Join Gini von Courter for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding Mail Merge, part of Word 2013: Mail Merge in Depth.
- View Offline
- In Mail Merge we take a primary document created in Word. For example, a letter like this one, then insert structured data that was created elsewhere, a table or list from a database, an Excel Spreadsheet, a comma-separated value or CSV file, or Outlook contacts. And we use that data source along with this primary document to create multiple personalized letters, each one individually addressed. In Word, Mail Merge requires two separate files.
The first file is that Word document that contains information that will be the same in every single letter as well as instructions on where to place the variable data, the data that is different in each letter. The second file is going to be some type of a data source. It could be Outlook contacts, like you see here, but it could just as well be information that comes from Excel or from Access, or from some other type of a data source. We'll use the commands on the mailings tab of the ribbon in Word to merge these two files together to create a series of personalized documents.
One for each recipient in our data source. By combining Word with Outlook, we can also use Mail Merge to create customized email messages, where each recipient receives a customized email sent only to them, rather than sending something to an entire group. And we can use a type of Mail Merge called a Directory Merge to create a list, a directory, or a catalog. For example, a list of our products or a phone list.
We can also create envelopes and labels using Mail Merge. We have a data source that's somewhere else, but we get to format our document using all of the powerful formatting features that are available to us in Microsoft Word. Whenever you find yourself creating multiple documents using the same set of data, or creating a document and then typing names and addresses in, whether you're in Outlook or Microsoft Word, there's almost always an opportunity to save time by using Word Mail Merge.
- Choosing or creating a data source
- Using Mail Merge with Outlook contacts
- Mail merging data from an Excel spreadsheet
- Inserting address blocks, greetings, and other fields
- Matching fields from a data source
- Using the Merge Tool add-in to add attachments to merged messages
- Previewing merge results
- Sending merged email
- Creating labels with images
- Using rules for customized merges