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

Mail merge in Excel is a powerful way to create personalized documents like letters, labels, or emails. Here’s a quick rundown: you’ll create a list in Excel, connect it to a Word document, and then use the Mail Merge function in Word. This allows you to insert fields from your Excel list into your Word document and generate customized outputs for each entry. It’s a bit like magic—but with spreadsheets and text.

How to Mail Merge in Excel

In this section, we’ll walk you through how to use Excel to perform a mail merge. By the end of these steps, you’ll know how to create personalized documents quickly and efficiently.

Step 1: Create your Excel list

First, create an Excel spreadsheet with the data you want to include in your mail merge.

Make sure your columns are labeled clearly, like "First Name," "Last Name," "Address," etc. Each row will represent a different entry, such as a person you’re sending a letter to.

Step 2: Open Word and start a new document

Next, open Microsoft Word and start a new document.

This is where you’ll create your template. Think of it as a form letter where placeholders will be replaced with actual data from your Excel sheet.

Step 3: Go to the ‘Mailings’ tab

Navigate to the ‘Mailings’ tab in Word.

This tab contains all the tools you need for a mail merge. You’ll see options like ‘Select Recipients’ and ‘Insert Merge Field.’

Step 4: Select ‘Start Mail Merge’

Click ‘Start Mail Merge’ and choose the type of document you are creating.

Whether it’s letters, envelopes, or labels, this tells Word how to format your document.

Step 5: Select Recipients

Click ‘Select Recipients’ and choose ‘Use an Existing List.’

This is where you’ll connect your Excel spreadsheet to Word. Locate your Excel file and select the appropriate sheet.

Step 6: Insert Merge Fields

Click ‘Insert Merge Field’ and choose the fields from your Excel sheet.

These fields act as placeholders in your document. For example, you might insert "First Name" where you want the recipient’s first name to appear.

Step 7: Preview Results

Click ‘Preview Results’ to see how your document looks with actual data.

This step helps you catch any errors before you complete the merge. Make sure everything looks correct.

Step 8: Finish & Merge

Click ‘Finish & Merge’ and choose ‘Print Documents’ or ‘Send E-Mail Messages.’

This final step completes the mail merge. You can generate individual documents or send emails directly.

After completing these steps, you’ll have a set of personalized documents or emails, each customized with the data from your Excel spreadsheet.

Tips for Mail Merge in Excel

  • Double-check your data: Ensure names, addresses, and other details are correct in your Excel sheet.

  • Save your work: Save both your Excel and Word files frequently to avoid losing any data.

  • Use filters: If you only need to send documents to a specific group, use Excel’s filter function to create a tailored list.

  • Test before mass sending: Always preview results and test a few entries to make sure everything looks perfect.

  • Keep it simple: Don’t overcomplicate your Excel sheet with too many columns or unnecessary data.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I add more fields to my mail merge?

Simply add more columns to your Excel sheet and insert corresponding merge fields in your Word document.

Can I use mail merge to send emails?

Yes, you can. Choose ‘Send E-Mail Messages’ in the ‘Finish & Merge’ step.

Why isn’t my Excel data showing up in Word?

Ensure your Excel file is saved and that you selected the correct sheet during ‘Select Recipients.’

Can I use mail merge with Google Sheets?

You’ll need to export your Google Sheet as an Excel file first and then follow the same steps.

How do I fix formatting issues in merge fields?

Adjust the formatting in your Word document. For example, you can change the font style or size where the merge field is located.


  1. Create your Excel list.
  2. Open Word and start a new document.
  3. Go to the ‘Mailings’ tab.
  4. Select ‘Start Mail Merge.’
  5. Select Recipients.
  6. Insert Merge Fields.
  7. Preview Results.
  8. Finish & Merge.


Mail merge in Excel is a fantastic tool for anyone looking to create personalized documents quickly. Whether you’re sending out holiday cards, business letters, or invitations, mastering this feature can save you tons of time and effort. Remember, the key steps are to prepare your Excel list carefully and follow the mail merge process in Word step-by-step. If you encounter issues, refer back to the tips and FAQs provided. For further reading, explore more advanced mail merge options like conditional fields and custom formatting. Now, go ahead and give it a try—you’ll be a mail merge pro in no time!

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