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

You've built a contact list that you want to use for a mail merge. If your contacts are in an Excel spreadsheet, format any ZIP Code or postal code as text so that you don't lose any data when you run a mail merge. If you're importing your contacts from a text (.txt) or a comma-separated value (.csv) file into a new spreadsheet, the Text Import Wizard will help you import and format your data.

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. Under Delimiters, select the check box that matches the delimiter (such as a tab or comma) your data uses, and 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. Under Preview of selected data, choose the column that contains ZIP Codes or postal codes, and then, under 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. Choose Finish.

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

    Note: Save your spreadsheet with a new file name.

Step 2: Format numerical data in Excel spreadsheet

To make sure your ZIP Code or postal code comes through a mail merge without losing any zeros, format the column for the 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

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