create one from within Publisher. You'll learn how later in this article.

Data source file formats for mail merge

In Publisher, you can use a variety of data source file formats for a mail merge, including:

  • Microsoft Access (all versions)
  • Microsoft Excel (version 3.0 and later)
  • Microsoft Outlook® (all versions) Contacts information
  • Microsoft Word (all versions) tables or merge data documents
  • Microsoft FoxPro® (version 2.0 and later)

For additional file formats, see Help in Publisher.

Set up your contacts file

To ensure that addresses will appear correctly in your publication, each element of the address (for example, street address, city, state or province, postal or zip code) should be placed in a separate column.

 Tip   To avoid confusion when you merge information into your publication, name the columns in your contacts file to closely reflect their contents. For example, name the column where you put street addresses, "Address," and the column where you put postal codes, "Postal code" or "Zip."

You must also create a column for each additional piece of information you want to merge into your publication.

Contacts file created in Microsoft Excel

For example, the contacts list shown here includes a column called "Personal note." You can use this column to include a personal message in copies of the publication that your best customers receive. Other examples might be a "Personal greetings" column, where you include personal greetings like "Dear Nancy," or a "PS" column, where you include personal postscript information that you can add to individual form letters.

ShowUse Microsoft Office Publisher 2003 to merge contacts file information into the publication

After you have created your publication and set up your contacts file , you are ready to use the Mail and Catalog Merge Wizard to perform a mail merge. To get information from the file into the publication, the Mail and Catalog Merge Wizard guides you through these basic steps:

  • Open the publication and contacts files.
  • Indicate where you want the address or personalized information to appear.
  • Preview and print the personally-addressed publications.

To open the publication and contacts files

  1. Open the Publisher file for the publication into which you want to merge address and other information. On the Tools menu, point to Mail and Catalog Merge, and then click Mail and Catalog Merge Wizard.

The Mail and Catalog Merge Wizard opens in the task pane on the left side of the window.

  1. Under Select a merge type, click Mail Merge, and then click Next: Select data source at the bottom of the task pane.
  2. Under Select data source, you have three options:
    • Use an existing list     Click this option if you already have a data file, such as an Excel spreadsheet, Access database table, or Word table, that contains your recipients' names and addresses.
    • Select from Outlook Contacts     Click this option if you want to use the names and addresses from your Outlook Contacts list as the recipient list for your publication.
    • Type a new list     Click this option if you don't have a data file yet that contains recipients' names and addresses.

Click the blue text below that matches the option you want to pursue.

ShowUse an existing list

  1. Under Use an existing list in the task pane, click Browse to locate your data file.
  2. In the Select Data Source dialog box, locate the file, and then click Open.
  3. If you see the Select Table dialog box, click the table or worksheet that contains your recipient names and addresses. If the first row in the data file contains actual information instead of column headings, deselect First row of data contains column headers, and then click OK.
  4. The Mail Merge Recipients dialog box opens.

ShowSelect from Outlook Contacts

  1. Under Select from Outlook contacts in the task pane, click Choose Contacts Folder.
  2. In the Select Contact List Folder dialog box, click the Contact list folder that contains your recipient names and addresses, and then click OK.
  3. The Mail Merge Recipients dialog box opens.

 Note   If you run into problems connecting to your Contacts list, get problem-solving help by clicking an Answer Box link in the See Also box.

ShowType a new list

  1. Under Type a new list in the task pane, click Create.
  2. The New Address List dialog box opens. Under Enter Address information, you see a list of categories, such as First Name, Last Name, Address Line 1, and so on. What you want to do is edit this list so it matches the categories of information you want to record about your recipients. For example, while the list in the dialog box includes items such as Title, Home Phone, and E-mail Address, you might want your list to include only First Name, Last Name, and address information. To edit the list of categories, click Customize.
  3. In the Customize Address List dialog box, use the buttons to add, delete, or change the order of the categories. When the list looks the way you want, click OK.
  4. Type the information for the first entry in the New Address List dialog box. Then, click New Entry to type the information for the second entry, and so on.
  5. When you've typed entries for all the recipients, click Close. In the Save Address List dialog box, type a name for the file, and then click Save. The Mail Merge Recipients dialog box opens.

