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Organizing FAST START workshops: Sending an email with mail merge in Word

Step by step guide to organizing FAST START workshops taught by librarians and others to help new faculty and graduate students learn about support resources available for researchers at OSU

Start with a Word Document

A Word document with the text of your message will be used to create the email message.  It is helpful to save it as a template to edit for future events.  An example of the email used to promote the FAST START workshops is available at

Prepare an Excel spreadsheet with the names and emails of your target audience.  If you separate the names with first and last names into separate columns, you have the most flexibility for preparing your greeting line.

Select mailings on the Word menu bar and use the dropdown to select "email messages"

CARPENTRIES workshops:

Using the "Carpentries TIGER Accounts" Google sheet, cut and paste the names of the registrants into the columns beside the workshop ID's and passwords.  Then, copy and paste the workshop ID's and passwords into the original spreadsheet and use it for the mail merge.

Return to the Word document and select "Select recipients" from the menu bar at the top.  
Select "Using an Existing List" from the dropdown menu, select the appropriate file from your file explorer.

Use "Edit Recipient List" from the menu bar to select the appropriate columns of information (first name, last name, email).


Select "Greeting Line" from the menu and select the format of the greeting that you wish to use.  Both first and last names can be inserted from the spreadsheet.  If the name is not shown in the correct format, go to the "match fields" button at the bottom and select the correct columns.  Press OK. Use the "Preview" button to confirm that the name is shown in the correct format.

Place the cursor in the body of the email text in the location where you want the workshop ID to go.  Go to the "Insert Merge Field" drop down on the menu bar.  Select "WorkshopID" from the list and click on the "insert" button at the bottom of the menu.  Repeat for the Password.

Select "Preview Results" from the menu bar and, using the arrows, scroll through the documents to be sure that they look right.

Once you are satisfied with the results, click on "Finish & Merge".  Select "Send email messages".  Enter a heading and press OK to send.