Computing Services

Mail Merge, Data Merge, Labels, etc.

Mail Merge Menu

For more than a decade Microsoft Office has allowed a person to merge data from an Excel spreadsheet with a Word document in order to create form letters, labels, custom posters, or any other sort of mass produced, yet individually customized end product that you can imagine.

The exact instructions for completing a Mail Merge (also called a “Data Merge”) vary depending upon whether you are using a Mac or Windows, the age of your copy of Microsoft Office, and your desired end product. However, all of these situations have the same basic tenets, as outlined below.


1) A Data Source

All Mail (Data) Merges begin with a data source. Possible sources of data within LPS:

  • Synergy
  • The AS400
  • A list you create yourself
  • Any list of data that can be opened in an Excel Spreadsheet

No matter what the source of your data, you will need to download the information to your computer, open it in an Excel spreadsheet and clean it up. Ideas:

  • Delete any columns of unnecessary data
  • Add a header row that identifies the columns
  • Eliminate blank rows from the sheet
  • Look for errors that can be fixed manually

When the spreadsheet data looks good to you, save it somewhere it is easily accessible in the next part of this process.

2) Assemble the Document

Now that your source data is ready to go, you will need to create the document that will contain the merged data. Launch Microsoft Word.

This is where the process diverges depending upon the computer you are using. The good news is that all versions of Word will have a “Wizard” or “Manager” window that will assist you through the process.

At the bottom of this web page are links to resources that will be valuable in assisting you with the steps specific to your computer.

Basically, you will be:

  1. Opening a new word processing document in the form of a letter, labels, or some other format
  2. Connecting it to your source data (spreadsheet)
  3. Inserting “fields” from your spreadsheet into a template you create within your document

Once your template appears to insert & format the data in the way you desire, it is time to make the magic happen.

3) Merge!

At this point you will run the “merge.” This will create a new document that contains all of your source data in the format you created.

Save this new document and print it to the desired location.


If the outline listed here, along with the resources offered at the bottom of this page do not meet your individual needs, please enter an LPS Help Desk ticket and we will attempt to help you sort out your issue.


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