Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mail Merge with Microsoft Word

Mail Merge is a feature of Microsoft Word (and other word processing programs) that allows you to do things like write a form letter and then make copies of it with individuals names on it. Some teachers also use this for pre-printing students names on exams and quizzes. The series of steps seems a little daunting at first, but it's not that bad.

Microsoft has a series of articles describing the process, but it basically involves two parts, the main document and a data file. The Microsoft article applies to Word 2003/2002, but we'll assume that you are using Word 2007.

The Main Document
  1. Open or compose the document (letter, exam, etc.) that you want to use
  2. In Word 2007 click on the Mailings tab, click Start Mail Merge then click Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard... the Mail Merge wizard pops up on the right
  3. You'll likely want to choose Letters as the document type, then click Next: Starting document at the bottom right
  4. Choose Use the current document unless you skipped step 1. above. Click Next: Select recipients
  5. You are now given the option to Use an existing list or Type a new list . If you have the list of names and/or other inf0rmation in an Excel spreadsheet then you'll choose the first.
The Data File
  1. Hopefully you have a data file that is a list of students' names and/or other data that you want to put into your letter or test title page. This will likely be an Excel spreadsheet. The first line in each column should be the label for that column (e.g. firstname, lastname, ID#).
  2. Click the Browse... link on the Mail Merge Wizard that you've been using and then find your data file from the previous step. If you don't have a data file, select Type a new list .
  3. If everything worked out, the Mail Merge Wizard should read something like "Currently, your recipients are selected from:" and you can click Next: Write your letter at the bottom.
  4. It's now time to add the fields to your main document.
Back to The Main Document
  1. In the appropriate places you can now add fields from your data file (firstname, lastname, etc.) by clicking More items... and selecting fields from your data file. You can also try out the preset Address block... or Greeting line... options and/or use the buttons in the ribbon bar at the top to insert the fields you want to merge.
  2. Once you have the fields in the appropriate places, click Next: Preview your letters (or the Preview Results button on the ribbon bar). You can use the forward and back buttons to go through the individual copies of your resulting mail merge to make sure everything looks like it should.
  3. When you click Next: Complete the merge you are given the option to Print... your mail merged documents or Edit individual letters... which creates a new document with each mail merge result starting on a new page.
It's up to you what you want to do from here. Hopefully everything worked and you can impress your students and colleagues with your ability to create customized field trip letters, exam title pages, and the like. Let us know if this works for you, or especially if it doesn't.


  1. Hello dear ,


    I am using Microsoft word 2007 and outlook 2007, when i tried to do mail merge on my word 2007 , it is showing option to send it manually 1 to 10 minutes , then i have click it again and again to send every single email , and it is taking a lot of time.
    For your information , i have already tried chaning the format from word to html, and also tried changing in outlook 2007 in trust centre (programmatic access )from Warn me TO Never warn me .
    when tried to send in plain text or attachement it is again showing the same option before me to do manual sending ( 1 to 10 minutes ) click it again and again to on ALLOW button.

    kindly email me the solution at my email : singh dot charanjeet at the rate rocketmail dot com if you have the answer with you !!!

    I will be gratefull to you ..

    Thanking you

  2. Unfortunately I'm not familiar with mail merge in Outlook. Good luck finding a solution, though.