MSCRM 4.0 Mail Merge Basics

All, this is my first blog and I am not sure if this is a good format or not. I am attempting to present the MSCRM 4.0 Mail Merge feature in a manner I hope to get you started right away.

A Little about MSCRM Mail Merge

Mail Merge in CRM was first implemented in version 3.0 and supported accounts, contacts and quotes. V3 templates existed but were difficult to work with. V3 did not support mail merge from the web client.

While MSCRM 4.0 Mail Merge is able to run on both the Outlook and the web clients, the Outlook client provides more functionality than the web client. Functionality the Outlook client provides over the web client is the ability to create activities associated with the mail merge (to help keep track of who received the merges), automatic upload or update of new or existing templates, the ability to create Quick Campaigns from the Mail Merge and the ability run Mail Merges from Quick Campaigns. These Quick Campaigns are containers for the activities created by the mail merge.

Another advantage the Outlook Client Mail Merge has over the Web Client Mail Merge is the use of a Visual Basic Macro to enable Mail Merge. Outlook Client Mail merge does not need the macro. MS Word, by default Macros are disabled and require enabling or trusting the MSCRM Mail Merge Macro.

Since the Outlook Client Mail Merge has the most functionality and is most interesting, this will be the focus of this blog.

Before you start

To start the user must have a Security Role that has the required Outlook privileges to operate the Outlook client and the ‘Mail Merge’ privilege set to a level appropriate with the level of access for the user. To use the web client on a mail merge the ‘Web Mail Merge’ privilege must also be set to the level of access for the user. While on the subject of privileges, the user should also have access to the entity for the mail merge (Accounts, Contacts, Leads, Opportunities, Quotes and Custom Entities) and any related entities that we might want to merge data from. Luckily, the MSCRM Team has some built-in Security Roles, like Marketing Manager, Sales Person, Receptionist, Customer Service Representative and Customer Service Manager, already have the settings for Mail Merge and Mail Merge Template creation.

Mail Merge Templates also require specific privileges; the Create, Read, Write, Delete, Assign and Share privileges set to a level appropriate with the level of access for the user.

Basic Outlook Mail Merge

With the exception of the first step, the steps below are intended to give the basic steps to perform an MSCRM Mail Merge from the Outlook Client, regardless of the point of invocation. For individual records, MSCRM Mail Merge can be invoked from the ‘Actions‘menu on an entity form. Sets of records returned by Advanced Find or included in a Mailing list are also points of MSCRM Mail Merge invocation.

  • Start the MSCRM Outlook client and navigate to the MSCRM Contacts page (we need a couple of contacts to start with). From the MSCRM Contacts page, select the contacts to include in the merge and click on the Mail Merge Icon (looks like a Word Symbol on a Page). This opens the Mail Merge form.


  • From the Mail Merge form, select a mail merge type of Letter. Letters, E-mails, Envelopes and Labels are supported and this mail merge type corresponds to MSWord’s mail merge types, which will set for you when you enter the mail merge.
  • Select the radio button option for the ‘Organization mail merge template’ which will allow you to select the template to use. Click on the Look-Up Icon and from the Look-Up Records dialog and select a mail merge template to use for this merge.
  • Templates are either Organization (available to other users) or Personal. When saving a template from a mail merge the default is set to personal. This can be changed in the Mail Merge Template form or from the Mail Merge Template grid (Settings | Templates | Mail Merge Templates).


  • At this point we can click the OK button to start the merge (opens MSWord).

          - The Merge section changes what records can be used for the merge.

          -  The Data Fields button opens the Add Columns dialog, where additional entity and related entity fields can be selected to be included in the mail merge. Note: There is a 62 field limit and some juggling may be required to uncheck fields you will not use and check fields you require.


  • The first time a Mail Merge Template is opened a Macro Alert will be displayed. Set Word to allow macros to run and click on the CRM Mail Merge Icon to run the Macro.
  • After the Macro runs, Word’s ‘Select Recipients’ dialog will appear. Click the OK button to continue with Mail Merge from the Wizard located in the task pane.
  • Click ‘Next: Preview your letters’ to view the merge before printing. The ‘Preview your letters’ section has buttons that can be used to view each of the letters we are merging.

