Mail Merge with Word for Windows

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by Allen Browne, 20 April 2005    (for Access v2)

MS-Access Tips for Casual Users

Provided by Allen Browne,

Mail Merge with Word for Windows

(Special note: 16-bit programs such as WinWord 2 or 6 may have difficulty opening an .mdb file stored in a directory name containing a space such as "C:\My Documents".)

Using WinWord 6 or later, data merges with Access are unbelievably easy.

  1. From the Tools menu in Word, select Mail Merge.
  2. Choose Create, Form Letters, Active Window.
  3. Choose Get Data, Open Data Source, and select your MDB file.
  4. Select the Access table or query that contains the data to be merged.
  5. Type your form letter, using the Insert Merge Field button on the toolbar wherever you want merge data to appear.

For users of WinWord 2, life is a little more complex. There are several methods, but this one allows you to use Access queries to sort and select records for merging.

  1. In Word 2, create a new document based on the DATAFILE template that ships with Word.
  2. Start a copy of Access, and in the database container, select the name of the table or query that is to supply the data.
  3. From the Edit menu in Access, choose Copy. This places a reference to the data into the clipboard.
  4. With Access still running, switch back to Word 2.
  5. Under Tools menu, click:
    • Database Management Tools,
    • Link to Ext. Database,
    • Create Link from Clipboard,
    • Paste Link.
  6. When the data has been pasted, save this as your data document, and proceed as you normally would with merging two Word documents.

Unlike later versions of Word, if you later add or edit records in Access, you need to specifically inform Word 2 about it. With your data document active in Word 2, go to the Tools menu and click:

  1. Database Management Tools,
  2. Link to Ext. Database,
  3. Update Links.

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