Mail Merge with SharePoint Lists

I’ve always thought it strange that with the many integration points between Office and SharePoint that "SharePoint List" isn’t one of the options in the Word mail merge dialogs. I was reminded of this the other day when I helped some friends print envelopes for their wedding invitations.

Like so many things, it’s easy if you know how!

There are two ways that you can use a SharePoint list as the source in a Word mail merge and both techniques work in Office 2007 as well as Office 2003.

The first is to link the list as a table using Microsoft Access. The most important difference between 2003 and 2007 is the configuration of the data source drivers. Here is how you do it if you are using Office 2007.

  1. In Access 2007, click the External Data tab on the ribbon.
  2. Under Import, click the SharePoint List icon.
  3. When the Get External Data – SharePoint Site wizard displays, enter the URL to the site that has the list and click Next.
  4. Select the list that has the data you want and click OK. The list will show up in the All Tables section of the Navigation Pane.
  5. In Word 2007, click Mailings on the ribbon bar.
  6. Click Select Recipients | Use Existing List.
  7. When the Select Data Source dialog displays, click the New Source button.
  8. The Data Connection Wizard will open. Select Other/Advanced and click Next.
  9. Select the Microsoft Office 12.0 Access Database Engine OLE DB Provider and click Next. If you used Access 2003, use the Jet provider instead.
  10. Enter path to your Access database and click OK.
  11. Select your list and click Next.
  12. Click Finish and you are ready to insert your merge fields!

But, what if you don’t have Access?

Well, if you have Outlook and the data is in a SharePoint Contact list you can still satisfy the urge to merge!

  1. In the SharePoint list, use the Actions menu to Connect to Outlook.
  2. You’ll see some confirmation dialogs and once you assure your computer that you really meant to click Connect to Outlook, the contacts will appear in Outlook.
  3. In Word 2007, click Mailings on the ribbon bar.
  4. Click Select Recipients |Select from Outlook Contacts.
  5. Pick the contacts that came from SharePoint.
  6. Merge away!

Using Outlook is easier, but it only works if the list is a contact list.

Author: Doug Ware

Announcing the SharePoint Developer Road Show

As promised, we’ve just published dates for the next round of public classes. I’ll be hitting 9 cities over the next few months for a week of hands on SharePoint developer training!

Mar 3-7, Montgomery, AL

Apr 21-25, 2008 Reston, VA

May 12-16, 2008 Denver, CO

May 19-23, 2008 Dallas, TX

Jun 16-20, 2008 San Francisco, CA

Jun 23-27, 2008 Seattle, WA

Jul 14-18, 2008 Chicago, IL

Aug 11-15, 2008 Boston, MA

Aug 18-22, 2008 Philadelphia, PA

Click here to see the syllabus or here to request more information.

Hope to see you there,
–Doug Ware

The AppDev DVD’s are Here!

Last week I received my copies of Microsoft SharePoint 2007 for Developers. I think they turned out great and I can’t say enough about the professionalism and overall goodness of the folks at AppDev!

The final runtime of the video training came in at almost 21 hours which was a little longer than the 16 hours I thought it would fill.

Here is the outline:

Microsoft SharePoint 2007 for Developers


Run Time



20+ hours


Microsoft SharePoint 2007 provides a huge range of functionality including enterprise content management, automation of business processes, and business intelligence and reporting. Although SharePoint is rich in features and capabilities, it involves common concepts and developer tasks that are universal to every type of SharePoint project. This course is designed to provide those who are responsible for customizing and creating new functionality within the platform mastery of these common tasks, including: customization of look and feel through styles, themes, and master pages, controls and web parts, custom pages, creation and deployment of solutions, security, debugging, workflows, custom site definitions, lists, documents libraries, and features. Students who master the contents of this course will possess the knowledge to productively contribute on most types of SharePoint implementation because they will understand the tasks and building blocks required in all types of custom solutions.

Prerequisites: This course is designed for individuals with a working understanding of ASP.NET 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005 tools.