         - With the exception of Envelopes and Labels, the ‘Write your letter’ will be visible. At this point you can add text and/or additional fields to the mail merge document from the ‘More Items…’ hyperlink or from Word’s Mailing menu.

         - Mail Merge Field tags can be identified by the beginning ‘<<’ and ending ‘>>’ characters. To see field details use the Ctrl + F9 to toggle the field markers.

  • Click ‘Next: Complete the merge’ to navigate to the ‘Complete the Merge’ task pane. In the Merge section, click the ‘Print’ item to open the ‘Merge to printer’ dialog.

          - Optionally, from the Outlook Client only, the ‘Upload Template to CRM’ item should be visible. From this option, you can update the template you started with (assuming correct privileges) by clicking the ‘Yes’ button or create a new one by clicking the ‘No’ button. Cancel will stop the operation all together.


          - You can create a template for later use then continue with the merge. If you are creating a new document from scratch, use the Blank Document option and just write the letter, preview it with entity data and upload the template. You can then just quit word and not save changes as the changes were uploaded as a new template.

  • From the ‘Merge to printer’ dialog click the OK button to allow all selected records to be merged and to open the ‘Print’ dialog.
  • From the ‘Print’ dialog, select the appropriate printer and other printer related options. Click the OK button to open the ‘Create Activities’ dialog and start the merge.
  • Select the ‘Create Microsoft Dynamics CRM activities’ radio button and click the ‘Activities Details’ button to open the activity detail form.


Note: From the ‘Create Activities’ dialog, click the OK button to print the merge without creating activities (default settings).

          - The ‘Assign activities to’ section defaults to assigning the activities to self, change to assign to owners of the records in the merge or to another user or queue.

          - The ‘Automatically close the activities as completed is set by default.

          - The ‘Create a new quick campaign’ check box will enable mail merge to create a quick campaign that will contain the mail merge activities created. A ‘Name’ for the quick campaign must be included.

  • From the ‘Activity Details’ form, change some fields on the form to suit your needs and click the OK button. This is a generic activity form and may not resemble the form for the object you are creating. The activity created will have a note tab with a hyperlink to the merge document created for future reference.


  • From the ‘Create Activities’ dialog, click the OK button to print the merge
  • When all printing is completed, the ‘Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook dialog will appear, indicating that the mail merge is complete. Click the OK button.


  • You can now close Word.

Note: Another ‘Microsoft Dynamics CRM for Outlook dialog will appear to verify you want to leave mail merge. MS Word will also display a dialog asking if you want to save changes to the current document.


  • Mail Merge is now complete. You can verify the Mail Merge records by navigating to the Contacts included in the Mail Merge and clicking the History tab (if the activities were not created as completed, they will not appear in the history grid).


While, MSCRM Mail Merge does not have the ability to add attachments to the document you are sending, you could include some of the data you want as part of the template. Instead of an attachment you could include a URL link which is accepted by the process and makes your e-mail lighter anyway.

Arne Marquez

Comments (51)

  1. Tony Sim says:


    Does CRM 4.0 allow for multiple quote products or multiple line items to be merged into a Word document in one single table.

    We attempted to do this and each quote product appeared on a second page.



  2. Arne says:


    Yes CRM 4.0 Mail Merge does support multiple quote products, both existing (from the product catalog) and write-in (not defined in the product catalog) products.

    MSWord calls this type of merge a directory merge and before attempting to create your own merge template, you should attempt the merge using our sample "Quote for Customer" template.  With our sample template open, you can use the ‘Alt + F9’ key sequence to see the structure of the template.  Note: Some calculations will be required to get some of the summary fields your organization requires for the quote document.

    The main difference between the directory merge and the typical letter or email merges, is the quote products are merged into a final document in MSWord’s "Complete the Merge" task pane.  After the quote products are merged into the final document, this document can be printed out.

