You use the Mail Merge task pane to create form letters.
- On the Tools menu, point to Letters and Mailings, and then click Mail Merge.
- Under Select document type, click Letters.
The active document becomes 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.).
- Click Next: Starting document.
More step-by-step information
The task pane guides you through the rest of the mail merge process. The following are more details, listed in step-by-step order.
Set up and display your letter
- Do one of the following:
Start with the document currently shown in the document window
- Click Use the current document.
You can then either type the letter in the document window, or wait until the task pane prompts you to do so in a later step.
Start with a template
- Click Start from a template.
- Click Select template.
- On the Mail Merge tab in the Select Template dialog box, select the template you want, and then click OK.
Start with any other existing document
- Click Start from existing document.
- In the Start from existing box, select the document you want, and then click Open.
If you don't see the document, click More files, and then click Open. In the Open dialog box, locate the document you want, and then click Open.
- Click Next: Select recipients.
Locate or create a data source, and then select recipients
- Do one of the following:
Connect to a Microsoft Outlook Contacts List
- Under Select recipients, click Select from Outlook contacts.
- Click Choose Contacts Folder.
- In the Select Contact List folder dialog box, click the contact list you want, and then click OK.
All of the contacts in the folder appear in the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, where you can refine the list of recipients to include in the merge.
Connect to a different type of list, such as a database or Office Address List
Create a simple new address list
- Under Select recipients, click Type a new list.
- Click Create.
- In the New Address List dialog box, type the information you want to include for the first entry under Enter Address information; for example, title, names, and address information. You do not have to fill in every field.
- To complete the first entry and move on to a new entry, click New Entry.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you've added all the address entries you want, and then click Close.
- In the Save Address List dialog box, type a name for the address list in the File name box, and select a folder to save the list in.
By default, the address list is saved in the My Data Sources folder. It's best to keep the address list here because this is also the default folder in which Microsoft Word looks for data sources (data source: A file that contains the information to be merged into a document. For example, the list of names and addresses you want to use in a mail merge. You must connect to the data source before you can use the information in it.). So if you want to use this address list in a later mail merge, you won't have to navigate through files and folders to locate it.
- Click Save.
All of the entries in your new list appear in the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, where you can refine the list of recipients to include in the merge.
- In the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, select the recipients you want to include.
- Do any of the following:
Use the check boxes to designate recipients
This method is most useful if your list is short.
- Select the check boxes next to the recipients you want to include, and clear the ones next to the recipients you want to exclude.
If you know you want to include most of the list in your merge, clicking Select All first makes it easy to clear particular records. Similarly, if you want to include only a few records in the list, click Clear All, and then select the records you want.
Sort items in the list
This is useful if you want to see items in alphabetical or numeric order.
- Click the column heading of the item you want to sort by. For example, if you want to display the list alphabetically by last name, click the Last Name column heading.
Filter items in the list
This is useful if the list contains records that you know you don't want to see or include in the merge. Once you've filtered the list, you can use the check boxes to include and exclude records as described in the previous section.
- Click the arrow next to the column heading of the item you want to filter by.
- Click any of the following:
- (Blanks) displays all the records in which the corresponding field is blank.
- (Nonblanks) displays all the records in which the corresponding field contains information.
- If your data source contains records that share the same information, and there are ten or fewer unique values in the column, you can filter by 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 designated records. To display all the records again, click (All).
- Click OK to return to the Mail Merge task pane. Microsoft Word will use the recipients you designated for the merge.
- For advanced sorting and filtering, click the arrow next to any column name, and then click (Advanced). Use the Filter Records and Sort Records tabs to set up the sorting or filtering query you want.
- If you have installed address validation software, you can click Validate in the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box to validate your recipients' addresses.
- Click Next: Write your letter.
Complete the letter and add merge fields
- If you have not already done so, in the main document, type the text that you want to appear in every form letter.
- Insert merge fields (merge field: A placeholder that you insert in the main document. For example, insert the merge field <City> to have Word insert a city name, such as "Paris," that's stored in the City data field.) where you want to merge names, addresses, and other data from the data source (data source: A file that contains the information to be merged into a document. For example, the list of names and addresses you want to use in a mail merge. You must connect to the data source before you can use the information in it.).
- In the main document, click where you want to insert the field (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.).
- Insert any of the following:
Address block with name, address, and other information
- Click Address block.
