How to Create Word 2013 Mail-Merged Letters - dummies

How to Create Word 2013 Mail-Merged Letters

By Lois Lowe

Letters are one of the most common mail-merged Word 2013 document types. Typically the merge fields are used to generate the mailing address. In some letters, fields are also used to customize the letter itself.

Word 2013 provides two time-saving code blocks, <<AddressBlock>> and <<GreetingLine>>. You find buttons for these codes on the Mailings tab.

The <<AddressBlock>> code sets up a standard mailing address for you, or you can insert individual codes to create the mailing address block yourself. For example, the following are equivalent:


Word also provides a <<GreetingLine>> code block that
inserts a greeting, such as Dear <<Title>>
. You can customize the
greeting line code to use any combination of titles, first names,
and last names.

The following exercise doesn’t use the greeting line code because the data file doesn’t have separate fields for first and last names, and the <<GreetingLine>> code works best when those names are separate.

  1. Open a document for with a letter in it.

  2. Choose Mailings→Start Mail Merge→Letters.

  3. Choose Mailings→Select Recipients→Use an Existing List.

    The Select Data Source dialog box opens.


  4. Navigate to the folder containing your data files for your mail merge. Select the mail merge file and click Open.

    The Select Table dialog box opens, prompting you to choose which worksheet you want to use.

  5. In the Select Table dialog box, make sure Sheet1$ is selected and click OK.

    The dollar sign after the sheet name is Excel’s way of saying that the name is absolute — that is, it doesn’t change when you refer to it in a formula. It is not significant for our purposes in this exercise.

  6. Move the insertion point to the line immediately below the date and then choose Mailings→Address Block.

    The Insert Address Block dialog box opens.


    If the sample in the Preview area is not right, click the Match Fields button and specify which fields should be associated with which parts of the address block.

  7. Confirm that the address in the Preview area looks correctly formed and then click OK to accept the default settings.

    An <<AddressBlock>> code appears in the document.

  8. Press Enter to start a new line after the <<AddressBlock>> code and then type Dear and press the spacebar once.

  9. On the Mailings tab, click the down arrow below Insert Merge Field, and on the menu that appears click Name.

    A <<Name>> code is inserted.

  10. Type a comma after the code and then click to move the insertion point immediately before the word store in the first paragraph.

  11. Click the down arrow under the Insert Merge Field button again, and click City.

    A <<City>> code is inserted at the insertion point.

  12. Press the spacebar once to add a space after the code.

    The letter looks like the following example.


  13. Choose Mailings→Preview Results.

    The first letter appears as it will be printed. Notice that extra space is between the lines of the address block.

  14. Select all the lines of the address block on the previewed letter and then choose Home→Line and Paragraph Spacing→Remove Space after Paragraph. Click away from the selection to deselect it when finished.

    This takes care of the spacing problem for all letters in the merge file.


  15. Click at the end of the last line of the address block and press Enter once, creating an extra line of space between the address and the greeting.

  16. Choose Mailings→Next Record to see a preview of the next letter.


To make the letters look better, you could center them vertically on the page.

  1. Keep clicking Next Record until you have seen all the records and then choose Mailings→Finish & Merge→Edit Individual Documents.

    The Merge to New Document dialog box opens.

  2. Click OK to merge all the copies into one document.

    A new document — Letters1 — opens.

  3. Scroll through the new document to check the letters; then close it without saving changes to it.

  4. Save your changes your Main Merge file and then close it.