    MSCRM does a good job of getting the data to MSWord for the merge, but to create the quote template (our most complex sample template), a good deal of MSWord knowlege is required.

    Hope this helps out.


  3. Tony Sim says:

    Hi Arne

    Thanks so much for getting back to me. It’s good news to hear that CRM 4.0 supports multiple quote products.

    I just have to figure out how to do this. You mentioned that there is a ‘Quote for customer’ template.

    I am not sure if I am looking in the wrong place but I assume this is the template used in your example? Is there an actual template?

    Thanks again


  4. Arne says:


    The sample templates that get installe with MSCRM 4.0 should be accessible from the ‘Start with’ section of the Mail Merge form.  Select the ‘Organization mail merge template’ radio button and click on the look-up icon to the far right.  This will bring up the Look-Up Records dialog for organizational templates.  If there are no templates, check with your system administrator.  Ask specifically for the "Quote for Customer" mail merge template.

    Another method to look for the template is to Navigate to the Mail Merge Templates grid. From the MSCRM Navigation tree, first click on ‘Settings’, then, from the Settings page, click on ‘Templates’, then from the Templates page, click on Mail Merge Templates.  The default ‘View’ is ‘My Active Mail Merge Templates’.  Change the ‘View’ to ‘All Mail Merge Templates’.

    Quotes are MSWord Directory Merge and is, in my opinion, one of the most advanced merges you could undertake.  The intent of my blog was to present the basics of mail merge from MSCRM 4.0.  Maybe this could be a future blog.

    Hope this helps.


  5. says:

    One thing I have observed is if I have a CRM merge template document that is based on a (trusted) ‘word template’ document with macros (.dotm file), the macros in the base template document are somehow ‘not enabled’ after the merge is completed UNLESS one goes into the VBA editor and runs the macros from there.

    Example: Create a .dotm with a macro and store it in a trusted (by word) location.

    Create a CRM document in word BASED on the .dotm template above. Save the CRM document as .XML, and put it in the CRM system.

    Run the mail merge on that document. When Word starts up, do the Finish merge and use the Edit in new document’ option so you have a merged document that you want to run the macro against (to fill in more data for example).

    This generated document will be correctly based on the .DOTM word template, and the macros appear in the macro list, but if you run the macros, NOTHING HAPPENS (no message and no result of the macro).

    If you start the VBA editor, you can see the macro. If you run the macro from the VBA editor, it runs successfully.

    A mystery to me. Posted in case you can share some light on this.

  6. Sarah says:

    I’m trying to use mail merge in CRM4 for the first time using the web application rather than outlook client, with CRM3 we used an add-in and I’m trying to determine if we still need this. For example, I’d like to send a letter to a customer quoting information populated directly from the customers case.  Do you know if this is possible in CRM4 web application please and if so how I might go about it?



  7. Arne says:

    The case of the mystery macro… The macro is used for the MSCRM web client implementation of Mail Merge, if you use the Outlook client, you do not need to worry about the macro settings.  We support Mail Merge from Office 2003 and 2007.  Since the macro handling is different between the two versions, it is easy to see there can be some confusion.  Personally, I prefer maintaining a high level of security for macros, which means I use the default settings in Word.

    In Word 2007, when opening the MSCRM Mail Merge document, there is a security warning that appears below the ribbon.  I click the ‘Options’ button and when the ‘Microsoft Office Security Options’ dialog appears I simply select the ‘Enable this Content’ option and click the ‘OK’ button.  After the macro is enabled, you can click on the ‘CRM’ icon in the ‘Add-Ins’ tab on Word’s ribbon.

    In Word 2003, a ‘Security Warning’ dialog appears.  I check the ‘Always trust macros from this publisher’, which enables the ‘Enable Macros’ button which allows the content to be used.  After the macro is enabled, you can then run the macro by clicking the ‘CRM’ icon in Word’s tool bar.

