How to Create Mail Merge Letters in Word

Create bulk letters quickly

What to Know

  • Select Start Mail Merge and choose what type of document you want to create. Then, select Select Recipients to choose who receives it.
  • Select Insert Merge Field and add all the fields you want to use. Select Finish & Merge to complete the process.
  • Alternatively, use the Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard if you need more guided help creating your merged document.

Using Mail Merge in all versions of Microsoft Word will merge data from a data source with your document. It's perfect for letters, catalogs, labels, and more. Here's how to get started with this timesaving feature. 

How to Mail Merge in Word

In all current versions of Word, the Mail Merge option on the Mailings tab of the ribbon help walk you through creating a mail merge letter.

Create a letter from scratch or open an existing letter before you begin.

  1. Select Start Mail Merge on the Mailings ribbon and select the type of document you’d like to create. For example, you can select letters, envelopes, or labels. Alternatively, select Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard for more help creating your document.

    Screenshot of Start Mail Merge
  2. Choose Select Recipients on the Mailings ribbon to add recipients to the mailing.
    You can opt to create a new database of recipients. You can also choose to use an existing list or Outlook contacts.

    Screenshot of Select Recipients
  3. In the Mail Merge Recipients box, use the checkboxes to select the contacts you want to include in the mail merge. Select OK when your list is ready.

    Screenshot of Mail Merge Recipients

  4. Select Insert Merge Field on the Mailings ribbon. Choose the first field you would like to add. The field name appears where you have the cursor located in your document. Repeat, inserting each field you want to include. Alternatively, you can select an option such as Address Block or Greeting Line.

    You can edit and format the text surrounding the field. Formats applied to the field will carry over to your finished document. You can continue to add fields to your letter.

    Screenshot of Insert Merge Field
  5. Before you print your letters, you should review them to check for errors. In particular, pay attention to spacing and punctuation surrounding the fields. You will also want to make sure you have inserted the correct fields in the proper places.
    To preview the letters, select Preview Results on the Mailings ribbon. Use the arrows to navigate through the document.

    Screenshot of Preview Results
  6. You might notice an error in the data for one of your documents. You cannot alter this data in the merge document. Instead, you'll need to fix it in the data source.

    To do this, select Edit Recipient List on the Mailings ribbon. In the box that opens, you can alter the data for any of your recipients. You can also limit the recipients. Uncheck the box next to recipients' names to omit them from the merge operation and select OK.

    Screenshot of Edit Recipient List button
  7. After you've reviewed your documents, you're ready to finalize them by completing the merge. Select the Finish & Merge button on the Mailings ribbon. You can opt to edit individual documents, print the letters, or email them. If you choose to print or email your letters, a prompt will ask you to enter a range. You can opt to print all, one, or a set of contiguous letters. Word will walk you through the process for each.

    Screenshot of Finish & Merge
Was this page helpful?