With Office 2011 for Mac, your guide to mail merging in Word is Mail Merge Manager. You can invoke Mail Merge Manager by choosing Tools→Mail Merge Manager from the menu bar. It’s designed to be used starting at the top in Step 1, and you work your way down to Step 6.

In Microsoft Office Word 2003 and in earlier versions of Word, point to Letters and Mailings on the Tools menu, and then click Mail Merge Wizard. In Microsoft Office Word 2007, click Start Mail Merge in the Start Mail Merge group on the Mailings tab, and then click Step by Step by Mail Merge Wizard. Under Select document type, click Letters. By Dan Gookin. In Word 2010, mail merging involves opening a single Word document, stirring in a list of names and other information, and then combining (merging) everything. The most common thing to mail-merge is the standard, annoying form letter, which you can then print and ship out.

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The steps in the Mail Merge Manager are as follows:

  1. Select a Document Type.

    Choose from four types of mail merge:

    * Form Letters: Customize a letter with personal information or data.

    * Labels: Make mailing labels, tent cards, book labels, and DVD labels.

    * Envelopes: Print envelopes of any size.

    * Catalog: Choose this option to build custom, personalized catalogs, brochures, and price sheets. For example, you could pull pictures from a database to create individualized custom catalogs based on customer purchases, category, or some other criteria.

  2. Select Recipients List.

    Best firewire audio interface for mac. Choose a data source for the mail merge.

  3. Insert Placeholders.

    Choose the field names (for example, column names, headers, and column headers) and position them in your document.

  4. Filter Recipients.

    Set rules as to which records will be retrieved from the data source.

  5. Preview Results.

    See exactly how your document looks with data before running the mail merge.

  6. Complete Merge.

    Run the merge. You can merge to a printer, a single Word document, personalized Word documents, or e-mail messages.

Erin wants to do a mail merge using source data that is in an Excel worksheet where it is possible for a given individual to have multiple rows of data. She notes that if she was using SQL she could use 'GROUP BY' to make sure that all the records of a given individual were grouped together. She wants to 'group' records so she can put all the records for a given individual into a single merge document.

This is not something that can be easily done with Word's mail merge capabilities, with one exception: You can do it if you are doing a directory-type merge. If you are doing that type of merge, you can find full information on how to group records at the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

If you are doing any other type of merge (such as merging to letters or to labels), then you are pretty much out of luck. The merge feature generally takes information as it is fed from the source document. This means that it may be best to examine the source and do any sorting, condensing, and selecting in the workbook before you do the merge. There are numerous ways that you can work with your data, including the removal of duplicate records or using macros to condense duplicate records into a single record. (Full information on some of these methods can be found on the ExcelTips site: http://excelribbon.tips.net .)

The other option is to forego Excel and place your data in a real database program, such as Access. There you can do many types of processing—just as you can with an SQL database—in order to create views of information (queries) that can be used as the source data for a Word mail merge. This would allow you to easily use the GROUP BY capabilities that you seek.