Adding Images to a MS Word Mail Merge Directory

Today I would like to show you how to add images to your directories generated in Office 365 using the mail merge feature of MS Word.

  • I will show you how to set up your data source
  • Determine image path on your computer
  • Use Excel formula for creating entire image path in your data source
  • Set up merge source file in Word by:
    • Attaching data source
    • Setting merge fields
    • Run merge and create directory

First you need to make sure your images are the size you want them to appear as in the directory. My images are 150px X 188px, They should also be in the same folder.
First, you need to determine the path of your images on the computer you are using. Right click on one of your images and a menu will appear. Select “Properties” and a window will appear. Midway down you will see Location. That is the path to the folder holding your images. Copy it to your clipboard.


Now go to your data sheet.  This data sheet should have all the information you want to include in your directory including the name of the image you want to assign to each record.  If some records do not have images, you should assign a default image.

Next we need to create the full path for each image assigned to a record.  We do this using a formula that does what is called concatenation.  Sounds complicated but it isn’t.  It just means joining.

  • Select the column holding your image and right click, choose insert to add a column. Do it again to add a second column.
  • Name the new columns. I use path and full path
  • In the second cell of a new column immediately to the left of the image (path) paste that folder path on your clipboard.
  • You must now add a second back slash to each backslash in your path so it looks like this: C:\\Users\\info\\Documents\\My Documents\\Symboc\\2020\\2020 Video\\picture directory files\\
  • Then click and drag the lower corner of that cell down so its contents are copied to all records.
  • In the second cell of the full path column create a formula that combines the image name column and the path column.
    • Start with an = sign, then select the first path cell,
    • add an ampersand, &, then select the first image name cell,
    • press enter and the full path for the first record will appear.
    • Your full formula will look something like this =Y2&Z2
    • Be very sure there are no extra spaces in the cells
    • If everything is correct, click and drag the corner of the formula cell to add the rest of the records’ full path.
    • Now save and exit your data sheet.

We are now ready to set up the merge document in Word.

  • Open up a blank document in Word
  • In the ribbon above select Mailings
  • On the Mailings tab select the Start Mail Merge dropdown and select Directories
  • To the right, click Select Recipients dropdown, select Use An Existing List and select your data sheet
  • Now you can create your directory layout and merge fields
  • First, add a table by going to the Insert tab and selecting the Table dropdown and draw a table with at least 2 columns and one row.
  • Into that table we add the merge fields by going to the Mailings tab again and selecting the Insert Merge Field dropdown and a list of your data sheet fields will appear.
  • Insert each merge field into the appropriate location in the first column of the table. In the second column of the table your image will be displayed
  • To do this place your courser in the second column of the table where you want the image to go and press CTRL F9 This will create a set of curly braces. IMPORTANT: You can’t just type the curly braces, it won’t work.  You have to create them with CTRL F9

Between the curly braces type INCLUDEPICTURE and insert the full path merge field.  It should look like this: {INCLUDEPICTURE “{MERGEFIELD full_path}”}

You should now remove the border lines from the table you created. This is done by selecting the entire table and right clicking, selecting table properties, borders and shading and clicking None, then OK as shown in the image below.

how to remove border lines from table

  • Save your work and toggle the merge fields off, by pressing ALT F9
  • Now you are ready to run the merge
    • On the Mailings tab, click the Finish and Merge dropdown and select Edit Individual Documents (I know it doesn’t make any sense but that is the procedure).
    • A box will come up, select All and OK
    • Your merged document with Images should be created.
    • The images won’t appear in you merge document right away. You need to select all, CTRL A, and refresh the document, F9, then the images should appear.

Here’s what it should look like.:

Well, that's it for today.  I trust this will work for you.  If not, just contact us and we will help as we can.  If you need a more complex application, please remember our Directory and Catalog Service.