Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Beginning a Mail Merge.

Beginning a Mail Merge

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 9, 2013)

1

Word includes a very powerful mail merge feature. In order to take advantage of this feature, you need to create a main document. This document is the "template" or "boilerplate" for your finished document. It includes everything Word needs to create the finished document, including placeholders for the data that Word extracts from a data file.

A mail merge document is not complete, however, until you have also specified a data file that you want to associate with the main document. Exactly how you do this depends on the version of Word you are using.

To create your main mail merge document and attach a data source to it when using Word 2002 or Word 2003, follow these steps:

  1. If you want to use an existing document as the basis for your mail merge, load that document from disk.
  2. Choose Letters & Mailings from the Tools menu, and then Mail Merge Wizard from the resulting submenu. Word displays the Mail Merge task pane at the right side of the screen.
  3. From the list of available document types provided in the task pane, select the one that most closely matches the type of document you want to create. In most cases you will choose Letter, but you can also choose any of the other options.
  4. At the bottom of the task pane, click Next: Starting Document. The wizard's next step is displayed in the task pane.
  5. Specify what you want to use as you starting document for the mail merge. If you have a document open (such as the one mentioned in step 1), you should choose Use the Current Document. You can choose either of the other options (Start From a Template and Start From Existing Document) if they are more appropriate for what you are doing.
  6. At the bottom of the task pane, click Next: Select Recipients. The wizard's next step is displayed in the task pane.
  7. Specify where you want the merge data to come from. If you already have the list in a disk file of any type, choose the default of Use An Existing List. You can also choose Select From Outlook Contacts or Type a New List.
  8. At the bottom of the task pane, click Next: Write Your Letter. If you chose Use An Existing List in the previous step, Word displays the Select Data Source dialog box. This dialog box is very similar to a standard Open dialog box.
  9. Using the controls in the Select Data Source dialog box, locate the file you want to use for your data source, then click Open. Word displays the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box.
  10. Use the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box to make changes to which records are to be used in the merge and to modify the order in which the records are merged. When completed, click OK. The information in the task pane is updated to reflect your choices regarding the data source.
  11. At the bottom of the task pane, click Next: Write Your Letter. (Yes, this is the same thing you clicked in step 8. Go figure.)

If you are using an older version of Word (Word 97 or Word 2000) then the steps are quite a bit different:

  1. If you want to use an existing document as the basis for your mail merge, load that document from disk.
  2. Choose the Mail Merge option from the Tools menu. Word displays the Mail Merge Helper dialog box.
  3. Click on the Create button in step 1, Main Document. Word displays a menu of types of documents you can create.
  4. Using the drop-down menu, choose the type of document you want. In most cases you will choose Form Letter, but you can also choose any other of the other options (Mailing Labels, Envelopes, or Catalog).
  5. If you have a document open (such as the one mentioned in step 1), Word asks you if you want to use that document or if you want to create a new main document. Click on the button that is appropriate for what you are doing. Word updates the Mail Merge Helper dialog box to reflect your choice.
  6. On the Mail Merge Helper dialog box, click on the Get Data button in step 2, Data Source. Word displays a menu of sources you can use for your data.
  7. If you have an existing data source, such as a Word document or a database or spreadsheet file, you should click your mouse on Open Data Source. Otherwise, select one of the other options that reflect how you want to get your data.
  8. If you selected Open Data Source in step 7, you see an Open Data Source dialog box. Use the controls in the dialog box to locate the file you want to use for your data source. When you have done this, click on Open.
  9. Word informs you that you need to edit your main document because it could not locate any merge fields in it. Click on the Edit Main Document button.

At this point, you are ready to modify or type your main document. You will include merge fields in the document that indicate where you want the data from your data file to appear.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (84) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Beginning a Mail Merge.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Selecting a Text Block

Word has an interesting way of allowing you to select a rectangular block of text, without reference to what may be within ...

Discover More

Finding and Replacing Text Boxes

The Find and Replace capabilities of Word are very powerful, but they still come up a bit short when searching for some ...

Discover More

Saving AutoText Entries with Each Document

AutoText can be a great way to add consistent, common text to a document. Unfortunately you cannot save AutoText entries with ...

Discover More

The First and Last Word on Word! Bestselling For Dummies author Dan Gookin puts his usual fun and friendly candor back to work to show you how to navigate Word 2013. Spend more time working and less time trying to figure it all out! Check out Word 2013 For Dummies today!

More WordTips (menu)

Checking Your Data File

When you get ready to merge a document with a data source, you'll want to make sure that everything is "as expected" before ...

Discover More

Printing Portions of Mail Merged Documents

When you use a data source to create a bunch of documents in a mail merge, you might not want to print all the documents ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Blank Labels in a Filtered Merge

If you are filtering a mail merge in Excel, and you get blank labels in the printout in Word, chances are good that something ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 7 + 6?

2014-07-05 11:00:03

AccessGuru

This is the nice article Microsoft Word mail merge from Microsoft Access Database. Here is another example of merge email and send email using outlook.

here is link: http://www.accessguru.net/Articles_MSAccess/0031-How%20to%20use%20mail%20merge%20in%20Microsoft%20word%20using%20Microsoft%20Access%20database.php

Best regards
Access Guru


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.