How to Create a Pages Mail Merge

In Pages, Apple's collaborative word processor, you can create a mail merge in a matter of minutes. A mail merge is a tool for generating mass mailings, such as form letters. Mail merges contain unique data, such as names and addresses, as well as information that is standard throughout each document. For example, you might use a mail merge to print mailing labels, appointment reminders, or payment-due reminders, or to send customers information about a new product or sale.

To create a mail merge in Pages, you set up a document with placeholder text, connect your data source to the document, and link your placeholders to the corresponding data in the data source. Once that is complete, you can choose to print or save the merged documents.

Three different items come into play with a mail merge:

  1. A data file is where your recipients are stored.
  2. A form file is where you design your merge.
  3. The finished document combines the data from your data file with the text in your merge document to create individual documents for the recipients.

This tutorial walks you through creating a simple mail merge using an existing data file.

Create a Form File

Prior to merging your data, you need to make a new form file—a sort of road map that tells Pages where to put each bit of information from your data file.

To do so, open a new document and design it as you like, including a data field for every item of information you'd like to appear in every merged document. Insert placeholder text to stand in for each item. For example, type "First Name" where you want each recipient's first name to appear.

Choose a Data File

Choose Your Data File
Choose Your Data File. Rebecca Johnson

Now that you have created your document template, you need to link to your data source:

  1. Press Command + Option + I on your keyboard to open the Inspector Window.
  2. Select the Link Inspector tab.
  3. Click the Merge tab.
  4. Click Choose to select your data source. Select either your Address Book or navigate to your Numbers document data source.

Add Merge Fields

Add Merge Fields
Photo © Rebecca Johnson

Now you must connect your data source to the placeholder text in your document template.

  1. Select a placeholder text element in your document template.
  2. Click the + icon in the Merge Inspector Window.
  3. Choose Add Merge Field from the menu.
  4. Select the import data from the drop-down menu on the Target Source column. For example, select First Name to link the first name data to the First Name placeholder text.
  5. Complete these steps until all of your placeholder text is linked to data in your data source.

Finish Your Merge

Finish Your Mail Merge
Rebecca Johnson

Now that you have connected to a data file and created a form file, it is time to finish your merge.

  1. Select Edit > Mail Merge.
  2. Choose your Merge To: destination—either straight to a printer or to a document that you can view and save.
  3. Click Merge.
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