Microsoft Word has a mail merge module that lets you create copies of the same document and insert names and addresses or any other information from a spreadsheet. Direct mail is particularly useful for newsletters or personalized press releases, as you no longer need to handwrite every name and address of correspondents on every document.
Part 1 of 3: Create a contact sheet
Step 1. Open Microsoft Excel
The application icon looks like a white "X" on a green background. The Excel options will then open.
If you already have an Excel contact sheet, you can go straight to importing the data
Step 2. Click New Workbook
The button is located at the top left of the window. This will open a new Excel document.
Step 3. Add the headers
Starting in the cell A1, then moving to the right, fill in the headings for each column.
- First name: the first name of your contact will go in the cell A1.
- name: the name of your contact will go in the cell B1.
- Telephone: your contact's phone number will go into the cell C1.
- Address: the address of your contact will go in the cell D1.
- City: the city of your contact will go to the cell F1.
- Region: your contact's region will go into the cell E1.
- Postal code: the postal code of your contact will go in the cell G1.
- Mail address: the email address of your contact will go into the cell H1.
Step 4. Enter the information
Starting with cell 2 in column A, enter the information for each contact you want to include in your mailing list.
Make sure the information is correct before proceeding
Step 5. Save your document
Before proceeding to the next step, you must back up your file.
- Under Windows: click on File, select Save as…, double click on This computer, select a save location in the left part of the window, type the name of the document in the field File name, then click Save.
- With a Mac: click on File, select Save as…, enter a name for the file in the field Save as, select a location by clicking in the box Or, then selecting a folder and finally click on Save.
- Note the location, as you will need to access the Excel file later.
Step 6. Close Excel
Click on X in the upper right corner of the Excel window on Windows or on the red circle at the top left on Mac. You can now move on to creating your mail merge file in Microsoft Word.
Part 2 of 3: Import contacts into Word
Step 1. Open Microsoft Word
The Word icon is a "W" on a blue background. As for Excel, the options page will then be displayed.
If you already have a Word file into which you want to import your Excel contacts, double-click on it to open it and go to the next step
Step 2. Click Blank Document
This is the white rectangle located at the top left of the window. A new Word document will then open.
Step 3. Click the Mailings tab
The tab is located at the top of the Microsoft Word window. A toolbar will appear below the row of tabs.
Step 4. Click Select Recipients
The button is located in the section Start mail merge from the toolbar Direct mail. A drop-down menu will appear.
Step 5. Select Use an existing list…
You will find this option in the drop-down menu. This will open a new window.
- If you prefer to use Outlook contacts, then you can select Select in Outlook contacts … from the drop-down menu.
- You can also use a temporary contact list in Word by selecting Enter a new list. This option is useful in case you only want to use part of your contact information.
Step 6. Select your Excel file
In the left part of the window, click on the folder in which you saved your Excel file, then click on the latter to select it.
Step 7. Click Open
The button is located at the bottom right of the window.
Step 8. Confirm the import
Click on the name of the Excel file that appears in the popup window, then click on the button OK which is at the bottom of the window. The Excel file will thus be selected as the import source for your contacts.
- Make sure that the box The first row of data contains the column headers is checked.
Part 3 of 3: merge the data
Step 1. Select a location
You must now select where you want your contact information to appear (at the top of the document, for example). Position the cursor at the chosen location and click on it.
Step 2. Click Insert Merge Field
The option can be found in the section Write and insert fields tab Direct mail. A drop-down menu will then appear.
- You may need to click the tab Direct mail before doing that.
Step 3. Select a field
In the drop-down menu that appeared, select the name of a header from your Excel file to insert it.
- For example, you can select First name in the drop-down menu if you want to insert a field for the first name of your contacts.
Step 4. Add other information
This can be the addresses, names and phone numbers of your contacts or any other information you feel is necessary.
Step 5. Click Finish & Merge
The button is at the right end of the toolbar Direct mail. This will open a drop-down menu.
Step 6. Select a merge option
The menu will display the different merge options available to you.
- Edit individual documents …: opens each document corresponding to a recipient in order to make personalized modifications.
- Print documents …: allows you to print a copy of your documents for each person listed in your contact file.
- Send letters … allows you to send documents as an email. The email address of the contacts will be used as the sending address.
Step 7. Follow the instructions
Depending on the options selected, you will have a specific form to fill out. For example, if you select Mail address, you will need to provide specific information then click on OK. After doing this, the direct mail process will be completed.