Sort and filter the data for a mail merge

When you don’t want to use all the information in your mail merge mailing list, you can select just some of the people or items in the list. And to make it easier, you can sort and filter the data, so you see only what you want.

  1. Open the mail merge document, if it isn’t already open.
  2. Click Edit Recipients.

Edit Recipient List command

If Edit Recipients is grayed out, click Select Recipients and connect the document to the mailing list you want to use.

  1. Check the boxes next to the recipients, or the data rows, that you want to include.

To group the rows or see only the rows you want, sort or filter the list.

Sort the list to find groups

Use sort to group your information. For example, if you want to send email only to people who live in specific cities, sort by city so that all the people in each city are grouped together. That makes it easier to select them for the merge.

  1. Sort any column by clicking the column name.

You can also sort by whether you have information for that person—for example, if you’re making an email merge, but you don’t have email addresses for everyone. Click the arrow next to the column name, and then click (Blanks) or (Nonblanks).

Sort menu with options for blanks and nonblanks

To sort by multiple columns—for example, by state and then by city, click Sort, and then fill in the columns you want to sort by.

Sort command under Refine recipient list

Advanced Sort options

  1. Next, click the check boxes in the rows you want to include in the merge, and then click OK.

Select rows by checking the check box

See just the rows you want to include

Filter the list to see just the people or items you want to include in the merge—for example, only people in a specific city or inventory items at a specific price.

  1. Under Refine recipient list, click Filter.

Mail merge recipients list options

  1. Click the arrow next to the Field box, and then click the column you want to filter by.
  2. Click Comparison, and then click the kind of comparison you want to make—for example, Equal to or Contains.

This list also includes Is blank and Is not blank.

  1. In the Compare by box, type the value for the filter. For example, if you select City in the Field list, type the name of the city.
  2. Click And or Or, and then add another condition to your filter. For example, if you want the results for two cities, click Or, click City in the Field list, click Equal to, and then type the name of the second city.
  3. Click OK.
  4. Select the check boxes in the rows you want to include in the merge.

Select rows by checking the check box

  1. If you want to include everything in the filtered set, click the check box at the top of the column.
  2. Click OK.

Now you’re ready to insert mail merge fields in the document you’re using for email merge or labels. For more information, see Insert mail merge fields.

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Applies to:
Word 2013