Mail Merge in Word

These steps are provided as a courtesy as an alternative to Letter. Open Dental support technicians do not assist with Microsoft Mail Merges.

If you use Word and you need to do a mail merge, you have some different choices. For a single letter, see Letter Merge. But if you are merging letters for multiple patients than you can either do a query and export the result, or you can link directly to the database.

Query Export

You can do a query or patient report from within Open Dental and export the resulting table. It will normally be saved as a text file in your OpenDentalExports folder on your local C:\ drive. The first row of the text file will contain the names of the columns, and the fields are separated by tabs. This makes it very easy to open in Word. There are a couple of places where you can select the data source in Word. If you are in the Mail Merge Wizard, in step 3, choose select a different list. This is one way to bring up the Select Data Source dialog:

Find your OpenDentalExports folder in the file list, and click on the name of the text file that you exported from Open Dental. When the preview comes up, simply click OK. You will now have a list which you can further filter, sort, and select from.

Click on the arrows at the tops of each column for more advanced options. See the Word manual if you need help setting up your letters.

Direct Link

Another way to use the data is to directly link to the database. You would not normally need to do this since the text export is simpler, but here are instructions in case you need to. First, set up the ODBC data source on the computer where you want to access the data. Then, open Word and open the Select Data Source dialog as shown above. Select New Source at the bottom.

Select Other/Advanced, and click Next.

Select OpenDental from the data source list and enter the username and password. You can click Test Connection to verify that you have a good connection. Select the table you want from the list and then select the new data source you have created. You will now have a list which you can further filter, sort, and select from, just as in the text import section.