Create and print letters using mail merge in Word for Mac

When you have bulk mail to send to people on your mailing list, you can use mail merge to create a batch of personalized letters. Each letter that is produced has identical layout, formatting, text, and graphics. Only specific sections of the letter vary and are personalized.

There are three files involved in creating and printing letters using the mail merge process:

  • Your main document
    This document contains text and graphics (a logo or image, for example) that are identical for each version of the merged document. The body of the letter is an example of identical content.

  • Your mailing list
    This document contains the data that is used to populate information in the letter. Your mailing list has names, for example, and your main document is the letter that will be addressed to the names in your list.

  • Your merged document
    This document is a combination of the main document and the mailing list. Mail merge pulls information from the mailing list and puts it in your main document, resulting in a personalized for each person.

Follow the steps below to create and print personalized letters using mail merge.

Before you begin the mail merge, prepare your letter. If you’re letting people know about an upcoming event, for example, include the name, date, time, and location of the event. It's those details that would be important to all recipients of your letter.

  1. On the Mailings tab, in the Start Mail Merge group, choose Start Mail Merge > Letters.

    form letters

  2. In Word, type the body of the letter you want to send to everyone.

The mailing list is your data source. It can be an Excel spreadsheet, a directory of Outlook contacts, an Access database, or an Office address list. It contains the records that Word uses to pull information from to build your letter.


  • If you don’t have a mailing list, you can create one during mail merge. Before you start the mail merge process, collect all of your data records, and add them to your data source.

  • If you're using an Excel spreadsheet, make sure the column for ZIP Codes or postal codes is formatted as textso that you don't lose any zeros.

  • If you want to use your Outlook contacts, make sure Outlook is your default email program. To do this, open Apple Mail, and on the Mail menu, choose Preferences. On the General tab, next to Default email reader, select Microsoft Outlook

  • You can also use your Apple contacts, make sure Apple mail is your default mail program.

  • Use FileMake pro database as your datasource for mail merge.

  1. On the Mailings tab, choose Select Recipients, and then choose an option.

    On the Mailings tab, Select Recipients is highlighed with a list of options



    Create a New List

    Start a new address list while you’re setting up the mail merge

    Use an Existing List

    Use an Excel spreadsheet, or another type of data file, as your address list

    Choose from Outlook Contacts

    Select names directly from your Outlook contacts for your address list

    Apple Contacts

    Select names directly from your Apple Address Book for your address list

    FileMaker Pro

    Import data from a FileMaker Pro database

  2. If you selected Create a New List, follow these steps:

    1. In the Edit List Fields dialog box, Word automatically creates fields for some basic information, such as first name, last name, and address. If you want to add a new field—for example, a message field—add it now, so you can fill it in when you type the entries. Under New field name, type the name of the field you want to add and then choose the plus sign (+).

      Tip:  To change the order of the fields, select the field you want to move, and then use the up or down arrows to move the field where you want in the list.

    2. When all of the fields are set up the way you want them, choose Create to create the list.

  3. If you selected Use an Existing List, follow these steps:

    1. Browse to the file you want to use and choose Open.

    2. If you chose to open an Excel spreadsheet, In the Open Workbook dialog box, select the sheet you want to use, and leave Cell Range blank to use the entire worksheet or enter a cell range for the data you want to use, and then choose OK.

  4. If you selected Choose from Outlook Contacts or Apple Contacts, follow these steps:

    1. Choose Filter Recipients to select the recipients you want to include.

    2. For Outlook contacts, in the Query Options dialog box, next to List mail merge recipients by, select Complete record. In the list of contacts, select the contacts you want to send bulk mail, and then choose OK.

    3. For Apple contacts, in the Query Options dialog box, under Apple Group Contacts, choose the group you want send bulk mail and then choose OK.

    4. For FileMaker Pro Database, choose the database file in theChoose a FileMaker Pro Database to use as a Data Source dialog box and choose Open

  1. On the Mailings tab, choose Insert Merge Field and select the field you want to add.

    On the Mailings tab, Insert Merge Field is highlighted

    Continue adding fields until you've added all the information you want on your letter.

  2. Format the fields in the letter so it looks the way you want the rest of your envelopes to look. For example, include a space between First and Last name fields and press Return to start a new line for the Address field.

    Tip: To sort your recipient list or remove recipients, on the Mailings tab, choose Filter Recipients, and then choose Sort Records or Filter Records. When you're done, choose OK.

  1. On the Mailings tab, choose Preview Results to see how your letter look. Use the left and right arrows on the Mailings tab, to scroll through each letter.

    On the Mailings tab, Preview Results is highlighted

  2. To make additional formatting changes, choose Preview Results again, which lets you add or remove merge fields.

  3. When the letters look how you want, on the Mailings tab, choose Finish & Merge > Print Documents to complete the mail merge.

    On the Mailings tab, Finish & Merge and the Print Documents option are highlighted

    Tip: If you want to review and update each letter individually before printing, on the Mailings tab, choose Finish & Merge > Edit Individual Documents. When you're finished, click File > Print to print the envelopes.

When you save the mail merge document, it stays connected to your mailing list so that you can use it for your next bulk mailing.

To reuse your mail merge document

  • Open the mail merge document and choose Yes when Word prompts you to keep the connection.

To change addresses in mail merge document

  • Open the mail merge document and choose Edit Recipient List to sort, filter, and choose specific addresses.

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