Introduction to SharePoint Development

  • Modes of Development: Configuration, Customization and Solution Development
  • Site Collections and Sites
  • Creating and Customizing Lists and Libraries
  • Using Web Part Pages

Site Columns and Content Types

  • Site Columns
  • Content Types
  • Integrating Site Columns, Content Types, and Lists
  • Using Calendar and Contacts Lists with Outlook 2007

Extending Lists with Office 2007

  • SharePoint Designer Workflows
  • Reporting with Access 2007
  • Word 2007 Mail Merges

Authentication and Authorization

  • Authentication Mechanisms
  • Authorization and Permissions
  • Zones

Forms Based Authentication and Anonymous Access

  • Using ASPNetSQLMembershipProvider and ASPNetSQLRoleProvider
  • Configuring Anonymous Access
  • Creating a Custom Membership Provider

SharePoint Architecture

  • IIS, ASP.Net, and SharePoint
  • Page Request Pipeline
  • What Happens When a New Web Application is Created
  • SPVirtualPathProvider and SPPageParserFilter


  • Types of Features
  • Feature Scopes
  • Feature Activation, Dependencies, and Stapling
  • Feature Receivers

Solution Development

  • Creating a Development Environment
  • Creating and Deploying Solutions
  • Common Failure Modes
  • Tools and Techniques to Simplify Package and Deployment

Tagged Document Library Example

  • Provisioning a List with a Feature
  • Creating a Lookup Site Column with a Feature Receiver
  • Automating Solution Deployment
  • Creating Custom List Definitions

Site Definitions

  • Understanding Site Definitions
  • Creating Custom Site Definitions
  • Specify Site Elements and Features Using Onet.xml

Styles and Themes

  • Style Basics
  • Associating Styles with Pages
  • Using and Creating Themes

Master Pages

  • ASP.Net Master Page Basics
  • Master Pages in SharePoint
  • Creating a Custom Master Page

Programming Fundamentals

  • The Microsoft.SharePoint Namespace
  • Deploying Controls
  • Elevation of Privileges
  • Debugging Assemblies
  • Code Access Security

Creating User Controls and Web Parts

  • User Controls
  • Web Parts
  • Delegate Controls

Advanced List Concepts

  • Manipulating Lists and List Items Programmatically
  • Lists and Cross-site queries
  • Events
  • Custom Field Types

Custom Workflows

  • Comparison to SharePoint Designer Workflows
  • Workflow basics
  • ASP.Net Based Association, Initiation, and Modification Forms
  • Debugging Workflows
  • Custom Task Content Types and Forms

I’ll be posting dates for new public classes soon. Of course, if you are interested in private classes or consulting you can always ping me at

Now to finish the companion book…

Upcoming Atlanta .Net User Group Meeting


Monday, January 28, 2008 at 6:00 PM



Networking and Refreshments


Tutorial or Q&A Session
SharePoint Designer Workflow




Technical Presentation

ASP.Net and SharePoint

Speaker: Doug Ware

The chances are good that you’ve seen some flavor of SharePoint 2007 in action by now. You’ve probably heard that this version is built using managed code and ASP.Net.

And yet, for many, SharePoint remains a mystery; even those who understand ASP.Net. This presentation is not about what SharePoint does. This presentation is a high-level view of how SharePoint works and extends ASP.Net 2.0.

If you are developing solutions for SharePoint or integrating existing solutions with SharePoint this presentation will give you a deeper understanding and demystify SharePoint.

On the other hand, if you are an ASP.Net developer with no desire to use SharePoint, this presentation will show you some interesting elements of ASP.Net that you might not know exist.

About the speaker:  Doug Ware is the owner and founder of eLumenotion Training and Consulting and specializes in SharePoint and related tools. Doug is the leader of the Atlanta .Net User Group and author of Microsoft SharePoint 2007 for Developers, available from AppDev.

Meeting Location and Directions

Microsoft Corporation
1125 Sanctuary Pkwy.
Suite 300
Atlanta, GA 30004
Directions to Microsoft