Mail merges: Connect the document to a data source
To merge information into your main document, you must connect the document to a data source, or a data file. If you don't already have a data file, you can create one during the mail merge process.
IMPORTANT: If you use an existing list, make sure that it contains the information that you want to use, including all the columns and the rows. You can make some changes during the merge, but you can't open your data source separately during the merge. The merge process is easier if your data source is ready before you connect to it.
Choose a data file
On the Mailings tab, in the Start Mail Merge group, click Select Recipients.
Do one of the following:
Use Outlook Contacts: If you want to use your Contacts list in Microsoft Outlook, click Select from Outlook Contacts.
Use an existing data source file: If you have a Microsoft Excel worksheet, a Microsoft Access database, or another type of data file, click Use Existing List, and then locate the file in the Select Data Source dialog box.
For Excel, you can select data from any worksheet or named range within a workbook. For Access, you can select data from any table or query that is defined in the database.
For another type of data file, select the file in the Select Data Source dialog box. If the file is not listed, select the appropriate file type or select All Files in the Files of type box.
Create a new data file in Word If you don't have a data file yet, click Type New List, and then use the form that opens to create your list. The list is saved as a database (.mdb) file that you can reuse.
Tips for working with Microsoft Office Outlook Contacts list
Connecting to your Outlook Contacts folder is usually a straightforward process, but sometimes you may encounter a problem. Here are solutions to common problems that you may encounter:
I can't find my Outlook Contacts folder
You may need to turn on the Show this folder as an e-mail Address Book property in Outlook.
Turn on the Show this folder as an e-mail Address Book property
- In Microsoft Outlook, click Contacts.
- Right-click the Contacts folder that contains the information that you want to use for a mail merge, and then click Properties on the shortcut menu.
- On the Outlook Address Book tab, make sure that the Show this folder as an e-mail Address Book check box is selected, and then click OK.
I get error messages about mail clients and tables
If you try to connect to your Contacts folder during a mail merge in Word, and Outlook is not set up as your default e-mail program in Windows Internet Explorer, you will get an error message that says:
"Either there is no default mail client or the current mail client cannot fulfill the messaging request. Please run Microsoft Office Outlook, and set it as the default mail client."
To avoid getting this message during a mail merge, do the following:
- Click the File tab.
- Click Options.
- Under Start up Options, select the Make Outlook the default program for E-mail, Contacts, and Calendar, and then click OK.
Start Word again, open your mail merge document, and connect to your Outlook Contacts folder.
I can't connect to an Outlook Contacts folder in Public Folders
If you start a mail merge in Word and try to connect to an Outlook Contacts folder in Public Folders, you get an error message that says:
"The operation cannot be completed because of dialog or database engine failures. Please try again later."
If you try again later, you get the same error message.
To use a Public Folders Contacts folder as the data file for your mail merge, you have to start the mail merge from within Outlook.
http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/use-mail-merge-to-create-and-print-letters-and-other-documents-HA101857701.aspx - BM3.1 This link takes you to the Microsoft website.
Tips for formatting data in Excel
If your data file is an Excel worksheet that includes percentages, currency values, or postal codes, you can preserve the numeric formatting of the data by using Dynamic Data Exchange to connect to the Excel worksheet from Word. For example, you can make sure a five-digit postal code of 07865 from your data file is not displayed as the number 7865 (without the leading zero).
Before you connect to the worksheet, do the following in Word:
- Click the File tab.
- Click Options.
- Click Advanced.
- Scroll to the General section, and select the Confirm file format conversion on open check box.
- Click OK.
- With the mail merge main document open, in the Start Mail Merge group on the Mailings tab, click Select Recipients, and then click Use Existing List.
- Locate the Excel worksheet in the Select Data Source dialog box, and double-click it.
- In the Confirm Data Source dialog box, click MS Excel Worksheets via DDE (*.xls), and then click OK. If you don't see MS Excel Worksheets via DDE (*.xls), select the Show all check box.
- In the Microsoft Excel dialog box, for Named or cell range, select the cell range or worksheet that contains the information that you want to merge, and then click OK.
NOTE: To prevent being prompted every time you open a data file, you can clear the Confirm conversion at Open check box after you connect to the worksheet.
Type a new list
In the New Address List dialog box, type the information for the first address, or record, that you want to include in your mail merge.
If you want to add or remove columns, click Customize Columns, and then make the changes that you want.
- After you type all the information for your first record, click New Entry, and then type the information for the next record. Continue until you have typed information for all the records that you want to include.
- When your new list is complete, click OK.
- In the Save Address List dialog box, type a name for your new list, and then click Save.