Tips

  • By default, if you don't change the location, the mailing list data file you just created is saved to the My Data Sources folder in your My Documents folder. This is a convenient location. If, in the future, you want to create a new set of publications using the same data file, Publisher will automatically look first for the file in the My Data Sources folder.
  • If, in the future, you want to add to or edit the data file you just created, you have a couple of options. You can open the file in Access and edit it there. Or, you can edit the file from within Publisher. On the Tools menu, point to Mail and Catalog Merge, and then click Edit Address List. In the Open Address List dialog box, locate the data file, and then click Open.
  1. The Mail Merge Recipients dialog box gives you the opportunity to narrow or sort the entries in the data file. For example, you might want to do a mailing only to customers in a certain postal code or city.

If you want to send a publication to each recipient in your data file and you don't need to do any sorting or narrowing, just click OK to move on.

If you don't want to send publications to all of the recipients in data file, you can do some or all of these things before you click OK:

  • To eliminate one recipient, click the check box at the beginning of the recipient's row to clear it.
  • To sort the rows according to the ascending or descending order of information in a particular column (for example, if you want to address the publications in alphabetical order by last name), click the column heading.
  • To narrow the list of rows according to specific criteria (for example, all the people who live in a certain postal code), click the arrow next to a column heading. When you click the arrow, you see a list that looks similar to this one:

Dropdown list to narrow recipients for a mailing

Callout 1 
Click (All) if you previously narrowed the list and now want to include all the entries again.
Callout 2 
Click the value by which you want to narrow the list. In this example, the Postal Code column contains only two unique codes. In the case of your data file, the list of unique entries would most likely be much longer.
Callout 3 
Click (Blanks) to narrow the list to only those entries in this column that are blank.
Callout 4 
Click (Nonblanks) to narrow the list to only those entries in this column that have content in them.
Callout 5 
Click (Advanced) to open the Filter and Sort dialog box, where you can narrow according to more complex criteria. For example, you can narrow the list to three postal codes or two cities.

 Note   Any narrowing and sorting changes you make in the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box don't affect the original data file.

  1. Click Next: Create your publication at the bottom of the task pane.

To indicate where the address information appears

  1. Click a text box in your publication where you want the address to appear.
    • If there is already text in the text box and you want to delete it, select it, too.
    • If there is already text in the text box and you want to keep it, position the cursor where you want to insert the address.
    • If no text box exists where you want it, on the Insert menu, click Text Box, and then draw a rectangle the size you want.
  2. In the task pane, click Address block.
  3. In the Insert Address Block dialog box, choose the options you want, and then click OK.

The Wizard inserts «Address Block» into the text box.

To indicate where personalized information appears

You can personalize your publication for its recipient by merging a specific greeting, note, or photograph.

  1. To add personalized content to your publication, do one or both of the following:

ShowAdd a greeting line or text message

  1. Click a text box in your publication where you want personalized information to appear.
    • If there is already text in the text box and you want to delete it, select it, too.
    • If there is already text in the text box and you want to keep it, position the cursor where you want to insert the address.
    • If no text box exists where you want it, on the Insert menu, click Text Box, and then draw a rectangle the size you want.
  2. In the Mail and Catalog Merge task pane, do one of the following:
    • To add a greeting line, click Greeting line, choose the greeting format you want, and then click OK.

The Wizard inserts «Greeting Line» into the text box.

  • To add a personalized message from your contacts file, point to the appropriate merge field in the list box in the task pane, click the arrow that appears on the right, and then click Insert as Text.

ShowAdd a photograph

For detailed information about merging pictures and setting up your data source with picture file information, use the See Also link to Merge pictures into a publication.

  1. In your publication, click where you want to insert the merge field for a picture.
  2. In the list box in the Mail and Catalog Merge task pane, point to the field that corresponds to the photo information in your data source file, click the arrow that appears on the right, and then click Insert as Picture.

Publisher inserts a merge field within a picture frame into you publication at the insertion point you selected. You can resize or move the picture frame.

  1. At the bottom of the task pane, click Next: Preview your publication.

To preview and print personally addressed publications

  1. Using the navigation buttons at the top of the task pane (<< and >> ), scroll through the publications to make sure the information merged the way you wanted.

 Note   If zip codes aren't merging properly or text formatting you applied in the data file has been lost, click an Answer Box link in the See Also box to see how to solve the problem.

  1. When you are satisfied with the way the publications look, at the bottom of the task pane, click Next: Complete the merge.
  2. In the task pane, click Print to print the personally addressed copies of your publication. In the Print Merge dialog box, choose the options you want, and then click OK.