    Since there are so many macro options, it is difficult to say what the behavior of the macro is with other settings, but this method works.  Hope this helps.


  8. Arne says:

    Sorry to say, there is no Mail Merge support for MSCRM Cases.  Might be an interesting add for the next version of MSCRM.  For the everyday user, new in MSCRM 4.0 is workflow. I am not a workflow  expert, so I will not be able to give step by step instructions.

    One of the cool things about workflow is that you can send email based on text you enter and you have access to the MSCRM Object Fields.  You might try creating a workflow that is triggered by hand or when a Case is created.  These workflows, depending on your security role can be created to be used only by you or others in your organization.

    Hope this helps.


  9. Sarah says:

    Hi Arne,

           Thanks for your response, it’s a pity there is no mail merge support for MSCRM Cases. I would be delighted if we could use email instead but I’m afraid some of our customers insist on letters about their cases and the bespoke system we are replacing auto-generates these letters and needless to say the users want the new system (based on CRM 4) to do the same or better.

    I’d be happy to hear any other ideas for how to tackle this?



  10. Jens Nielsen says:

    Hi Arne

    I can’t seem to get it to work,when merging from CRM 4.0 til Word 2003. Word cannot find the datasource and i order to continue, I have to click on remove mergeinformation (my version is in danish, so I’m guessing here). I get a CRM toolbar button and acces to the fields fra CRM, but I don’t get to choose to save the merge as an activity. Any suggestions?

    Regards, Jens

  11. Jens Nielsen says:

    Hi Arne

    Does this apply to Word 2003? I can’t get it to work the way you describe.

    Question: When you create a template in Word, save as .xml and import into CRM, you assign is to an entity. How do you get the CRM-fields you’ve referenced in the template to actually connect to the template? I hope You won’t say by hand, each time…

    Regards, Jens

  12. Joe says:

    Hi Arne,

    Could you confirm a coupke of things

    1. Activities can only created when you merge using Outlook rather than the web client

    2. The merged documents is not stored with the activity there unless the user saves it somewhere we do not know what was in the dcoument



  13. Jeffrey says:

    Hi Arne,

    I’ve been trying to make this work for a month w/o success.  I can’t create a new Word Template.  It seems that adding data fields breaks the CRM XML comment that is opened with Word for the CRM macro to use.  If I create a template using the defaults, it works.  Have you seen this?  I’ve got data posted on the CRM discussions group.

  14. Arne had a great post before covering the basic of mail merge in CRM. Check it out if you are new to

  15. Steve Noe says:

    For some sample CRM Quote templates based on the ones shipping with MS CRM 4.0, check out:


  16. SJ says:

    Does crm 4.0 mail merge work with word 2002(XP)?

  17. Struggling with a pop up blocker not (definately turned off) allowing me to create a new quote template.

    Any ideas?

  18. James says:


    I am looking at the Quote for Customer template to understand how to create a template that displays multiple records on a single page.  

    There is a line in the template {If {MERGEFIELD "LastItem"} = 1.  I assume this is a flag that tells the doc when to stop creating quote detail lines and put in the summary.  I don’t see that attribute on either the quote or quotedetail entity, though.  Where is it getting set?

  19. Adi says:


    Starting from "Quote for Customer" I could create a new template, pun our logo and so on…everything looks nice.

    I wanted to create a new template and associate it with the "Sales Order" Entity, but I couldn’t do that. Is there any way to create such template? Our customer wants to print his orders using the same method as for quotes.


  20. I actually managed to create a mail merge template from scratch and use it properly. It’s not that easy so I wrote about it here: I hope it helps some of the guys that are experiencing troubles with this feature.

  21. ragnarok89 says:

    I notice that when a mailmerge is done, each recipient has a copy of the document attached to the activity as a note. When I sent out my newsletter to 500 customers, 500 file attachments were created… Can we do mailmerge without saving the document to each record?


  22. Sean Du Toit says:

    Are there any other examples of Quotation templates.

  23. Sindy Wong says:

    Anyone knows how to do mail merge from 1 CRM contact to multiple selected templates at 1 go?

