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WD97: How to Use MS Query to Merge Two Excel Files for a Mail Merge Data Source

This article was previously published under Q180599
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The information in this article describes how to use Microsoft Query to merge two Excel 97 files. You may want to do this so that you can combine related information into a single file and use it in a mail merge.
Merging two Excel files allows you to combine related information into a single file. Note that there are a number of other ways to create a mail merge data source.

For more information about mail merge data sources, click Contents and Index on the Help menu, click the Index tab in Microsoft Word Help, type the following text
mail merge, data sources
and then double-click the selected text to go to the "mail merge data sources" topic. If you are unable to find the information you need, ask the Office Assistant.

The following is an example of merging two Excel files:

One Excel file (workbook) could contain a list of ID numbers, first names, last names, and positions, while another Excel file (workbook) could contain a list of ID numbers, addresses, and salaries.

If the ID numbers in both files are the same, you can link the two files by using the similar ID field. This allows you to create a mail merge that contains contain the ID numbers, first names, last names, addresses, positions, and salaries. To put the files together inside Microsoft Query they need to be in the correct format in Excel. Each column of information needs to have a heading name (do not use spaces, quotation marks, apostrophes, or hyphens in the heading name).

Here are two sample Excel files. In File1, cell A1 contains the word IDNumber, cell B1 contains the word Firstname, cell C1 is Lastname, and cell D1 is Position. In File2, cell A1 contains the word IDNumber, cell B1 is Address, and cell C1 is Salary.

   A1: IDNumber B1: Firstname C1: Lastname   D1: Position   A2: 1        B2: James     C2: Jones      D2: Clerk   A3: 2        B3: Harry     C3:  Anderson  D3: Administration				
   A1: IDNumber   B1: Address        C1:  Salary   A2: 1          B2: 333 3rd Ave.   C2: $20,000   A3: 2          B3: 444 4th St.    C3: $25,000				
The IDNumber column in File1 should be similar to the IDNumber column in File2. That is, the column heading should be the same and the information in File1 should correspond to the information in File2. That is, IDNumber 1 should represent the same employee in both sheets. That is James Jones (IDNumber 1 in File1) should live at 333 3rd Ave (IDNumber 1 in File 2). When you connect the two files using Microsoft Query, you can retrieve all of the information about James Jones into a single data source.

Modifying the Files in Excel

After the files have been created, name the ranges of information in each sheet. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Start Microsoft Excel.
  2. Open the first workbook and select the sheet that contains the information you want to use in the mail merge. Select the portion of the file containing the text.
  3. On the Insert menu, point to Name, and then click Define. Type a name, click Add and then click OK.
  4. Save the file.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for the second file. (Be sure to save the files in the same directory.)
  6. Close Excel.
After modifying the files in Excel, you can start the mail merge in Word.

Starting the Mail Merge

To start the mail merge, follow these steps:
  1. Open Word.
  2. On the File menu, click New, and then click OK.
  3. On the Tools menu, click Mail Merge.
  4. Click Create, click Form Letters, and click Active Window.
Now you're ready to create the Data Source.

Creating a Microsoft Query Data Source

To create the Microsoft Query Data Source, follow these steps:
  1. In the Word Mail Merge Helper, click Get Data, and click Create Data Source. Click the MS Query button.
  2. With <New Data Source> selected, click to select the Use the Query Wizard to create/edit queries check box, and click OK.
  3. Type any name for your data source.
  4. Under Select A Driver, select Microsoft Excel Driver (*.xls).
  5. Click Connect.
  6. Select the Database Version (for example, Excel 97), and click Select Workbook.
  7. Locate and select the first Excel file.
  8. Click OK to close the Select Workbook dialog box.
  9. Click OK to close the ODBC Microsoft Excel Setup dialog box.
  10. Click OK to close the Create New Data Source dialog box.

Creating the Query

To create the query, follow these steps:
  1. Your newly created data source should be highlighted in the Choose Data Source dialog box. If not, click to select it, and then click OK.
  2. In the Query Wizard - Choose Columns dialog box, under Available Tables And Columns, double-click the named range that appears.

    This will reveal your column titles.
  3. One at a time, select the column names you want to use to create the mail merge data source and click the ">" button (note that you must select a field that both sheets have in common--in this case IDNumber).
  4. Click Next Three times (ignore filtering and sorting unless you want to filter or sort your data).
  5. Select the View Data Or Edit Query In Microsoft Query option and click Finish.
Microsoft Query will be started and the information from the first Excel file will be available.

Adding the Second File and Joining the Data in Microsoft Query

To join the data in Microsoft Query, follow these steps:
  1. In Microsoft Query, click Add Tables on the Table menu.
  2. At the bottom of the Add Tables dialog box, change the Workbook box to the other Excel file you want to use in the merge. (Note that this file must be located in the same directory as the file you added in the Query Wizard.)
  3. Click Add and then click Close.
  4. In the first Excel table, click the field you want to join (for example, the IDNumber field) and drag the pointer to the similar field in the second Excel table.

    A join line should appear.

    NOTE: The field names from the first table will appear in the query pane (the big white rectangle under the tables). You can use these fields, or you can delete the fields you do not want to use by positioning the insertion point over the field name until a down arrow is displayed. To delete the field, click to select the column, and press then DELETE.

Selecting the Fields You Want to Use in the Mail Merge

To select the fields from the second table you want to use in the mail merge, follow these steps:
  1. In the second table, click the first field name that you want to use.
  2. Drag and drop the field to the appropriate location in the query pane.
  3. Repeat steps 1-2 for each field that you want to use from each table.
  4. On the File menu, click Return Data To Microsoft Word.

Creating the Mail Merge Main Document

To create the mail merge main document, follow these steps:
  1. After returning to Microsoft Word, click Edit Main Document when you will receive the following message:
    Word found no merge fields in your main document. Choose the Edit Main Document button to insert merge fields into your main document.
    The merge fields from both Excel files are now available on the Insert Merge Field button on your Mail Merge toolbar.
  2. To insert the merge fields in your document, click the Insert Merge Field on the Mail Merge toolbar.
  3. On the Tools menu, click Mail Merge.
  4. In the Mail Merge Helper, click Merge.
  5. In the Merge dialog box, click to select New document in the Merge to box and click Merge.
The merged data should now include information from both Excel tables.

For more information, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
155179 WD: How to Use a Microsoft Excel Data Source for Word Mail Merge
159817 WD97: Can't Connect, Insert Database with ODBC and MSQuery
141922 WD: How to Start a Mail Merge
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Article ID: 180599 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 08:22:05 - Revision: 1.2

Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition, Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition, Microsoft Query 2000

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