- In the Insert Address Block dialog box, select the address elements you want to include and the formats you want, and then click OK.
- 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. 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.
- Click Greeting line.
- Select the greeting line format, which includes the salutation, name format, and following punctuation.
- Select the text you want to appear in cases where Microsoft Word can't interpret the recipient's name, for example, when the data source contains no first or last name for a recipient, but only a company name.
- Click OK.
- If the Match Fields dialog box appears, Word may have been unable to find some of the information it needs for the greeting line. 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.
Other fields of information
- Click More items.
- Do one of the following:
In the Fields box, click the field you want.
Click Insert, and then click Close.
If the Match Fields dialog box appears, Microsoft Word may have been unable to find some of the information it needs to insert the 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.
- To select address fields that will automatically correspond to fields in your data source, even if the data source's fields don't have the same name as your fields, click Address Fields.
- To select fields that always take data directly from a column in a database, click Database Fields.
Note If you insert a field from the Database Fields list and then later switch to a data source that doesn't have a column with the same name, Word won't be able to insert that field information into the merged document.
Postal bar code
You must select a label or envelope type that supports the POSTNET bar code.
- Click Postal bar code.
- In the Insert Postal Bar Code dialog box, select the appropriate address fields.
Note The Postal bar code option only appears if you are using the U.S. language version of Microsoft Word.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 for all the fields you want to insert.
- If you want, you can change the format of the merged data.
To format merged data, you must format the merge fields in the main document. Don't format the data in the data source, because its formatting isn't retained when you merge the data into the document.
- In the main document, select the field containing the information you want to format, including the surrounding merge field characters («« »»).
- On the Format menu, click Font, and then select the options you want.
Formatting by using field codes
To control other aspects of formatting, press ALT+F9 to display field codes (field code: Placeholder text that shows where specified information from your data source will appear; the elements in a field that generate a field's result. The field code includes the field characters, field type, and instructions.), and then add switches (switch: When working with fields, a special instruction that causes a specific action to occur. Generally, a switch is added to a field to modify a result.) to the merge fields.
- To display the number "34987.89" as "$34,987.89," add a numeric picture switch (\# $#,###.00).
- To print client names in uppercase letters, add the uppercase formatting switch (\* Upper).
- To ensure that the merged information has the same font and point size you apply to the merge field, add the \* MERGEFORMAT switch.
- After you've completed the main document and inserted all of the merge fields, click Save As on the File menu. Name the document, and then click Save.
- Click Next: Preview your letters.
Preview the letters and fine-tune the recipient list
- Preview the items. Do one of the following:
If necessary, fine-tune the recipient list. Do one of the following:
- To preview the items in order, click the arrow buttons .
- To locate and preview a specific item, click Find a recipient, and then enter the search criteria in the Find Entry dialog box.
Click Next: Complete the merge.
- 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.
Complete the merge
Do any of the following:
Personalize individual letters
To personalize individual documents, you actually complete the merge, and then edit the information you want in the resulting merged document.
- Click Edit individual letters.
- In the Merge to New Document dialog box, select the records you want to merge.
- Click OK.
Microsoft Word creates and opens a new merged document. Your main document also remains open, and you can switch back to it if you want to make a change to all the documents.
- Scroll to the information you want to edit, and make your changes.
- Print or save the document just as you would any regular document.
Print the letters
Do one of the following:
If you personalized the items and the merged document is active
- On the File menu, click Print.
- Select the options you want.
If you want to print directly from the Mail Merge task pane
- In Step 6 of the Mail Merge task pane (Complete the merge), click Print.
- In the Merge to Printer dialog box, do one of the following, and then click OK.
- To print all the documents, click All.
- To print the document that you see in the document window, click Current record.
- To print a range of documents, click From, and then type the record numbers in the From and To boxes.
- In the Print dialog box, select the options you want.
Save the merged letters for later use
If you want to edit merged letters or save them for later use, you can collect them into a single document.
- Click Edit individual letters.
- In the Merge to a New Document dialog box, do one of the following, and then click OK.
- To merge all the documents, click All.
- To merge only the document that you see in the document window, click Current record.
- To merge a range of documents, click From, and then type the record numbers in the From and To boxes.
Microsoft Word opens a single new document that contains all the individual letters. You can then save the document for later use, just as you would any regular document.