How to Do Mail Merge from Excel: A Step-by-Step Guide for Beginners

How to Do Mail Merge from Excel

Mail merge from Excel is a fantastic way to send personalized emails or letters to many recipients without manually tailoring each one. By linking an Excel spreadsheet with a Word document, you can easily pull in specific details like names, addresses, or other information. Here’s a quick overview: Prepare your Excel file with all the necessary data, create your main document in Word, link the two, and merge the information. Simple, right? Let’s get into the nitty-gritty details!

How to Do Mail Merge from Excel

In the following steps, I’ll walk you through the process of creating a mail merge using Excel and Word. This method will help you send personalized messages to a list of recipients efficiently.

Step 1: Create Your Excel Spreadsheet

First, create an Excel spreadsheet with all the data fields you need for your mail merge.

Your spreadsheet should have column headers like "First Name," "Last Name," "Email," etc. Each row should represent a different recipient. Save this file in an easily accessible location.

Step 2: Open a New Word Document

Next, open Microsoft Word and start a new blank document.

This document will serve as your main document, where you’ll insert the fields from your Excel spreadsheet. It’s like the skeleton waiting for the data to flesh it out.

Step 3: Go to the Mailings Tab

In Word, navigate to the "Mailings" tab on the Ribbon.

This tab contains all the tools you need for the mail merge process. It’s your command center for merging.

Step 4: Start Mail Merge Wizard

Click "Start Mail Merge" and select "Step-by-Step Mail Merge Wizard."

This wizard will guide you through the mail merge process. It simplifies the steps, making it easier to follow along.

Step 5: Select Document Type

Choose the type of document you want to create, such as letters or emails, and click "Next."

For this tutorial, let’s say we’re creating letters. The wizard will adjust steps based on your selection.

Step 6: Select Starting Document

Pick "Use the current document" and click "Next."

You can also choose to use a template if you have one. This step is about setting up your main document.

Step 7: Select Recipients

Click "Select Recipients" and choose "Use an existing list." Then, find and open your Excel file.

This step links your Excel data with your Word document. Make sure your Excel file is properly formatted.

Step 8: Insert Merge Fields

Now, insert the merge fields into your document by clicking "Insert Merge Field" and choosing the appropriate fields.

For example, if you want to insert a recipient’s name, click "First Name" and "Last Name" where you want them to appear in your letter.

Step 9: Preview Your Letters

Click "Preview Results" to see how your letters will look with actual data.

This step lets you check for any errors or formatting issues before finalizing the mail merge.

Step 10: Finish & Merge

Finally, click "Finish & Merge" and choose "Print Documents" or "Send Email Messages."

Your personalized letters or emails will be created and ready to send. You’ve just completed a mail merge!

After completing these steps, your personalized letters or emails are ready to be sent out. You’ll find that each recipient receives a customized message with their specific details filled in, making your communication more effective and personal.

Tips for Mail Merge from Excel

  • Ensure your Excel data is clean and well-organized. Errors in the spreadsheet will carry over into your mail merge.
  • Always preview your merged documents to catch any mistakes before sending.
  • Use specific, descriptive column headers in Excel for easy field identification.
  • Save your Word document frequently to avoid losing your work.
  • If sending emails, make sure your email client is properly configured to handle the merge.

Frequently Asked Questions

What if my Excel data has errors?

Ensure your Excel data is clean and well-organized to avoid errors in the mail merge. Double-check for any typos or misplaced data before starting.

Can I use other data sources instead of Excel?

Yes, you can use data from other sources such as Access databases or Outlook contacts. The process is similar but may have some differences.

How do I format dates and numbers properly?

In your Excel spreadsheet, format dates and numbers as you want them to appear in your final document. Word will carry over these formats during the merge.

Can I personalize email subject lines using mail merge?

Yes, you can personalize email subject lines by including a merge field in the subject line during the merge setup.

What if I need to merge more complex data?

For more complex data, consider using advanced mail merge features like conditional fields or different data sources to achieve your desired outcome.


  1. Create your Excel spreadsheet.
  2. Open a new Word document.
  3. Go to the Mailings tab.
  4. Start the Mail Merge Wizard.
  5. Select document type.
  6. Select starting document.
  7. Select recipients.
  8. Insert merge fields.
  9. Preview your letters.
  10. Finish & Merge.


And there you have it! You now know how to do mail merge from Excel. This powerful tool allows you to send personalized messages to a large group without the tedious task of customizing each one manually. It’s like having a conversation with each person in your list, making your communication more engaging and impactful.

By following the steps outlined above, you can ensure that your mail merge process goes smoothly. Remember, the key to a successful mail merge lies in the details—clean data, proper formatting, and thorough previews.

So, go ahead and give it a try! Whether you’re sending emails to customers, letters to clients, or invitations to friends, mail merge from Excel can make your task easier and more efficient. Happy merging!

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