Troubleshoot mail merge

Opening or creating the main document

ShowI want to use main documents I created in other versions of Word.

You can use main documents (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.) that you created in the following versions of Microsoft Word:

ShowI changed the mailing label or envelope size and don't know how to fix my main document.

Open 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.). If the Mail Merge task pane does not appear, point to Letters and Mailings on the Tools menu, and then click Mail Merge. In step 2 of the task pane (Select starting document), click Label options or Envelope options, and select the size you want.

ShowI can't create a catalog.

What was called a catalog in some previous versions of Microsoft Word is now called a directory. You can create one by selecting Directory in step 1 of the Mail Merge task pane and then following the steps in the task pane.

ShowI don't know how to restore a mail-merge main document to a regular document.

  1. Open the main document.
  2. On the Mail Merge toolbar (toolbar: A bar with buttons and options that you use to carry out commands. To display a toolbar, press ALT and then SHIFT+F10.), click Main Document Setup Button image, and then click Normal Word document.

Merging the data into the main document

ShowMerge fields are printed instead of my data.

ShowMy merged document has blank lines.

To prevent blanks lines with Microsoft Word fields (field: A set of codes that instructs Microsoft Word to insert text, graphics, page numbers, and other material into a document automatically. For example, the DATE field inserts the current date.) such as IF, SET, and ASK, do the following:

{ IF { MERGEFIELD Product } = "Pasta" "We have expanded our line of pasta products. Please see the enclosed brochure.

" " " } Thank you for your order.

ShowI selected the option to edit individual letters, and I don't know how to print specific letters.

When you merge form letters or similar types of merged documents to a new document, Microsoft Word places each letter in a separate section (section: A portion of a document in which you set certain page formatting options. You create a new section when you want to change such properties as line numbering, number of columns, or headers and footers.) of the new document.

To print only specific letters from the new document, click Print on the File menu. In the Pages box, type the numbers of the sections that contain the letters you want to print. For example, to print the third, sixth, seventh, and eighth form letters, type s3,s6-s8 in the Pages box. To identify the section number, click a letter and then note the section number displayed in the status bar — for example, "Sec 3."

ShowThe Match Fields dialog box appears unexpectedly, and I don't know what it's for.

If the Match Fields dialog box appears, Microsoft Word may have been unable to find some of the information it needs for the address block, greeting line, or other field. Click the arrow next to (not available), and then select the field from your data source that corresponds to the field required for the mail merge.

ShowWhen I try to merge to e-mail, I get a message asking if I want to allow access to my Outlook addresses.

When you merge to e-mail with Microsoft Outlook as your e-mail program, you may get Outlook messages informing you that a program is trying to access e-mail addresses and send e-mail. These are security measures designed to protect against viruses that replicate through e-mail.

To continue with the merge, select the Allow access for check box, and then select the amount of time you need to complete the merge. Click Yes, and then if prompted again, continue clicking Yes until the merge is complete.

These prompts do not appear if the e-mail messages are sent in HTML format. To prevent the prompts from appearing when performing a merge to e-mail, select HTML as the mail format in the Merge to E-mail dialog box.

ShowI want to use Microsoft Query to retrieve data, but I can't locate it.

You can start Microsoft Query from the Select Data Source dialog box. Click the Tools menu, and then click MS Query.

Appearance of unexpected information in the merged document

ShowI see address information for someone I don't know.

The Insert Address Block and Greeting Line dialog boxes provide sample information for preview purposes. The sample recipient you see in these dialog boxes will not appear anywhere in your merged document.

Show"Dear" or another greeting is repeated in the greeting line.

By default, the greeting line field includes a salutation. If you don't want to include one but instead want to type it manually in your document, click (none) in the Greeting line format box (Greeting Line dialog box).

ShowParts of my mail merge document have different formatting.

If the information in your data source is formatted differently from the text in your main document, the formatting may not look correct when the information is merged.

In the main document, select the entire merge field that corresponds to the data you want to format. Then on the Format menu, click Font, and select the options you want.

ShowI see unwanted information in parts of my merged document.

An unwanted field may have been mistakenly inserted into the document. Open the main document and delete any extra fields, which will be enclosed in brackets: << >>.

ShowThe formatting of addresses in inconsistent.

If your data source includes addresses from different countries or regions, Word can format the addresses according to the country or region of the recipient's address. If you want all the addresses to use a single format, you can turn this option off in the Insert Address Block dialog box by clearing the Format address according to the destination country/region check box.

ShowSome of my recipient information is missing.

  • The information could be missing from the data source. In step 3 of the Mail Merge task pane (Select recipients), click Edit recipient list. In the Mail Merge Recipients list, locate the record containing the missing information. If the information is missing there, then it's missing from your data source. You can edit the data source directly and restart the merge, or you can exclude that recipient from this merge.
  • The Mail Merge task pane may not have recognized a column heading in your data source, which could result in an inability to map the information to a merge field. You can correct this by using the Match Fields dialog box. To do so, clickMatch Fields in the Insert Address Block, Greeting Line, or Insert Merge Field dialog boxes. In the Match Fields dialog box, click the arrow next to (not available), and then select the field from your data source that corresponds to the field required for the mail merge.
  • If information is missing from the address block or greeting line, make sure you've included all the information you want in the Address Block or Greeting Line dialog box, for example, recipient's name, salutation, and so on. To edit the address block or greeting line, right-click the AddressBlock or GreetingLine field in the document, and then click Edit Address Block or Edit Greeting Line.

ShowI added information for a particular recipient, and the information was added for all the recipients.

To edit information in each individual letter, e-mail message, and so on, you need to first complete the merge, and then make your changes in the resulting merged document. Editing information in the main document makes the same change for all recipients.

ShowInformation appears on the same line, or the spacing is incorrect.

Microsoft Word inserts address blocks, greeting lines, and other fields at the location of the insertion point. Make sure to include the correct spacing and paragraph returns before and after these fields, just as you would in any text.

Applies to:
Word 2003