Use mail merge to distribute merged e-mail messages

You can use the Mail Merge task pane to create a group e-mail distribution.

 Note   Your system must include a MAPI (MAPI: The Microsoft interface specification that allows different messaging and workgroup applications (including e-mail, voice mail, and fax) to work through a single client.)-compatible e-mail program, such as Microsoft Outlook.

  1. On the Tools menu, point to Letters and Mailings, and then click Mail Merge.
  2. Under Select document type, click E-mail messages.

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.), where you will type the body of your e-mail message.

  1. Click Next: Starting document.

ShowTip

If you're familiar with the mail merge feature or prefer to work outside the task pane, you can use 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.). The buttons are arranged in sequence from left to right.

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.

ShowSet up and display your e-mail message

  1. Do one of the following:

ShowStart with the document currently shown in the document window

  • Click Use the current document.

You can then either type the message in the document window, or wait until the task pane prompts you to do so in a subsequent step.

ShowStart with a template

  1. Click Start from a template.
  2. Click Select template.
  3. On the Mail Merge tab of the Select Template dialog box, select the template you want, and then click OK.

ShowStart with any other existing document

  1. Click Start from existing document.
  2. In the Start from existing box, select the document you want, and then click Open.
  3. 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.
  1. Click Next: Select recipients.

ShowLocate or create a data source, and then select recipients

  1. Do one of the following to get data:

ShowConnect to a Microsoft Outlook Contacts List

  1. Under Select recipients, click Select from Outlook contacts.
  2. Click Choose Contacts Folder.
  3. 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.

ShowConnect to a different type of list, such as a database or Office Address List

  1. Under Select recipients, click Use an existing list.
  2. Click Browse.
  3. In the Select Data Source dialog box, locate and click 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.) you want.

By default, Microsoft Word opens the My Data Sources folder.

  1. Click Open.

Depending on the type of data source you select, other dialog boxes may appear asking you to provide specific information.

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

All of the entries in the data source appear in the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, where you can refine the list of recipients to include in the merge.

ShowCreate a simple new address list

  1. Under Select recipients, click Type a new list.
  2. Click Create.
  3. 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 don't have to fill in every field.
  4. To complete the first entry and move on to a new entry, click New Entry.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until you've added all the address entries you want, and then click Close.
  6. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. In the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, select the recipients you want to include.

ShowHow?

  1. Do one of the following:

ShowUse 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.

ShowTip

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.

ShowSort 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.

ShowFilter 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.

  1. Click the arrow next to the column heading of the item you want to filter by.
  2. 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).

  1. Click OK to return to the Mail Merge task pane. Microsoft Word will use the recipients you designated for the merge.

ShowTips

  • 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.
  1. Click Next: Write your e-mail message.

ShowCompose your e-mail message

  1. If you have not already done so, in the main document, type the text that you want to appear in every e-mail message.
  2. 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 and other information such as the greeting.

ShowHow?

  1. 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.).
  2. Insert any of the following:

ShowAddress block with name, address, and other information

  1. Click Address block.
  2. In the Insert Address Block dialog box, select the address elements you want to include and the formats you want, and then click OK.
  3. 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 (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.) that corresponds to the field required for the mail merge.

ShowGreeting line

  1. Click Greeting line.
  2. Select the greeting line format, which includes the salutation, name format, and following punctuation.
  3. 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 (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.) contains no first or last name for a recipient, but only a company name.
  4. Click OK.
  5. 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.

ShowOther fields of information

  1. Click More items.
  2. Do one of the following:
  3. In the Fields box, click the field you want.
  4. Click Insert, and then click Close.
  5. 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.

 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.

  1. Repeat steps 1 and 2 for all the fields you want to insert.

 Notes 

  1. If you want, you can change the format of the merged data.

ShowHow?

To format merged data, you must format the 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.) in the main document. Don't format the data in 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.), because its formatting isn't retained when you merge the data into the document.

  1. In the main document, select the field containing the information you want to format, including the surrounding merge field characters (« »).
  2. On the Format menu, click Font, and then select the options you want.

ShowFormatting 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.

For example:

  • 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.
  1. 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.
  2. Click Next: Preview your e-mail message.

ShowTip

To add enclosures or other information, click File on the Insert menu, and then locate and select the item you want to enclose. Click the arrow next to Insert, and then click Insert as Link. Microsoft Word inserts the contents of the item you specified.

ShowPreview the messages and fine-tune the recipient list

  1. Preview the items. Do one of the following:
    • To preview the items in order, click the arrow buttons Back button Forward button.
    • To locate and preview a specific item, click Find a recipient, and then enter the search criteria in the Find Entry dialog box.
  2. If necessary, fine-tune the recipient list. Do one 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.
  3. Click Next: Complete the merge.

ShowFinalize distribution settings and send the messages

  1. Click Electronic Mail.
  2. In the Merge to E-mail dialog box, finalize the distribution settings.

ShowHow?

  1. In the To box, verify that Email_Address or the equivalent is displayed. This ensures that Microsoft Word merges e-mail addresses into the To line of your messages, not some other merge field information.
  2. In the Subject line box, type the subject line you want to use for all the messages.
  3. In the Mail format box, select the mail format you want to use.
  4. Under Send records, select the records you want to merge.
  1. To complete the merge and send the messages, click OK.
 
 
Applies to:
Word 2003