Prepare your Excel data source for a mail merge in Word for Mac

Suppose that you build a contact list that you want to use for a mail merge. If your contacts are in an Excel spreadsheet, you don't want to lose any data when you run a mail merge, so it's important to format any zip codes or postal codes as text. If you're importing into a new spreadsheet any contacts from either a text (.txt) or a comma-separated value (.csv) file, the Text Import Wizard can help you import and format your data.

Learn how to do this by following the steps in the sections below.

Step 1: Set up your data source in Excel

If you're already using an Excel spreadsheet as your data source for a mail merge in Word, go to Step 2 in this topic. If the data source is a .txt or a .csv file that contains your Gmail contacts, for example, use the Text Import Wizard to set up your data inExcel.

  1. Open Excel, and on the Data tab, choose From Text.

    On the Data tab, select From Text

  2. Choose the .csv or .txt file you want, and then choose Get Data.

  3. In the Text Import Wizard, choose Next.

  4. In Delimiters, check the box that matches the delimiter that separates each element of your data (such as a tab or comma). Then choose Next.

    Tip: The Preview of selected data pane shows you what the results will look like in a table format.

    Step 2 of the Text Import Wizard

  5. In Preview of selected data, choose the column that containing the zip codes or postal codes. Then, in Column data format, choose Text.

    Text Import Wizard step 3

  6. Repeat step 5 as necessary, choosing the column you want to change and the data format you want to apply.

    Note: Each time you apply a data format to a column, the name of the format appears in the table header for that column.

  7. Click Finish.

  8. In the Import Data dialog box, choose where you want Excel to put your data, and then click OK.

    Note: Save your spreadsheet with a new file name.

Step 2: Format numerical data in Excel spreadsheet

To ensure your zip code or postal code pass through a mail merge without losing any zeros, format the column containing those codes as text.

  1. Open your spreadsheet and select the column that contains the zip codes or postal codes.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Format box, choose Text.

    On the Home tab, in the Format box, select Text

Now, you can use this data for a mail merge.

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