  24. dolfi besari says:

    I am using CRM 4.0. When I attempt to send newsletter (quick campaign) by mail via mail merge to the

    marketing list, suddenly there is a pop up error saying :

    "A SQL Server error occurred. Try this action again. If the problem

    continues, check the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Community for solutions or

    contact your organization’s Microsoft Dynamics CRM Administrator. Finally,

    you can contact Microsoft Support. Do you want to send the e-mail? If you

    click Yes, the email will be sent out, but no corresponding activity will

    be created in Microsoft Dynamics CRM."

    Would you all please tell what it might be wrong?! I have been tryig to look

    for the solution on google but there’s no really correct solution.

    Thanks before.

    regards, Esar

  25. dolfi besari says:

    Dear All,

    I am using CRM 4.0. When I attempt to send newsletter via email to the

    marketing list, suddenly there is a pop up error saying :

    "A SQL Server error occurred. Try this action again. If the problem

    continues, check the Microsoft Dynamics CRM Community for solutions or

    contact your organization’s Microsoft Dynamics CRM Administrator. Finally,

    you can contact Microsoft Support. Do you want to send the e-mail? If you

    click Yes, the email will be sent out, but no corresponding activity will

    be created in Microsoft Dynamics CRM."

    Would you all please tell what it might be wrong?! I have been tryig to look

    for the solution on google but there’s no really correct solution.

    Thanks before.

    regards, Esar

  26. kristy says:


    This was a great help with mail merge for Quotes. I was able to modify the quote template for our needs and resave as a new template. I’m wondering can you do a mail merge anyway under order?

    Thank you,


  27. Chrus says:

    I’m trying to create a simple template (letter) via the outlook client. Everthing works on machines with Office 2007. However on the PC’s with Office 2003 basic edition only the last step "upload templete to CRM" fails. The pop-up screen does not appear and templete will not be uploaded to CRM.

    It seems that the "Upload to CRM" step does not work with Word 2003 but it does with Office 2007

  28. Sergei says:

    There is a way to enable mail merge for standard entities that do not have it out of the box (e.g. Cases). See this post for details:

  29. Mike Markowitz says:

    Is anyone getting a different outcome from a quote template, depending on if you are using the outlook client or the web client??

  30. Ian says:

    Does anyone have a suggestion if I’ve deleted the shipped "Quote for Customer" template?  I was trying to create a new one on my own.

  31. Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is a fantastic CRM platform for most small medium businesses – it is so

  32. Guy says:

    Hi all, is it possible to speed the mail merge process up and skip the six step process. Can we not just except the default’s and create the letters? Thanks

  33. Hi all,

    I’ve created a Word Mail Merge for a client who has Office 2003.

    When I test it with my own Word 2007 it works fine, but when I test it with Word 2003 the ‘Create Activities’ dialog does not appear, and therefore the activity isn’t recorded on the entity…

    The Mail Merge works fine all the way, just not the ‘Create Activities’ dialog.

    It’s the same for the client 🙁

    Can anyone confirm if the Mail Merge Create Activity dialog doesn’t work with Office 2003?

    Or is it something else??

  34. Alex says:

    We use custom code to send mails from CRM environment.

    TargetSendFromTemplateEmail myTargetSendFromTemplateEmail = new TargetSendFromTemplateEmail();

                               myTargetSendFromTemplateEmail.Email = myEmail;                            

                               SendEmailFromTemplateRequest mySendEmailFromTmpRequest = new SendEmailFromTemplateRequest();

                              mySendEmailFromTmpRequest.Target = myTargetSendFromTemplateEmail;

                               mySendEmailFromTmpRequest.RegardingId = guidRegardingObjectid;

                 mySendEmailFromTmpRequest.RegardingType = "new_course";

    — IMPORTANT —                     mySendEmailFromTmpRequest.TemplateId = guidMailMergeid;

    — IMPORTANT —                    

    but mySendEmailFromTmpRequest.TemplateId just accepts mail tamplate and not mail merge template.

    any idea how to accomplish it on this or another way ?

