Mail Merge in Excel – Shiksha Online

Mail Merge in Excel – Shiksha Online

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Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content
Updated on Aug 4, 2023 16:19 IST

Mail Merge in Excel is widely used to simultaneously generate large amounts of documents while sticking to an agreed-upon or required format. Read the blog to learn more about mail merge.


Mail Merge in Excel is an essential tool when you want to create a set of documents, such as campaigns, surveys, forms, letters, etc., to be sent to many clients. Each card or label contains the same type of information, although its content is unique. For example, in the letters you send to your clients, each can be personalized with the name of the person to whom it is addressed. The unique information for each card or label comes from the entries contained in a data source.

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To be able to generate this process, we will have to go to the Mail Merge tool in Word. This tool is particularly useful when sending out documents that contain a part written in a fixed format, and another part with editable details in a personalized way. 


Overview of Mail Merge in Excel

Before moving on to the process of Mail Merge, take a look at the below screenshot. This is how Mail Merge works.

You have data from an Excel spreadsheet and a template from Word doc. The Mail Merge option uses data from Excel and embeds it in the Word template.

Overview of Mail Merge in Excel

Let us see how it works in detail. 

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Create Your Excel Spreadsheet

The primary step is to set up and prepare the data in the Excel spreadsheet as the data source for the recipient list. When preparing your Excel spreadsheet for a Mail Merge, you need to ensure the below conditions – 

  • Column names match the field names that you need to insert in your Mail Merge. For example – separate columns for the first and last names if you have to address readers by their first name.
  • All the data is present in the first sheet of your spreadsheet.
  • Entries with data like percentages, currencies, and postal codes are in the correct format
  • You have stored the spreadsheet for the Mail Merge on your local system.
  • You have made all the necessary changes to your spreadsheet before it’s connected to your Mail Merge document in Word.

We have the below data set that needs to be merged for sending letters

Create Your Excel Spreadsheet 1

Mail Merge From Excel to Word

In our example, we will merge letters. The steps are the same for email messages as well. 

Create a Word document. Create your letter content and create a new Word doc.

Mail Merge From Excel to Word

Select the merge option – Go to Mailings ⇒ Start Mail Merge ⇒ Letters.

Select the merge option

You can now attach your Excel file with the Word doc. Browse and locate your Excel file and click Open.

attach your Excel file with the Word

You will be prompted to choose the sheet of your choice, select that and click OK.

attach your Excel file with the Word 2

You have now established a connection between Excel and Word. This Excel sheet is the source of your letter content. Whenever you change your Excel spreadsheet, the Mail Merge data source will be automatically updated.

Now check your recipient list, and deselect names if you don’t wish to send letters or emails to them. Continue if all is well.

recipient list

You will get a dialogue box that suggests specific address elements, choose the one that is suitable for your business and click OK.

specific address elements

Match Fields

You have the details that you need to send the letters. If you wish to add more details, click the “Match Fields” option. You will be redirected to another window and can add the missing details per the requirements.

Match Fields

Coming back to the previous option. Keep the letter content handy and copy-paste/write the text on the Word doc. Now add the required placeholders. This includes Address Block and Greeting Line. These placeholders will help to understand where the data should be placed. 

Address Block
Greeting Line

Now that your letter content is ready, insert the merge field. This will help to personalize your letter further. In our example, we will mention the count of years for which the consumer has been associated with the organization.

insert the merge field
insert the merge fields 2

You can preview your content with the help of Preview Results. Verify if all information is placed correctly.

Preview Results mail merge

If you think that the mailer content is good to go, go to Finish & Merge and select the option, which are –

  • Edit Individual Documents
  • Print Documents
  • Send Email Messages
Finish & Merge

Save this Word doc somewhere for your future reference. After you save the doc, it will remain in your mailer list. You just need to open it and click Yes when prompted. This will help you to retain the connection that we established between Excel and Word.

save letter format
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Using Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard

You can also access the Mail Merge features from the Mail Merge Wizard located –

Mailings ⇒ Start Mail Merge ⇒ Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard

Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard

When you click on the Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard button, a Mail Merge pane will open at the extreme right of your document. You will notice that it guides you through the process of Mail Merge, step-wise.

Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard 2

It is easier to work with the Mailings option located on the toolbar since all the options related to the Mail Merge process are located up front.


Using Mail Merge not only saves a lot of time but is a highly efficient tool. The most interesting thing about the Mail Merge is that it creates the same letter several times taking into account the variables that are assigned. That is, if we have to make a letter for 20 people with their name and ID, Word will take the information from Excel and will create a letter for each name and address.

Hope you find this feature interesting and we helped you to understand how Mail Merge works.

Keep learning!

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About the Author
Rashmi Karan
Manager - Content

Rashmi is a postgraduate in Biotechnology with a flair for research-oriented work and has an experience of over 13 years in content creation and social media handling. She has a diversified writing portfolio and aim... Read Full Bio


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