Starting a Mail Merge with the Mail Merge Wizard Task Pane

To help organize and structure the mail merge process, Word provides the Mail Merge Wizard task pane, shown in Figure 17.1. The Mail Merge Wizard task pane guides you step-by-step through a mail merge. To open it, choose Tools, Letters and Mailings, Mail Merge Wizard.

Figure 17.1. The Mail Merge Wizard task pane, as it appears when you begin a mail merge.


In the first window of the Mail Merge Wizard task pane, you choose the type of mail merge you want to create: Letters, E-mail Messages, Envelopes, Labels, or a Directory. When you've done so, click Next: Starting Document.


To combine any type of standard text with unique information that is listed in a separate document, follow the steps for letters. You can use this basic process to create legal documents, contracts, and many other types of customizable documents. To print a list of information from a database in a single document, such as a parts list or a membership directory, follow the steps for directories.


If you are working on a mailing that requires both a form letter and a set of envelopes or labels, create the form letter first and use the same merge settings later to create your envelopes or mailing labels. This way, you can make sure that you print corresponding labels or envelopes for each letter and that the labels or envelopes print in the same order.

Most of the process of merging is identical regardless of which type of merge document you are creating. The next several sections walk through the merge process in the context of merging letters. Wherever the process varies for a different type of document, we will present the key differences and nuances.

    Part I: Word Basics: Get Productive Fast
    Part II: Building Slicker Documents Faster
    Part III: The Visual Word: Making Documents Look Great
    Part IV: Industrial-Strength Document Production Techniques
    Part VI: The Corporate Word