Mail merge using an Excel spreadsheet

When you run a mail merge, Word pulls names, addresses, and other information directly from your Excel spreadsheet into the email messages, labels, envelopes, or documents you’re creating. The merge runs more smoothly if all the information you want to include is ready—so, the first step is to prepare the spreadsheet:

  1. Make sure the columns in your spreadsheet match the fields you want to use in your merge.

    For example, to address readers by their first name, make sure you have separate columns for first and last names. If you want to sort by city, be sure you have a separate City column.

  2. Make sure all the data you want to merge is in the spreadsheet.

    If you want to add more names or other information, it’s best to make those changes now—before you start the merge.

  3. Make sure you format the numbers in the spreadsheet.

    If your spreadsheet includes dates, times, currency values, or postal codes that begin or end in 0, see Format mail merge numbers, dates, and other values.

  4. Make sure you make any changes or additions to your spreadsheet before you connect it to your mail merge document in Word.

Tip:  If you’re setting up your Excel spreadsheet by importing information from a .csv or a .txt file, use the Text Import Wizard. For more information, see Format mail merge numbers, dates, and other values.

When the data’s ready, start the mail merge

  1. In Word, open a new document.

  2. Click Mailings > Start Mail Merge, and then click 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.

  3. Click Select Recipients > Use an Existing List.

    Screenshot of the Mailings tab in Word, showing the Select Recipients command with the Use an Existing List option selected.

  4. Browse to your Excel spreadsheet, and then click Open.

  5. If Word prompts you, select Sheet1$ and click OK.

    Now the Excel spreadsheet’s connected to the mail merge document you’re creating in Word.

  6. To include only some of the people or items from your spreadsheet, click Mailings > Edit Recipient List.

    Edit Recipient List command

    The Mail Merge Recipients box opens.

  7. In Mail Merge Recipients, you can select just the rows you want to include. To make them easier to find, you can sort and filter the information. For more information about sorting and filtering items, see Sort and filter the data for a mail merge.

  8. Next, you can insert mail merge fields that pull the information from your spreadsheet into your document. For example, to add a greeting line to an email message or a letter, click Mailings > Greeting Line.

    Greeting Line mail merge field button

    Or, add addresses from your list by clicking Mailings > Address Block. For more information about adding fields from your spreadsheet, see Insert mail merge fields.

  9. When your document’s ready, click Preview Results and click the arrows to see each specific copy of the document.

    Preview Results group

  10. To finish the merge, click Finish & Merge, and then click Print Documents or Send E-mail Messages.

    Finish and Merge options

For more information about setting up email message options, see Email merge in Word.

Save your mail merge file for next time

When you save the mail merge document, it stays connected to your mailing list. To use the mail merge document again, open it and click Yes when Word prompts you to keep that connection. Then, if you want to change which people or items you include in the merge, click Edit Recipient List to sort, filter, and select them. For more information about sorting and filtering a mailing list, see Sort and filter the data for a mail merge.

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