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Michael Hannigan
Michael Hannigan, Office Specialist
Category: Microsoft Office
Satisfied Customers: 11817
Experience:  25+ Years Experience in Computers and Electronics. Microsoft Certified MCSE, MCDBA, MCP, Microsoft Partner
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How can I automate postal addresses from an excel mailing

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How can I automate postal addresses from an excel mailing list?
Hello. My name is Michael. I will be providing an answer to your question today. Once you have the addresses in Excel, you can follow the steps below to do the actual merge.

  1. In Word, open a new document.
  2. Click Mailings > Start Mail Merge, and then click the kind of merge you want to run.

Start Mail Merge command

  1. Click Select Recipients > Use Existing List.

Select Recipients command

  1. Browse to your Excel spreadsheet, and then click Open.

If Word prompts you, select Sheet1$ and click OK.

Now the Excel spreadsheet’s connected to the mail merge document you’re creating in Word.

To include only some of the people or items from your spreadsheet, click Mailings > Edit Recipient List.

Edit Recipient List command

The Mail Merge Recipients box opens. Here, you can select just the rows you want to include. To make them easier to find, you can sort and filter the information.

  1. Next, you can insert mail merge fields that pull the information from your spreadsheet into your document. For example, to add a greeting line to an email message or a letter, click Mailings > Greeting Line.

Greeting Line mail merge field button

Or add addresses from your list by clicking Mailings > Address Block. For more information about adding fields from your spreadsheet, see Insert mail merge fields.

  1. When your document’s ready, click Preview Results and click the arrows to see each specific copy of the document.

Preview Results group

  1. To finish the merge, click Finish & Merge, and then click Print Documents or Send E-mail Messages.

Finish and Merge options

What you do at the end will depend on whether you are sending them as email or printing letters.

Please go over the instructions above and let me know if you have questions on specific steps or in general. I will be available to you until your question is fully answered.

Michael Hannigan and 5 other Microsoft Office Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I need these instructions for Word & Excel for Mac. I do not have these commands on my computer..

I apologize. I didn't know you had a Mac. There was no mention of it in the information in the original question. Use the revised instructions below for the Mac version.

To create the main document, follow these steps:

Create the data source

Each column in your Excel sheet contains a category of information, or data field — for example, name, street address, city, state, and postal code. The first row of cells, called the header record, contains the data field names. Each subsequent row contains one record, such as the name and address of a person.

Important Make sure that the data is in list (list: A series of sheet rows that contain related data, such as an invoice database or a set of client names and phone numbers. A list can be used as a database, in which rows are records and columns are fields. The first row of the list contains labels for the columns.) format. Each column of data must have a label in the first row. There cannot be any blank rows or columns within the list.

  1. Open Excel.
  2. In the first row of the sheet, type a header record for your addresses.

For example, in the first column of the first row, type Name; in the second column, type Address; in the third column, type City; in the forth column, type State; and then in the fifth column, type Postal Code, so that your Excel sheet looks something like this:

Excel sheet that contains header records

Note Later, as you create the labels, you use the fields in the header record to specify what data goes where.

  1. In the second row, type the name and address information for one recipient.

Add as many additional rows of addresses as you want. Your Excel sheet should now look something like this:

Excel sheet that contains mailing addresses

  1. Click Save .
  2. Type a name for the workbook — for example, addresses.

Remember where you save the sheet. You will need to know the location later.

  1. Close the Excel workbook that contains your recipient list.


Then in Word...

  1. On the File menu, click New Blank Document.

A new, blank Word document opens. This becomes your main document.

  1. On the View menu, click Print Layout.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Mail Merge Manager.
  3. Under 1. Select Document Type, click Create New, and then click Envelopes.
  4. Type any changes to the Return address that you want.

Do not type anything (including spaces) in the Delivery address box.

Tip If you can't type inside the Return address box, clear the Use my address check box.

  1. Under Printing Options, make any changes that you want.
  2. Click OK.
  3. In the Mail Merge Manager, under 2. Select Recipients List, click Get List, and then select the source for the recipients list (for example, Office Address Book).
  4. Under 3. Insert Placeholders, click Contacts.
  5. Drag a field name from the Contacts list (for example, FirstName) to the envelope's address box.
  6. Repeat step 10 for all the fields that you want to appear on your envelopes.
  7. In your main document, edit the envelope's address box to add spaces and carriage returns where you want them.
  8. To finish your envelopes, do one of the following:
ToDo this
Print your envelopes immediatelyIn the Mail Merge Manager, under 6. Complete Merge, click Merge to Printer .
Create a document that contains your merged envelopes that you can saveIn the Mail Merge Manager, under 6. Complete Merge, click Merge to New Document .

This will complete the merge with the Excel data. Let me know if you have any questions.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Sorry to keep bugging you. Actually I just need to create a valid postal mailing list for a service to do the non-profit bulk mailing. It is a postcard mailing, with about 6000 mailing addresses. I submitted our list last week in .xls & today they wrote back that over 2500 addresses are "not automated" - do not have 100& match with the USPS. I have no idea what this means. So I'm trying to fix & send back. I'm working on a MacBookPro, with word & excel for mac 2011.

Oh... my mistake. I thought you were trying to do a merge. You just need to validate the addresses. They require all your address to match known addresses in the database of valid addresses. This is usually a case of a number or street name not being formatted exactly the same way they have it formatted. This is a little more challenging, but it can be done. Since you are using a Mac, the best option would be an online address "cleaner". That way you don't have to worry about a plugin being compatible with Excel - the address verification plugins for excel that I have seen are for Windows. I don't know of one for the Mac. However, I do know where you can get the addresses verified online in bulk.

Here is one of a few sites that offer this:

I know that they will allow you to do 250 for free, so you can submit a subset of what you have and make sure it's doing what you need it to do. That is what they are looking for. Let me know if you have any questions.

Michael Hannigan and 5 other Microsoft Office Specialists are ready to help you
Miranda, I should also have pointed out the USPS official site for "Intelligent Mail" - you can sign up here for free and access the tool from your browser.
USPS IMsb Tool

I don't immediately know how cost compares. I know some of the USPS services are expensive compared to third parties, but they may allow you to do up to a certain number free through the USPS. You just have to register your business information to be able to log into the service.

Aren't you glad they are using computers to make things so much easier these days? Undecided