Word 2002 Mail Merge Resource Center

  • Welcome the Microsoft Word 2002 Mail Merge Resource Center. Use this resource center to help you learn how to use Mail Merge in Microsoft Word 2002 to create form letters, mailing labels, envelopes, or catalogs. This resource center can also help you troubleshoot problems you may encounter during a mail merge; and provides step-by-step instructions and additional resources that may assist you in creating and using your Word mail merge documents.


What Is Mail Merge?

The purpose of mail merge is to create multiple copies of the same document and to populate each copy with unique data from an external file or database. For example, you might want to print the same form letter for 500 different recipients and include each recipient's name on the greeting line.

You can use mail merge to create form letters, envelopes, labels, e-mails, and directory-style listings.

How Does Mail Merge Work?

You can turn any Word document into a mail merge document by specifying a "data source" for the mail merge. The data source is an external file or database that contains the information that you want to merge into the document.

After you link your document to a data source, you insert MERGE fields into the document where you want the information from the data source to appear. Think of MERGE fields as placeholders for the data that you will add to the document from the data source.

The final step is to send the results of the mail merge to a new document, directly to the printer, or directly to your e-mail program if your mail merge document is an e-mail message.

What Types of Data Can Word Use?

For its data files, Word can connect to other Word documents, the Outlook Address Book, Excel workbook files, Access database files, comma-delimited or tab-delimited text files, and a variety of other database formats. If you do not already have a data file, Word can help you create one.

Each data file is comprised of "records", which are the individual entries in the data source. Each record is comprised of "fields", which are the unique pieces of information in each record. For example, if your data source is a list of names and mailing addresses, each record represents a different person in the list, and each field represents a different part of the mailing address. The typical mailing list contains fields such as First Name, Last Name, Address, City, State, and Zip Code.

How Do You Perform a Mail Merge?

Microsoft Word 2002 has a tool called the Mail Merge Wizard that guides you through each step of the mail-merge process. This wizard replaces the Mail Merge Helper from earlier versions of Word.

To access the Mail Merge Wizard, on the Tools menu in Word, point to Letters and Mailings, and then click Mail Merge Wizard.

Additional Resources & Related Sites

Error Messages

  • Error Message: "filename" is a Mail Merge Main Document. Word Cannot Find Its Data Source

    When you open a mail-merge main document or template, you may receive an error message similar to one of the following:
    File name is a mail merge main document. Word cannot find its data source, path\file name.
    File name is a mail merge main document. Word cannot find its data source, C:\~~\~~~_virtual_file_~~~.olk.
    File name is a mail merge main document. Word cannot find its data source, C:\...\~~~_virtual_file_~~~Mailbox - ....
  • Error Message: Word Found Locked Fields During Update

    When you perform a mail merge operation, you may receive the following error message:
    Word found locked fields during update. Word cannot update the locked fields.

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Last Review : July 30, 2009