Get to Know the Word 2007 Mail Merge Feature - dummies

Get to Know the Word 2007 Mail Merge Feature

By Dan Gookin

Mail Merge is a feature in Word 2007 that allows you to take a single document, like a letter, stir in a list of names and data, and combine (merge) everything into a final set of documents, each of which is customized and nearly personal. You can also mail-merge e-mail messages, envelopes, labels, and lists of information.


Obviously, Mail Merge is a useful thing, but before immersing yourself in the process, you may find it helpful to become familiar with the following terms:

  • Main document: This is the form letter, the document that contains the various fill-in-the-blanks places. But it starts just like any other document in Word, complete with formatting, page numbers, or anything else you want to add.

  • Address list: The information you use to create customized letters is held in a type of database file — basically, a list of names and other data. It’s those names and such that are merged with the main document to form individual customized letters. If you plan on doing a mail merge as part of your regular routine, you want to build an address list that you can use over and over.

  • Fields: These are the fill-in-the-blanks items inside the main document. Each field represents an item from the address list, a data tidbit. The field’s contents flow from the address list and into the main document, where the field’s data appears (after merging). Fields are what make the mail merge possible.

Getting these three things to work together is the essence of Mail Merge. In Word 2007, the tools to make that happen are found on the Mailings tab.