How To Mail Merge in Ms Office Publisher

In this Lesson Iam going to cover the entire methods one can use to effectively mail merge a Microsoft Office Publication.

You use Mail Merge when you want to create a set of documents, such as a form letter that is sent to many customers or a sheet of address labels.

Each letter or label has the same kind of information, yet the content is unique. For example, in letters to your customers, each letter can be personalized to address each customer by name.

To perform a mail merge, you must open a new or existing publication and then connect to a data source, which is a file that contains the unique information that you want to include. A data file may contain a list of names and addresses, product data, or pictures. The data file can be in a variety of formats, including:

  • Microsoft Office Outlook Contacts list
  • Microsoft Office Excel worksheets
  • Microsoft Office Word tables
  • Microsoft Office Access database tables
  • Text files in which tabs or commas separate the columns, and paragraph returns separate the rows

You can connect to an existing list or data source, or you can create a new recipient list. If you want to use only certain entries in your list, you can filter your list by a specific criterion. You can also sort the items in alphabetical order.

 If you want to merge pictures into your publication pages, your data source must include file names and for the picture files that you want to merge. Do not include the actual pictures or images in your data source.


To open the Mail Merge task pane in a new or existing publication, click the Tools menu, point to Mailings and Catalogs, and then click Mail Merge.

Mail merge Using an existing list

  • Under Create recipient list, click Use an existing list, and then click Next: Create or connect to a recipient list.

By default, Microsoft Publisher stores data sources in the My Data Sources folder. You may need to browse to locate your data source.

  • In the Select Data Source dialog box, click the data source that you want.
  • Click Open.

Depending on the type of data source that you select, other dialog boxes may appear requesting specific information.

For example, if your data source is a Microsoft Office Excel workbook that has information on multiple worksheets, you need to select the worksheet that contains the information that you want, and then click OK.

In the screenshot below I will take you through the steps to follow while mail merging using an existing list;

  • Click Next To Connect To The Saved Recipient List

You will then be prompted to select a data source; meaning locate the saved recipient list and select it. In this case Desktop is the location and RECIPIENTS is our Data Source file.

  • At this Point Click Open.

A Select table dialogue box will appear as in the picture below; Since the Recipient’s list was created using a spreadsheet application that has got sheets. You are required to select that particular sheet where the recipient’s table is found and click OK.

Here you can now filter the recipients; those who are expected to receive a copy of the certificate and those who are excluded due to other factors. You can uncheck the check boxes for those individuals you don’t want to receive the certificate. After all that, click OK to proceed.

Upon clicking OK, you will see a list of Field Names of your Recipient’s table on the left of your screen as seen in this photo.

Go to the temporary text you typed in the certificate that you would want to replace with the information from the table. In this tutorial I used “NAMES” , highlight it.

The real merge process starts here, go to the “TITLE” column name and click it, you will then see the word <<TITLE>> enclosed in a chevron implying that whatever is in that field/column will be placed at that exact point in your certificate.

Go to the “FIRST NAME” column name and click it, you will then see the word <<FIRST NAME>> enclosed in a chevron implying that whatever is in that field/column will be placed at that point in your certificate.

Go to the “LAST NAME” column name and click it, you will then see the word <<LAST NAME>> enclosed in a chevron implying that whatever is in that field/column will be placed at that point in your certificate.

As you can see, we now have directed Publisher where to place information from the recipient’s table. <<TITLE>> <<FIRST NAME>> <<LAST NAME>>

You can now go ahead and start previewing your Certificates, One at a time. As you can see below, as we tried to preview recipient number one, MR WEBOYA HERBERT was displayed.

Keep clicking the forward arrow to have a preview of all other recipients.

OPTION 2 (Creating a mail merge from a new list)

Here, we are going to merge as we type the recipient’s list during the merging process. NB: There is no recipient list typed anywhere yet

  1. Go to Tools>> Mailings and Catalogs>>Mail Merge
  2. Click Mail merge
  3. Click the radio button that says “Type a new list”
  4. Click Next: (Create or connect to a new List)
  • You will see a dialogue box that looks like this one that gives you an interface where you will start typing the new recipient’s list.
  • Now, before typing anything, go down the dialogue box and click “Customize Columns” so as to Add and remove Fields and also give your columns names if possible.
  • Add, Delete, Rename, Move the fields up and down basing on the order you want them to appear.

As you can see, I removed all the unnecessary fields that I don’t want to use, and left with only 3 fields ;(Title, First Name, Last Name)

You now see that we are left with only the fields we selected, the rest are no longer visible.

Start typing in the recipient’s information one after another, as you keep clicking the New entry button each time you want to add a new record. After typing all the records, Click OK.

Now you can save your type recipient’s list in a location of your choice and give it a filename and click Save. When you have a look at mine, I had to save it on the desktop and name it recipients.

Do the selection of those recipients meant to receive the certificate and click OK.

After that, do the same procedures of inserting the merge fields into your certificate as it was discussed in the first method in this article.


We now want to look at the Certificates, What you do, Go to top left hand corner of your screen and click File and Choose Print.

Next select the Correct Printer Name depending on the Printer you have.

The next thing, Choose One Page per sheet under Printing Options. This is intended to allow you have each certificate printed on just a single page on its own.

You can now witness that one certificate is going to lie on a single page as below.

You can go ahead and select the paper size and other choices, then you click Print.

Okay, now you should be able to see your certificates Output. Lets have a look at some of my certificates;

If you would like to watch a video of me practically going through these steps, Please follow this link

yours truly,

Oruru Aaron Steven

Mbale High School (0787095951)