Word Mail Merge, Address Block

In this article I will explain word’s  Address Block feature. Address blocks are mainly used when working with Mail Merge. The address block feature will only work if a Recipient List has been defined.


What is it?

Lets say you want to send the same letter to 100 different people. Assume you want the address of each of the recipients to appear in the letter. For example consider the letter below:

Mail Merge Address Block
The same letter will be send to the 100 recipients, except for the highlighted text. The highlighted text is the address associated with each recipient.  There are 2 method for achieving this:

  1. Manually writing the address for each recipients
  2. Using the address block explained in this article

The address block will generate the address associated with each recipient.

How to?

Before defining an address block you will need to create the main layout of the document and define a list of recipients. These are part of the mail merge process. Assuming the layout is ready and a list of recipients has already been defined follow the steps below:

Step 1:

Move the cursor to the location you would like to insert the address block. In this example we want the address block to display on the top left side of the document:

Location to insert address block
Step 2:

Click on the Address Block button on the mailing ribbon:

Click on Address Block
Step 3:

In the window that opens you can define how you wish the address block to display:
Insert Address Block Dialog
This will be further explained the proceeding sections.

Match Fields:

Match Fields, What is it?

What do you expect to see in an address block? Probably a First Name a Last Name, City, State, maybe a phone number, …

So where is this data going to come from?

This data will come from the Recipient List previously created. If you remember from that article when we wanted to define a recipient list, we would define columns. Each column was associated with a certain type of data. For example consider the recipient list below:

Word Mail Merge, Existing List
As you can see in the figure above we chose the first column to display the recipient’s Last Name, the next column displays the Recipients First Name, ….

While it may be obvious for you what data each column is displaying but it might not be the same for Word. For you as the user it is obvious that:

  • This first column is storing the Last Name of the recipients
  • The second column is storing the First Name of the recipients
  • The third column is storing the recipient’s Title
  • The fourth column is storing the recipient’s Address.

But this is not the same for word. Word might not interpret correctly which column is storing what data. Therefore you might need to manually define (for word) what data each column is storing.

This can be done by using the Match Fields window:

Match Fields Address Block

Match Fields Window

For more information about working with the Match Fields window please see the link below:


There are 2 methods for previewing the results of the address block:

Method 1: On the right side of the Insert Address Block window you can see how the address will be inserted. By pressing the right and left buttons you can see how the address will be inserted for the different recipients:

Preview, Method 1
Method 2: After closing the Insert Address Block window, by pressing the Preview Button you will see how the the address block is inserted in the document:

Preview Method 2
Note: You can press the Next and Previous buttons to see how each recipient’s address will display.

Recipient Name Format:

On the left you can select how the recipient’s name should be displayed:

Recipient Name Format
Note: depending on the format you select, you may have to define additional fields in the Match Fields window. For example for the selection above we would need to define the following fields:

  • First Name
  • Last Name
  • Suffix

Name Format
But for the selection below we will also need to specify a First Name for the Spouse:

Name Format Selection
Match Fields, 2

Company Name, Postal Address, Address Formating:

There are several other options on the left side of the window:

Other Fields 2
Note: In order for these options to work correctly you must have defined the fields correctly in the Match Fields window.

Line Spacing, Font, Color, …

After pressing the OK button the address block will be inserted in the position the cursor was located before opening the address block window. By pressing the Preview button, the address block will be displayed:

Address Block font Format
Lets say you want to remove the empty space between the address lines:

  1. Select the address block
  2. Click on the home ribbon
  3. Click on the Show Paragraph button on the Paragraph ribbon
  4. Select don’t add spaces between paragraphs of the same style

Removed Space
Note: This change will be applied to the address block of all the recipients.

Note: A similar approach could have been used to change the font style, color,

You can download the sample file used for this article from the link below:

See also:

If you need assistance with your code, or you are looking for a VBA programmer to hire feel free to contact me. Also please visit my website www.software-solutions-online.com


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