OOo Off the Wall: Fielding Questions, Part 4 - Mail Merges

It takes a while to get the hang of mail merges, but OOo 2.0's new Mail Merge Wizard helps make them easier to use.

The basic Mail Merge tool is easy to use once you understand its pre-prerequisites. Once you are comfortable with it, you may feel no need to use the Mail Merge Wizard. In fact, you might want to follow the steps given in this article to remove the Wizard from the Tool menu.

However, you also might decide that the Wizard is more convenient. The Wizard's main advantage is that it centralizes the creation of form letters, setting up the placeholder fields for addresses and salutations and formatting the source document from a centralized window.

But no matter what interface you prefer, Writer's mail merge tool is worth knowing. It's especially useful in office settings, although job hunters and Christmas card writers might find it equally useful for home use. In the past, the fact that mail merges were documented poorly in the on-line help and differed from MS Word's arrangements seem to have prevented many people from using them in Writer. However, between improvements in the on-line help and the addition of the Wizard, Writer's mail merge now has a chance to become a part of users' everyday tool kit.


-- Bruce Byfield (nanday)


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And mail merge to Thunderbird Please!!!!

Anonymous's picture

This feature would help so many people. It's been driving me crazy for months trying to do this.

Thunderbird Addressbook Connection

Darren V. Hart's picture

I have seen in mentioned on several places on the web that you can can use a Thunderbird addressbook in OO. I haven't been able to get that to work. In OpenOffice2 (1.9.129 - Ubuntu Breezy):

File->Wizards->Address Data Source

There is no option for a mozilla/netscape/thunderbird addressbook.


Under connect to an existing databse there is no mozilla/netscape/thunderbird type.

Under OpenOffice 1.1 (1.1.5 - Ubuntu Breezy)
File->Template->Address Book Souce - just real database and textfile types
Tools->Datasources - Same as above

Tools->Mail Merge
From this document
Address Data Source AutoPilot

There is actually a Mozilla/Netscape option here! I select it, click next and get this error:

The connection could not be established, Please check the settings made for the data source.

Clicking more has several fields:

Information - The connection could not be established.
Details - Please check the settings made for the data source.
Error - The connection to the external data source could not be established. No SDBC driver was found for the given URL.
SQL Status - "
Information -
Details - sdbc:address:mozilla

Is there an external sdbc driver I need to find and install or something? I haven' seen it mentioned in these tutorials anywhere.

Now if the OO developers coul

Anonymous's picture

Now if the OO developers could just create a mail merge function that didn't crash when doing large merges !!!!

Re: Now if the OO developers coul

Anonymous's picture

How large is large?

I've done mail merges that produced 500 copies.

Possibly, the number of merges you can do depends on system memory.

- Bruce Byfield

email output from mail merge

DebbyK's picture

Any chance there is a way to create an email output from this instead of sending to printer or a file? That's what I really need to do!

Debby Kilburn
Cerro Coso Community College

OOo's mail merge

Satish's picture

the article is very informative and use full
thanks a lot
NIIT Computers