How do I… Integrate mail merge in Microsoft Word with Excel

The "More items" link is most appropriate for this example.

Step 4: Write your letter

Ok, this one isn't a letter (it's a form to slap onto the cars in our inventory), but Word doesn't know that. To Word, everything is a letter! On this step, you have the Word sidebar shown above.

On this step, create your inventory sheet/flyer as your normally would. However, instead of typing in the individual inventory information, use fields instead. In this way, you're keeping your letter generic and letting Word do the work. You should also see a new toolbar added to your tool arsenal.

I'm not going to go over every option on the toolbar in this article, but will provide details on which buttons you need for most mail merge operations.

The first three buttons are pretty important. In order from left to right:

  • Main document setup: This is the same as step one of the wizard in that you select the type of document you intend to create.
  • Open data source: Again, this button loosely matches a step in the wizard; in this case, Step 2. When you click this button, Word opens up a dialog window asking you to choose the data file you want to use. If you want to connect to a different kind of source, such as an Access database, click the New Source button.
  • Mail merge recipients: This button opens the window you saw in the previous step where you can decide which recipients should be included in the final output.

Now, we'll on to making the appropriate changes to your letter to make it generic. Notice in the sidebar, now entitled "Write your letter", there are a number of options, including "Greeting line", "Postal bar code", and "More Items."

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