How to Create a Main Mail Merge Document in Microsoft Word

By Editorial Team

You can create a form letter to send to multiple recipients and use the mail merge feature in Microsoft Word 97 and 2000 (for the PC) and Word 98 (for Macintosh) to merge the addresses in a "Data Source" file with the main mail merge document (form letter). This is a great time-saving function.

Close all open Word documents and create a new one.

Go to the Tools menu and select Mail Merge.

Select Create and then Form Letters, and then click the Active Window button.

Click the Edit button and select the document you just created.

Go to the Insert menu, choose the third Date and Time (month, date, year) choice and click OK.

Press Return four times and begin typing the contents of your letter with only the salutation followed by a colon (for example, "Dear:"); do not include the name or address of any of the people to whom you are writing.

As you write the letter, leave blank any place you want to fill in later with a name or other personal information.

After you've written the letter, position the cursor where you want to insert the first "merge field," or item to be filled in later (probably the name after "Dear:"), and then click Insert Merge Field on the Mail Merge toolbar. Do this with each merge field until you've placed all of them in the correct position in the mail merge form letter.

Save the letter as Merge Main Letter.

Go to "How to Set Up a Mail Merge Data Source in Microsoft Word" to learn how to set up the names and addresses to be merged into your letter.