Mail Merge with Microsoft Word

Intellect, Time & Chaos and ChaosFree all have very tight integration with Microsoft Word. Combining Microsoft Word with one of our contact managers is a great way to quickly generate professional letters, personalized for each contact.

A "Template" is required to provide the content of a letter, combined with merge fields that will grab data from your Chaos Contacts to fill-in-the-blanks.

Edit existing templates to get a jumpstart

Our programs come with some basic templates that you can use as a starting point or you can follow the instructions further below on this help page to create a completely new template from scratch.

On the Contacts toolbar above your list of names, look for the Word button and choose Edit Template. You'll need to browse to the folder where our program is installed, which is usually on your C:/, the Program Files (or Program Files (x86) for 64-bit users), then Chaos Software, then the name of the program you have installed, such as Intellect, Time & Chaos or Chaos Free. You'll know you found the right place when you see a list of templates appear such as basic letter, basic letterhead, envelope #10 business and mailing labels 5160.

When you select one of these templates, Word will open and show you the current document, but with merge codes where the blanks to be filled in by Chaos are located. You can take basic letter, for example, leave the address alone and start typing your letter below.

When you finish editing you will usually want to go to File and choose Save As, which will let you save this as a new template, but will leave the existing one as well to work with again later.

When you save your own templates, we recommend saving them in your Chaos Data directory in your Documents folder.

Once you have a template the way you like it, you can close Word and return to your Chaos program. Highlight the names of the contacts you want to send this letter to, then click the Word button again to choose Merge to Template. This button is the one that will fill in the blanks and create a letter for each person you highlighted, ready to print.

If you find a mistake in your template, you can close Word, use the Edit template option in Chaos to get back to the editing mode you were in earlier, and make your changes before merging again.

How Do I Create a New Template in Microsoft Word?

  1. From the Main Screen of the program click the Word Icon on the toolbar and select NEW TEMPLATE. Word will open a new blank document. There will be however a new toolbar at the top of word. It's the mail merge toolbar.
  2. Locate the word merge toolbar. By default it should be immediately above the document window. As you know you can move your mouse along the toolbar icons to have it display tool tips locate the button for "Insert Merge Fields" In earlier versions of word this was very obvious and easy to find because it was a text button with a caption of "Insert Merge Fields" however, with both word xp and word 2003 they have opted to remove the text in favor of an icon only (I wonder why?)
  3. Click the Insert Merge Fields button and you will see a list of all of your fields from our contacts database. Double click on them to insert them into your document and continue to insert them as needed into your document. Intermingle these fields with your own words.

Keep in mind that you are responsible for all punctuation and spaces when you are creating this Template. For example, don't forget to type a space between the first name and last name fields, or you will get something like JohnSmith on your merged output.

When your Template is complete, you might have something that looks like this:

January 1, 2012

«FirstName» «LastName»
«PriCity», «PriState» «PriZipCode»

Dear «FirstName»,

It was indeed a pleasure to speak with you the other day.   I look forward to meeting you in person.   Until then, if there is anything that I can do to assist «Company» please don't hesitate to contact me at your convenience.



Michael Whittingham

After you have designed your new Template, be sure to save it so that all your hard work in creating the template is retained. Now that you have created a template, you should exit your word processor and return to our contacts screen before you can merge to your template.


This help article applies to Intellect 4 or newer, Time & Chaos 8 or newer, and Chaos Free