 Tip   If you're printing a publication such as postcards, you might want to do a test print on regular paper before you print the final versions on postcard stock.

 Note   If you save the publication file after you generate the first set of merged publications, you can quickly create another set. The publication remembers which data file you connected it to so you can jump ahead to the previewing step. When you open the saved publication you'll see an alert box that says opening the publication will access data from the data file. Click Yes. You'll see your publication with text and placeholder fields already in place. To merge the data into the publication again, on the Tools menu, point to Mail and Catalog Merge, and then click Show Merged Results. If the addresses aren't displaying properly, you probably need to match fields again:

  1. In the Mail Merge task pane, click Previous: Preview the publications.
  2. Under Create the publication in the task pane, click Address Block.
  3. In the Insert Address Block dialog box, click Match Fields.
  4. In the Match Fields dialog box, choose column names on the right that correspond to the required information on the left. Click OK. In the Insert Address Block dialog box, click Cancel because you don't need to add a second address block field to your publication.

ShowUse Microsoft Publisher 2002 to merge contacts file information into the publication

After you have created your publication and set up your contacts file , you are ready to use the Mail Merge Wizard. To get information from the file into the publication, the Mail Merge Wizard guides you through these basic steps:

  • Open the publication and contacts files.
  • Indicate where you want the address or personalized information to appear.
  • Preview and print the personally-addressed publications.

To open the publication and contacts files

  1. Open the Publisher file for the publication into which you want to merge address and other information. On the Tools menu, point to Mail Merge, and then click Mail Merge Wizard.

The Mail Merge Wizard opens in the task pane on the left side of the window.

  1. Under Select data source, you have three options:
    • Use an existing list     Click this option if you already have a data file, such as an Excel spreadsheet, Access database table, or Word table, that contains your recipients' names and addresses.
    • Select from Outlook Contacts     Click this option if you want to use the names and addresses from your Outlook Contacts list as the recipient list for your publication.
    • Type a new list     Click this option if you don't have a data file yet that contains recipients' names and addresses.

Click the blue text below that matches the option you want to pursue.

ShowUse an existing list

  1. Under Use an existing list in the task pane, click Browse to locate your data file.
  2. In the Select Data Source dialog box, locate the file, and then click Open.
  3. If you see the Select Table dialog box, click the table or worksheet that contains your recipient names and addresses. If the first row in the data file contains actual information instead of column headings, deselect First row of data contains column headers, and then click OK.
  4. The Mail Merge Recipients dialog box opens.

ShowSelect from Outlook Contacts

  1. Under Select from Outlook contacts in the task pane, click Choose Contacts Folder.
  2. In the Select Contact List Folder dialog box, click the Contact list folder that contains your recipient names and addresses, and then click OK.
  3. The Mail Merge Recipients dialog box opens.

 Note   If you run into problems connecting to your Contacts list, get problem-solving help by clicking an Answer Box link in the See Also box.

ShowType a new list

  1. Under Type a new list in the task pane, click Create.
  2. The New Address List dialog box opens. Under Enter Address information, you see a list of categories, such as First Name, Last Name, Address Line 1, and so on. What you want to do is edit this list so it matches the categories of information you want to record about your recipients. For example, while the list in the dialog box includes items such as Title, Home Phone, and E-mail Address, you might want your list to include only First Name, Last Name, and address information. To edit the list of categories, click Customize.
  3. In the Customize Address List dialog box, use the buttons to add, delete, or change the order of the categories. When the list looks the way you want, click OK.
  4. Type the information for the first entry in the New Address List dialog box. Then, click New Entry to type the information for the second entry, and so on.
  5. When you've typed entries for all the recipients, click Close. In the Save Address List dialog box, type a name for the file, and then click Save. The Mail Merge Recipients dialog box opens.

Tips

  • By default, if you don't change the location, the mailing list data file you just created is saved to the My Data Sources folder in your My Documents folder. This is a convenient location. If, in the future, you want to create a new set of publications using the same data file, Publisher will automatically look first for the file in the My Data Sources folder.
  • If, in the future, you want to add to or edit the data file you just created, you have a couple of options. You can open the file in Access and edit it there. Or, you can edit the file from within Publisher. On the Tools menu, point to Mail and Catalog Merge, and then click Edit Address List. In the Open Address List dialog box, locate the data file, and then click Open.
  1. The Mail Merge Recipients dialog box gives you the opportunity to narrow or sort the entries in the data file. For example, you might want to do a mailing only to customers in a certain postal code or city.

