A mail merge is a software function that creates a large number of documents from a single template and data source (merging the two together). The template contains unchanging information with fields for the changing or unique information. A mail merge is typically performed by a word processor, like Microsoft Word.
With Microsoft Word for Macintosh
- From the Tools menu, select Mail Merge Manager. The Mail Merge Manager will appear on the right side of the screen.
- The Mail Merge Manager will walk you through the steps to perform a merge.
- First select your Document Type.
- Select Recipient List.
- Drag the placeholders into the location in the document.
- Finish your document including the placeholders.
- The next step is to Preview your letter.
- In the Complete Merge area, select your preference - Merge to new document or Merge to the printer. If you choose new document, your original pre-merged document is still open behind the merged document.
With Microsoft Word for Windows
- Launch Microsoft Word.
- On the Mailings tab, select Start Mail Merge > select the type of merge you would like to do.
- To select your data source (the information that changes) click Select Recipients and choose the source of your data.
- Compose your document. Add fields from your data source by using the Insert Merge Field option.
- After inserting your merge fields, the next step is to Preview your letter. Select Preview Results.
- The Preview allows you to page through each record, if you need to go back to the original document and make changes - click the Preview Results again.
- After previewing your merge, click Finish & Merge, select your preferred option. If you choose to view the document - a new document is created after the merge is complete.
- Now you have the option to print your document or save it.
- You can also save the pre-merged document. Saving this document allows you to open and use the document with a new data set in the future.
- Need help sending your merged e-mail?
- visit our Outlook Mail Merge page
- Numbers not printing correctly? (Word for Windows)
- Occasionally in a merge you have problems with the formatting of numbers from your data set. If you want Word to use the same formatting that your Excel dataset is using -
- From the File Menu in Word > Options > Advanced.
- In the General section click the Confirm file format conversion on open box. Click OK.
- When opening the data set, at the Confirm Data Source window - check the Show All box, and select Excel Files via ODBC (*.xls, xlsx, slsm, slsb). This will tell Word to use the Excel number formatting.
- Saving a merge to use again
- If you want to save your merged document to use again, perhaps with a different data set - Save your document before the Preview records stage.
- Practice data set
- Here is a practice data set for trying a mail merge in Word. Data Set