Simple Mail Merge Using Excel

A question was asked on Quora about how to merge a list of 500+ names into a Microsoft Word form.

Word’s mail merge feature is a very powerful and useful tool that makes doing this very easy.

Though there are alternative ways to do this, the easiest and best way to accomplish is to use Excel as the simple database.

The assumption here is that the form is already designed and in-place in Word, and I just show the steps to both connect and generate the required output.

However, if you want to know how to setup the form, etc., then you really need to learn about Word’s styles. Click here to see my posts and videos on styles.

Right, the video:

As you can see, it’s a very powerful feature.

If you struggle with Word in your business, here are just two elements that you must know about and implement: Click here to get the report.

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  • Even us power users curse Word sometimes, especially when for some unknown reason, one of our styles displays a black box instead of the number that it should show, corrupting the Table of Contents in the process. Or we fix a paragraph multiple times and it keeps insisting on changing back. Or we inherit a one-hundred page document that needs totally reformatting, one paragraph at a time. Enter Mr. Crowley’s course, Microsoft Word 2016 for Beginners*. 

    The one thing I liked best about the course was Mr. Crowley’s teaching style, clear, concise and reasonably paced. The material is thoughtfully laid out, one lesson flowing smoothly into the next.  Don’t let the course name fool you. After covering the basics, this course shows you how to do virtually anything that you might need. Document gotten so big that it could use a Table of Contents? Module 10. Need an index? Module 16. Want a numbered list and it needs sorted? Module 13. 

    These are just a few of the items taught in this course. You’ll definitely be scratching your head, thinking, “wow, I didn’t know Word could do that.

    Mr. Crowley could be called a “style and section evangelist”. He never misses an opportunity to emphasize that any misbehaving document probably has its roots in poorly-applied or unused styles and sections. I suspect this may be the root cause of my black squares for numbers identified earlier. After completing the course, the main benefit I have a better appreciation of Word’s bells and whistles, along with a resource for how to do things. I would recommend this course to users of all skill levels.  

    Rick Robertson Van Horn

    Sr. Systems Analyst & Sr. Programmer, & Word Power User

    *Note: this was the original name for this course.