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Mail Merges with Microsoft Excel and Word: Part 2

Published on Fri, 10/04/2019 - 08:48am

In Part 1, we learned how to create an address list in Microsoft Excelâ. While you can create a data source using Microsoft Word’s mail merge ribbon tab, you’ll find that the initial setup of the list and then its data entry is much easier to perform in Excel.

There are two main ways that you may decide to perform a mail merge and use Excel as the data source. We’ll look at using several ribbon buttons in Part 2 and then discuss using the mail merge wizard in Part 3. While you can personalize letters or address envelopes, we’ll learn how to use mail merge by creating mailing labels.

  1. Open a blank document in Word.
  2. Click the Mailings tab. 
  1. Click the Start Mail Merge dropdown arrow and then select Labels.
  1. From the Label Options window, select the type of paper (Page printers), Label vendor (Avery US letter is a common brand), Product number (5160 is an Avery standard mailing label).

  1. Click OK.
  2. An insertion point appears, showing where the text for the first label will be located. The Select Recipients button is now active as well.
  1. When you click on the Select Recipients dropdown arrow to select Use an Existing List, you are taken to File Explorer where you can navigate to the Excel mailing list you created in Part 1.
  2. Select the Excel spreadsheet and then click Open.
  1. The Select Table dialog box opens. Select the Excel worksheet that contains the address information, making sure to check “First row of data contains column headers” if that’s correct. Click OK.
  1. Your document is now ready for you to insert merge fields and has placeholders for the beginning of each label.



  1. The Insert Merge Field button has become active. Click its dropdown arrow to see a list of all fields in the data source.
  1. For the first line of the address, select First Name from the dropdown list, press the space bar, and then select Last Name from the dropdown list. Press Enter.
  1. Still using the Insert Merge Field button dropdown, select the Street field for the second line of the address. Press Enter.
  1. Using the Insert Merge Field button dropdown, select City and then add a comma and a blank space. Add State, a black space, and Zip.
  1. Click the Update Labels button to copy the fields to each label. 
  1. Click the Preview Results button to see how the data is arranged on the page.
  1. Click the Finish & Merge button dropdown to print the labels without saving the file. You can also select Edit Individual Documents to edit and/or save the label file. With the label file saved, you can print and reprint labels as needed.

Be sure to watch for Part 3 of this series, coming in January 2020. In the meantime, register for a Word or Excel program at the Library to learn more. You can find other online technology resources throughout our website.

Terri M.
Consumer Technology Specialist



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