Perform a Mail Merge with a List from Excel with Word
Mail merge can be use to create multiple documents at once from various sources. The documents end up with having identical layout, formatting, text, and graphics. For personalization specific sections of each document varies with individual content. The documents Word can create with mail merge include letters, envelopes, bulk mailing labels, and emails. There are three component documents involved in the mail merge process:
- The main document that is your template
- The data source for personalized information
- Your merged document which is the end result with both personalized and standardized content
Word and Excel Mail Merge Step by Step
First Step: Prepare personalized data in Excel for mail merge
The first and most important step in the mail merge process is to set up and prepare your personalized data. We will use an Excel spreadsheet as the data source for the recipient list.
Here are some recommendations to prepare your personalized data for a mail merge process. Please ensure the following:
- Column names in your Excel spreadsheet must match the field names you want to insert in your mail merge Word document. For example, to use a persons first name in your document, you'll need separate data columns for first and last names.
- All data to be merged must be present in the first worksheet of your Excel spreadsheet.
- Data entries with currencies, percentages, and zip codes are correctly formatted in the spreadsheet so that Word can properly read the values.
- The Excel spreadsheet file to be used in the mail merge is stored on your local machine or is accessible on a shared network folder.
- Changes or additions to your spreadsheet must be completed before processed to your mail merge document in Word.
Second Step: Start the Word mail merge process from the Ribbon Menu
- In Word, choose File > New > Blank document.
- On the Mailings tab, in the Start Mail merge group, choose Start Mail Merge, and then choose the kind of merge you want to run.
Screenshot of the Mailings tab in Word, showing the Start Mail Merge command and the list of available options for the type of merge you want to run.
- Choose Select Recipients > Use an Existing List.
- Locate your Excel spreadsheet, and then choose Open.
- When Word prompts you, choose Sheet1$ > OK.
Edit the mailing list
Select who receives your mail.
- Choose Edit Recipient List.
Screenshot of the Mailings tab in Word, showing the Edit Recipient List command as highlighted.
- In the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, clear the check box next to the name of any person who you don't want to receive your mailing.
- Select rows by checking the check box
Third Step: Insert a merge field
You can insert one or more mail merge fields that pull the information from your spreadsheet into your document.
To insert an address block for an envelope, a label, an email message, or a letter
- On the Mailings tab, in the Write & Insert Fields group, choose Address Block.
- Insert Address Block merge field
In the Insert Address Block dialog box, choose a format for the recipient's name as it will appear on the envelope.
- Choose OK.
- Choose File > Save.
Fourth Step: Preview and finish the mail merge
After you insert the merge fields you want, preview the results to confirm that the content is okay. and then you're ready to complete the merge process.
- On the Mailings tab, choose Preview Results.
Screenshot of the Mailings tab in Word, showing the Preview Results group.
- Choose the Next Next record button for mail merge preview results or Previous Previous record button for mail merge preview results record button to move through records in your data source and view how the records will appear in the document.
- In the Finish group, choose Finish & Merge, and choose Print Documents or Send E-mail Messages.
Screenshot of the Mailings tab in Word, showing the Finish & Merge command and its options.
Well done! As a final step you can save this mail merge for use in the future.