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Mail Merge: Create Letters for a List of Recipients

SHSU Technology Tutorials | Mail Merge | Create Letters for a List of Recipients

Create Letters for a List of Recipients

Creating a Standard Letter

To create a standard letter, open Microsoft Word. Click on Tools -> Letters and Mailings -> Mail Merge Wizard.


A small window will pop up to the right of your main window. Select the document type. In our case, choose Letters. Click Next.


Once you select the Letters option, there are three other options to select in the Select Starting document section: Use the current document, Start from a template and Start from an existing document.


Using the current document

To use the document you are working on, click on the radio button next to Use the current document.


When you click Next, you will see three options to choose from: Use an Existing List, Select from Outlook contacts and Type a New List.

Using an Existing List

This option allows you to use other lists, such as Access databases, Word documents or Excel documents.

To use an existing list, select a file from where you want to pull up the information about your recipients. Once you have finished selecting your folder, click Open.


After you select your table or query, the following window appears. Click on the query or table that you want to use.


You will see another window asking you to select your recipients. To select your recipients, click on the check boxes next to their names from the list that is generated. If you want to select all of your recipients, click on Select All.


Once you have finished, click OK. You will then see another window appear in the pane on the right. Then, click on the “Next: Write your letter” link at the bottom.


When you click on Next, you will get a pane that shows you several options, including adding an address block, greeting line, electronic postage and postal bar codes.

Inserting an Address Block

To insert an address block, click on the Address block link.


You will get a dialog box that will ask you what you want to enter in your address portion of your letter. Click the check boxes next to the items you want to include. Click OK when you are finished.


To add a greeting line, click on the Greeting line link. In the dialog box, select what you want your greeting to look like. To adjust the format, just click on the drop-down menus in the appropriate places you need.

Greeting Line


When finished, click OK.

To add the recipient’s first and last names or other information, click the More Items… link. A dialog box will appear asking you to choose your remaining fields.


If the fields are coming from an address book, click on the Address Fields radio button. If they are from a database, such as Access, click the Database Fields radio button. Then, choose the field or fields you need. When finished, click Insert.

The sample on the following page is what your letter should look like:


The words in the tags are the ones that will pull information from your selected databases. Once you have drafted your letter’s structure, you can preview all of the letters for each of your recipients. You can also edit each letter individually if you want to personalize them.

To preview your letter or letters, click on the Next: Preview your letters… link.

This is what a previewed letter would look like.


To review each recipient’s letter, click on the arrows in the Task Pane. To exclude a recipient, click on the Exclude This Recipient button. To find a recipient, click on Find a recipient.


Click Next for the final stage of the mail merge.


To print your letters, click on the Print… link. To save your work, click on File -> Save As.

Using A Template

From the Mail Merge template, click on the radio button next to “Start from a template.” Then, select the Select Template… link below Start from a Template.


When you click on the link, you will get a dialog box asking you to select from a list of templates.


This is what you would see after you have selected your option.


Once you have selected your letter, just follow the same steps as you did with the standard letter option.

Using an Existing Letter

To use an existing letter in your mail merge, click on Tools��Letters and Mailings��Mail Merge Wizard. Then, click on the “Start from existing document” radio button and select your document from the list located below the option buttons.

If your file is not there, click on the More files… button and the Open…button. Then, just follow the same steps as you did with using the current document.

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