If you want to send a publication to each recipient in your data file and you don't need to do any sorting or narrowing, just click OK to move on.

If you don't want to send publications to all of the recipients in data file, you can do some or all of these things before you click OK:

  • To eliminate one recipient, click the check box at the beginning of the recipient's row to clear it.
  • To sort the rows according to the ascending or descending order of information in a particular column (for example, if you want to address the publications in alphabetical order by last name), click the column heading.
  • To narrow the list of rows according to specific criteria (for example, all the people who live in a certain postal code), click the arrow next to a column heading. When you click the arrow, you see a list that looks similar to this one:

Dropdown list to narrow recipients for a mailing

Callout 1 
Click (All) if you previously narrowed the list and now want to include all the entries again.
Callout 2 
Click the value by which you want to narrow the list. In this example, the Postal Code column contains only two unique codes. In the case of your data file, the list of unique entries would most likely be much longer.
Callout 3 
Click (Blanks) to narrow the list to only those entries in this column that are blank.
Callout 4 
Click (Nonblanks) to narrow the list to only those entries in this column that have content in them.
Callout 5 
Click (Advanced) to open the Filter and Sort dialog box, where you can narrow according to more complex criteria. For example, you can narrow the list to three postal codes or two cities.

 Note   Any narrowing and sorting changes you make in the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box don't affect the original data file.

  1. Click Next: Create the publication at the bottom of the task pane.

To indicate where the address information appears

  1. Click a text box in your publication where you want the address to appear.
    • If there is already text in the text box and you want to delete it, select it, too.
    • If there is already text in the text box and you want to keep it, position the cursor where you want to insert the address.
    • If no text box exists where you want it, on the Insert menu, click Text Box, and then draw a rectangle the you want.
  2. In the task pane, click Address block.
  3. In the Insert Address Block dialog box, choose the options you want, and then click OK.

The Wizard inserts «Address Block» into the text box.

To indicate where personalized information appears

  1. Click a text box in your publication where you want personalized information to appear.
    • If there is already text in the text box and you want to delete it, select it, too.
    • If there is already text in the text box and you want to keep it, position the cursor where you want to insert the address.
    • If no text box exists where you want it, on the Insert menu, click Text Box, and then draw a rectangle the size you want.
  2. In the task pane, click Greeting line if you are adding a personalized greeting, or More items if you are adding a personal note (or some other type of information). In the dialog box:
    • If you're adding a greeting, choose the greeting format you want, and then click OK. The Wizard inserts «Greeting line» into the text box.
    • If you're adding other information, click Database Fields, choose the column from the contacts file that contains the information you're adding, and then click Insert. The Wizard inserts «Personal note» or something similar into the text box.
  3. At the bottom of the task pane, click Next: Preview the publications.

To preview and print personally addressed publications

  1. Using the navigation buttons at the top of the task pane (<< and >> ), scroll through the publications to make sure the information merged the way you wanted.

 Note   If zip codes aren't merging properly or text formatting you applied in the data file has been lost, click an Answer Box link in the See Also box to see how to solve the problem.

  1. When you are satisfied with the way the publications look, at the bottom of the task pane, click Next: Complete the merge.
  2. In the task pane, click Print to print the personally addressed copies of your publication. In the Print Merge dialog box, choose the options you want, and then click OK.

 Tip   If you're printing a publication such as postcards, you might want to do a test print on regular paper before you print the final versions on postcard stock.

 Note   If you save the publication file after you generate the first set of merged publications, you can quickly create another set. The publication remembers which data file you connected it to so you can jump ahead to the previewing step. When you open the saved publication file, you'll see your publication with text and placeholder fields already in place. To merge the data into the publication again, on the Tools menu, point to Mail Merge, and then click Show Merged Results. If the addresses aren't displaying properly, you probably need to match fields again:

  1. In the Mail Merge task pane, click Previous: Preview the publications.
  2. Under Create the publication in the task pane, click Address Block.
  3. In the Insert Address Block dialog box, click Match Fields.
  4. In the Match Fields dialog box, choose column names on the right that correspond to the required information on the left. Click OK. In the Insert Address Block dialog box, click Cancel because you don't need to add a second address block field to your publication.
 
 
Applies to:
Publisher 2003