  35. decatec says:

    MSCRM really needs a better mailing list manager, that would add huge value to the marketing module


  36. Helle says:

    When making Quotes:  how can I make a mail merge with several products without making a page for each product?

  37. agent49 says:


    i have a little Problem with crm 4.0

    Sometimes when i do a mail merge and after start to print it the following Message pops up: "A Microsoft Dynamics CRM activity could not be created for the current mail merge record…"

    And the there is no activity in the record.

    I tried many records, sometimes it works , sometimes not.

    Have anybody a ídea, what it can be..


  38. JR says:

    Hi all,

    I’m having a problem with mail merging quotes from Outlook client. Currency symbol € is shown as â,- although the MS rollup to correct this problem is installed. Is there any way to get rid of the currency symbols from CRM to Word?

  39. Raphael says:

    Hi agent49,

    did you already solve your problem? I’m facing the same situation that an activity sometimes is created and sometimes not.

    I also have the problem that after confirming the "create activity" dialog it takes up to 3 minutes until the activity is created. Somebody else out there with this behaviour?


  40. Teresa says:


    I’m trying to complete a mail merge with over 500 contacts. I can only get 157 to show up in the mail merge. All of the contacts have their contact preferences set so they can be mailed to. Any ideas?

  41. Martin says:

    I’ve been using mail merge with the outlook client successfully for about a week now.  Update rollup 7 is available for the outlook client and I was advised by our CRM partner that it should be ok to deploy and they’ve been using it without problems.  

    I installed it on My PC (Vista Business 64bit, Office 2007) but the mail merge changed and appears to operate as if being used from the web client.  Is this correct, has the "Upload Tempale" option within word been lost?  

    thanking you in advance.

  42. We have the same problem with mail merge. Soemtimes it works. Other times it will fail to email anyone or partailly complete. It seems to be entirely random. We are on CRM 4 RU5, Word 2003 SP3, IE7    


  43. Jens Nielsen says:

    Mail Merge is great – when it works! You need to know this:

    1. If you need to create an activity, then you MUST use the outlook client.

    2. If you use the Outlook client, and you get a File transfer dialog instead of Word opening, then the connection between CRM and Word was lost (or something) and you will not get the activity generated. The workaround is to log off your PC and log on again. The next time around will usually work.

  44. Hi there,

    I need to send personalized letters to about 5.000 Dynamics 4 contacts .(I have already made the document with dynamic fields)

    The issue is that I have to print them using a PC which is placed outside the corporate LAN .  

    I tried to use the web client but I can’t find the CRM button in the Add-ins button

    Do I have to use the MS Outlook client ?  Is it possible to access CRM dynamics 4.0 via MS Outlook 2007 working in a totaly different LAN ?

    Thank you in advance


  45. Socrates Laskaridis says:

    Hi! I have a problem at the end of the procedure.

    I print the labels and I create crm activities. but when I go in CRM history, only the last contact (the last label printed) has the activity. all the others have no activity created!!

    I have the same problem in 2 sites, 2 different crm installations.

    Please help !

  46. Naveed Saqib says:

    Thanks. It worked!

    CRM Rocks!!

  47. Can Any one help me in this

    I got a requirement as below.

    Create mail merge template,write plugin to open that for the entity with filled data.>>>> CRM 4.0

    I have created template and by clicking the  doc button on the list of the entity I am able to generate manually.Perhaps that should be done automatically I am going to provide a link when the user clicks on the link document should be opened with data by using the created mail merge template.

    This is very urgent Could you please suggest me  a solution

  48. I got a requirement as below.

    Create mail merge template,write plugin to open that for the entity with filled data.

    I have created template and by clicking the  doc button on the list of the entity I am able to generate manually.Perhaps that should be done automatically I am going to provide a link when the user clicks on the link document should be opened with data by using the created mail merge template.

    This is very urgent Could you please suggest me  a solution

    you can mail me on

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