Posted on

Insert your data. Create Merge.

If you have ordered Option 1 or Option 2, you will need to insert your names, dates or other information into the file before you print.

Here is a method for doing that in MSWord.

How to insert names, dates etc into the certificate.

  1. Open a new Word document, then create a table using as column headers, all the fields that you want to use in your certificate.

For example:

First Name Last Name Date
Joseph Blow Saturday 20th March 2010
John Smith Sunday 21st March 2010
Jane Doe Sunday 21st March 2010


Save this document with a name that you will remember or recognise and in a place that you can find it. (eg. Myparish Reco 2010.docx  – saved on desktop)

  1. Open your certificate file in Word. (The screenshots here are Word13 – the process is the same in other versions, but may look a bit different)
  2. Click on the tab at the top “Mailings”, to open the options. Click on “Select Recipients” to drop down the submenu. Select “Use an existing list”


  1. From the folder that opens, locate your file that you saved previously (it may not be in that folder, you will need to go to wherever you saved it). Click on the file that you saved – clicking it will close the window, but not appear to do anything else.
  1. Still under the “Mailings” tab, the option to “Insert Merge Fields” will now be available. Click on it to drop down the fields available.


  1. On your certificate, highlight the field that is the same as the one shown in the dropdown.
    <<First Name>> , then select from the dropdown, First_Name.


Word will replace your placeholder <<First Name>>  with its own placeholder First_Name.      As shown.

It will retain the original fonts and sizes.

  1. Repeat that action for all the other fields.
    Highlight on the certificate first, then click the appropriate field in the dropdown of “Insert Merge Field” until all fields are replaced.
  1. Make sure when you are highlighting on your certificate, that you cover any <<, or they will be left on the certificate. Word will put its own new ones in. You’ll know if you missed, because when you come to view the certificate with the names in it, there will still be << as well as names. They can be edited out later.
  1. Click on “Preview Results” to show the certificate with the names, etc.


  1. Use the next feature to the right “Find Recipient” to cycle through the certificates and see all the names.
  1. To print your certificates, use the next feature along, “Finish and Merge”. The dropdown will give you options to print or edit or email. When you choose an option, it will then ask which records to use, all or select a number from and to.

If you use the print option, it goes to printer setup and then prints. 🙂

My preference is to edit, as it then shows all the certificates and you can still print from there. That, therefore, allows you to double check for such things as names spilling over onto the next line, or a triple check for spelling.

If you use the edit option, it opens all the certificates in a new window. If you find you are not happy with something, the original window with one certificate is still there and you can change things around before selecting the finish and merge option again.

Alternatively, under the “Mailings” tab, click the “Start Mail Merge” option and select “Step-by-step Mail Merge Wizard”