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Word 2007 Mail Merge using External File as Data Source

In the Word 2007 book, there is no information I can find on Mail Merge using a data source from an external file such as Excel or Access. In Chapter 12, only recipient lists using "Type a New List" within Word is explained. Can I get an explanation of using Excel or Access as the data source? Thanks much.
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  • Hi Simone - Here's the answer from the book's author:
    I used Outlook as an example because it's actually a great manager for mailing lists. If you have one in Outlook and one in another database, then you have to maintain two lists instead of one.

    Anyway, the answer to the question fits in on step 1 of page 295 of the book. At that step, you see the Mail Merge panel on the right side of Word in the image below.

    Under the Use an existing list options, click the Browse button.

    At that point the Select Data Source window opens. It's a typical Windows Explorer type of window where you can browse to any file or folder on your computer or network (see the image below). Click the drop-down menu in the lower right corner to choose an Excel (.xls, xlsm, xlsx), Access (mdb, mdbm, mdbx) or many other file types. The name of the file appears in the File name box. Click the Open button and Word loads the data source.



    With Access files, you may need to choose a specific table or query within the database, as shown in the image below. With Excel files you may have to choose a specific spreadsheet (tab) within the workbook. This step is not necessary if there's only one tab in Excel or one table in Access.

    After that, working with the data inside of Word just like working with an Outlook file as explained in the rest of the example.
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  • Nan, thanks very much. That's quie helpful.

    Actually, on page 295 of the book I have, the example used in the walkthrough does not use existing Outlook contacts, but creates recipients "from scratch" using the "Type a new list" option, where the user manually enters each name/address/etc. individually, assign your new List a name, etc. (As outlined in Steps 2, 3, 4, 5 on the bottom of page 295 and top of page 296. Perhaps I have a slightly different version of the book, since mine outlines the detailed steps of creating recipients from scratch with Word as individual "records", rather than using the Outlook contacts.
    In any case, thanks for the tips on using an external file (which may have different content than Outlook). I appreciate it very much!
    --Simone
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