How to Create Mail-Merges in Microsoft Word

Mail Merge is a powerful tool using Microsoft Word and Excel to generate labels or rolodex cards from a template, customized letters and more.

To begin, you will need an Excel spreadsheet with the data you want to insert into the Word document. For our example, we’ll use names and addresses.

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For the Word document, you will need to know what you need to create. If you are creating letters, compose the letter and then skip the following section. If you are creating labels or cards, you will need to know what template to use. This will be on the product packaging.

Setting Up the Label/Card Template

Click on “Mailings” then “Labels,” and a pop-up window will appear.

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The last template you used will show up under “Label” (In this case Avery #5385). To change the template, click “Options”

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Each major vendor is listed under “Label Vendors” and all of their product numbers are listed. Once you have made your selection, click “ok.”

Next, click “New Document.”

Linking the Word Document to Excel

Click “Mailings” then “Start Mail Merge” then “Use Existing List”

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Navigate to the Excel document with your data

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Click “Open” and then “Ok”

You will now have many more options under the “Mailings” menu. You can experiment using different tools, but for now we will just do a basic mail merge that will work for most any purpose. Click “Insert Merge Field”

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You will either get a pop-up window or a drop-down menu listing the headers for each column in your spreadsheet.

Click the fields you want to insert them into the document. Note: While editing the document, pushing “Enter” will not insert a new line unless data is populated. For example, if you wanted to have a “company name” appear for those addresses where it was applicable, but not have an extra space where it isn’t, Word will format it correctly.

This is now what my first label looks like:

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Note, I did add spaces between first and last name, and state and zip, and a comma and a space between city and state. You can also use formatting such as different fonts, font styling, spacing, size, etc. To add a “tab” within a label, press “crtl+tab.”

Click “Update Labels” to make this merge layout copy into each label.

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Note that for labels, you may want to center your text on the label to make sure that a slight shift in the printer doesn’t make your labels unusable. First, highlight the entire page. Then go to “Layout” and chose the left-center align option.

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Click “Finish and Merge.” I typically choose “Edit Individual Documents” just so that I can make any record-by-record tweaks if necessary. If you don’t need to make any edits once the merge is complete, you could merge directly to email, print, or PDF.

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Now a new Word Document has opened up with all of your addresses merged in on each label. Edit if necessary, and print your labels!

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