Word Mail Merge Match Fields

I’ve previously explained about the Address Block and Greeting Line features of  Mail Merge in the articles below:

Basically what they do is, they generate a block of text containing the recipient’s address and a block of text containing a greeting line for each recipient. These blocks of text are generated specifically for each recipient. For example in the address text block you would expect to see the following things:

  • Recipients First and Last Name
  • Recipients City
  • Recipients State
  • Recipients Company

As for the greeting line you might expect to see the following:

  • Recipients First and Last Name
  • Recipients Title
  • Maybe the name of the recipient’s spouse or partner

Previously I’ve explained how you can create a list of recipients with that data in it:

As you might remember from that article, in the recipient list there were columns. Each column stored a specific type of data. One column was used for the recipients First Name, another for their Last Name, another for their City, …

Although it might seem completely obvious for you what data is being stored in each column, but this may not be obvious for Word. Word will try to interpret which column contains what data. For example it will try to understand which column contains the First Name, which column contains the Phone number, ….

But it might not always be able to make this interpretation correctly. It is a good idea to use the Match Fields window to tell word exactly which field contains which data.

Note: In this article it is assumed that a Recipient List has already been defined. The Match Fields button will not be enabled until a recipient list is defined.


Step 1, Open the Match Fields Window:

This first step would be to open the Match Fields window. This can be done by clicking on the Match Fields button on the Mailings ribbon:

Match Fields Button
You could also open the Match Fields Window through the Address Block and the Greeting Line Window:

Match Fields Address Block

Match Fields Greeting Line

Match Fields

Upon clicking on the Match Fields button the following window will open:

Match Fields Window
As you will see there is a column on the left and a column on the right. The left column displays the fields word uses to generate the Address Block and Greeting Line. The fields on the right are the fields you have defined when creating the recipient list. Word will try to match the fields in our recipient list with its predefined fields. Note it may not always do this correctly. If there is a field that has been matched incorrectly you could use the drop down list on the right to correct it:

Match Fields, Incorrect Match

Note: You do not need to match every field on the left with a field on the right. As you can see in the figure above, word accepts 2 addresses, while only one has been provided in the recipient list. Or for example a job title or nickname was not used in the recipient list.

Note: If you scroll down the list you will see fields such as Spouse/Partner First Name, Spouse/Partner Last Name, … Again not all these fields are necessary. Though if you would like the name of the Spouse/Partner to appear on the Address or Greeting line blocks, you may need to define some of them.

Address Block Match Fields:

If you had opened the match fields window through the address block window, the match fields window would have looked slightly different. There will be a  list of fields required for address block:

Match Fields Address Block Window
and a list of fields that are optional for the address block:

Match Fields Address Block Window Optional
Note: Only the required fields will be displayed in the address block.

Note: The fields chosen to be optional and the fields chosen to be required depends on the choices made by the user on the Address Block window.

Greeting Line Match Fields:

Similar to the previous section, had you opened the Match Fields window through the greeting line window, depending on the choice made in the Greeting Line window, some fields will be marked optional while other fields will be marked required:

Match Fields, Greeting Line Window
The required fields will be the fields that will be displayed in the greeting line.

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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