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This article explains how to create a simple data merge (mail merge) by using data that is stored in a Microsoft Excel workbook. By following these instructions, you can create a form letter (main document), select the Excel data document, and merge the information from the two documents into a third document.
The following is general information about the appropriate format for a Microsoft Excel worksheet that you can use as a data document in a simple Microsoft Word data merge.
Insert your data in the first worksheet in the Excel workbook. The data can be in a named range; however, for this simple merge, it's best if the worksheet contains only the data for the merge.
Start the data in the first row of the first column. In the first row of data (the header row), insert the field names that will be used to refer to the various columns of data. The field names must be free of punctuation and must consist of a single word per field. Each column that contains data must have a field name at the top of that column.
TIP: Remember that combining information from separate fields in a merge document is easy. However, separating information in a field is difficult. Therefore, when you create a data document, create as many fields as it is practical to create. For example, you may want to make the first name in a field separate from the last name, to make it easy to sort the records in the data document by last name. Keeping the first name and last name separate also makes it easy to use only the first name in a salutation.
A1:FName B1:LName C1:Address1 D1:Address2 A2:Jeff B2:Smith C2:1401 A St. D2:Apt. 5
After you create and save your data document in Microsoft Excel, follow these steps to create a form letter and perform a data merge.
Create the Main DocumentTo create the main document, follow these steps:
Select the Data SourceTo select the data source, follow these steps:
Edit the Main DocumentThe insertion point now is in Document1 (that is, Document1 is the active document), and the Data Merge Manager is displayed.
To edit the main document (Document1, in this case), follow these steps:
Merge the Main Document and the Data DocumentTo merge the main document and the data document, click Merge To New Document in the Data Merge Manager. This creates a new document that contains the results of the merge. This new document can be printed, saved, or deleted without affecting either the main document or the data document.
TIP: After you create a simple merge that works correctly, you can change items in the main document, one at a time, to increase the complexity of the merge. To test the merge for errors, merge the data again after each change that you make.
For more information about data merge, click the Office Assistant, type data merge data, click Search, and then click a topic to it.
Note If the Assistant is hidden, click the Office Assistant button on the standard toolbar.
Article ID: 275015 - Last Review: October 6, 2011 - Revision: 6.0