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: Checking Your Data File.

Checking Your Data File

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 2, 2019)

Word includes a powerful feature called Mail Merge that allows you to combine a document with data from a data source to create individualized documents. Once you have created your main document and your data file is attached, it is a good idea to run a final check by comparing your data file with your document. To do this, simply open your main document. The Mail Merge toolbar should be visible near the top of the screen.

Near the middle of the Mail Merge toolbar is a button with a check mark on it. Click your mouse on this button, and your data file will be compared against your master document to ensure that all your fields are correctly formatted and accessible. If Word encounters any problems (such as a missing data field in your data file), it will notify you. This allows you to correct the problem before actually trying to create your final merged documents.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1371) 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: Checking Your Data File.

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

Headers and Footers in Subdocuments

If you use master and subdocuments, you may wonder how to control headers and footers in the subdocuments. This tip ...

Discover More

Deleting Every X Rows without a Macro

Grab some info from a source other than Excel, and you may find the need to delete a certain pattern of rows from a ...

Discover More

Making a Cell's Contents Bold within a Macro

When your macro is processing information in a worksheet, do you need to periodically make the contents of a cell bold? ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

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 ...

Discover More

Can't Merge Alphanumeric Data Correctly

When you merge data from Excel into a Word document, you may need to do some conditional processing based on the data you ...

Discover More

Checkboxes in a Merged Document

When creating a mail-merge document, you may want to include some special characters, such as check-marked boxes, in the ...

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 nine more than 5?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.