How to mail merge a PDF

Mail merge is a method used to quickly create multiple documents for mass mailing. Here are instructions on how to do a mail merge with a PDF document.

Can you mail merge a PDF?

Yes, using pdfMachine you can mail merge a PDF. pdfMachine ultimate working with the Microsoft Word mail merge feature emails the documents from the Word mail merge in PDF format.

Little effort is required as pdfMachine does the work for you. The documents have identical layout, formatting, text, and graphics that are defined as a template in a Word document. The final documents each have different personal information within them. The template is created once and then each individual document is created by pulling in data from a mailing list (data source). The documents are converted to PDF. The result is a batch of personalized documents that are emailed as PDF attachments. Supported email methods are Outlook, SMTP, MAPI, Extended MAPI.

What are the ways to email from a mail merge with a PDF document attachment?

Broadgun Software also offers several other powerful mail merge tools which allow you to automatically email personalized PDFs as attachments.

pdfMachine Merge
Mail merge software installed on your PC that sends batches of personalized emails with personalized PDF attachments. Word, PowerPoint, Excel or HTML templates. Highly configurable. See how to here
pdfm
A web service for sending batches of personalized emails with personalized PDF attachments. Highly configurable.
pdfMachine Word Mail merge
pdfMachine integration with Word mail merge to send batches of personalized emails with personalized PDF attachments from Microsoft Word. Uses Word Mail Merge features.
Parameter parsing
Large print jobs can be split into individual files and automatically emailed. This is performed directly from a print using embedded commands.

How to send emails with PDF attachments using Word mail merge

Step 1. Use the Word Mail Merge Wizard to create a mail merge Word document (or open an existing one).

Use the Mail Merge Wizard from the Microsoft Word 'Mailings' tab to set up your mail merge document.

There are many explanations on the web and in the Microsoft Word help on how to create a mail merge document. Microsoft have plenty of information on how to set up the mail merge document here:  http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/word-help/word-mail-merge-a-walk-through-the-process-HA001034920.aspx


Step 2. Set up a mailing list with the individual information for each email/document.

Set up a mailing list to be the data source to the mail merge operation. It must contains rows (or records) of information that will be pulled in to personalize the email and PDF during the merge. The column name or record name will be the merge field name.

Step 3. Select PDF Mail Merge from the pdfMachine Word toolbar

From the Word Addins tab, select the pdfMachine drop down menu and choose PDF Mail Merge

Step 4. Set up the email content and any PDF security

Use the pdfMachine Mail Merge Wizard (licensed with pdfMachine ultimate) to specify the email settings and any PDF security settings. The following dialog will pop up.

Step 5. Test or Send the Mail Merge

Mail Merge Test Mode

If ticked, test mode is enabled.  There are two types of test mode:
* Dont send any emails, just generate the PDF files. CC and BCC entries will also be ignored.
* Send all emails to one particular address, overwriting the email address in the merge data. 

It is strongly recommended users do a test to make sure everything is as expected before doing a "real" merge.

Merge Field to use for "to" address

pdfMachine has to know where to get the destination  or "to" email address from for each email sent. Select the name of the merge source data field that represents the "to" address.

Save mail merge files

If enabled the Word and PDF files are saved. If emails are not selected to be sent this can be used to examine the PDF contents. If emails are sent then this saves a copy of the documents as well. If a directory is specified then the merge Word documents and resulting PDFs are saved to this directory.  If a directory is not specified then a temporary directory is used and the files are removed after the process is complete.

Mail Merge PDF Security Settings

This button invokes the following dialog.  It allows for unique passwords to be set for each PDF.  The passwords can be taken from the contents of merge fields or the same password can be set for each PDF.  A typical  use would be to encrypt the PDF with an open password based on a merge field (e.g. account_number) and hard code a permissions password.

mail merge security settings

Step 4 - Final Email Settings

This is the last configuration window before the merge begins.

CC
The "Carbon Copy" field to be used in the emails.

BCC
The "Blind Carbon Copy" field to be used in the emails.

PDF Attach
The name the attached PDF file will have.

Extra Attach
Any other files you wish to attach to the emails can be setup here.

Method
Email send method to use.  Each method has its pros and cons and whats best for you will depend upon your environment.
 

Extended MAPI
If you have Microsoft Outlook installed, the best method to use will be Extended MAPI, as it will allow HTML emails and will not prompt you.

SMTP
This also works well, but is harder to configure and you need an SMTP server somewhere.

Simple MAPI
Does not work well with Microsoft Outlook, but may work well with other email clients.  Simple MAPI does not support HTML emails.

Outlook
This method (not Outlook express) works well on early versions of Outlook, however modern versions of Outlook display annoying security dialogs that need to be acknowledged for each email sent.

Customization & Personalization of CC, BCC, Body, Subject, PDF attach from merge data

It is possible to embed values from the merge records in the text or html email. To do so, surround the field name with curly braces.
 

e.g. {address}  or {firstname}
 

The name must match exactly the merge field name. Where there is a space in the merge field name you need to put an underscore in, for example a merge field of "First Name" should be referred to as {First_Name}.

This will work for the CC, BCC, Subject and PDF attach fields as well.

 

Step 5 - Review the results, your done!
 

It may take a while to send all your emails, but when finished you will see the results dialog.

In summary

How to send emails using Word mail merge with PDF attachments

Step by Step Directions

  1. Use the Word Mail Merge Wizard to create or open a mail merge Word document.

  2. Set up a mailing list with the individual information for each email/document.

  3. Start the pdfMachine mail merge Wizard from the Word addin tab

  4. Set up the email details, the to address, the content and select the method eg Outlook, SMTP or a MAPI client

  5. Test or Send the Mail Merge

  6. Review the results

Read in detail

How to send emails using Word mail merge with password protected PDF attachments

Step by Step Directions

  1. Use the Word Mail Merge Wizard to create or open a mail merge Word document.
  2. Set up a mailing list with the individual information for each email/document.
  3. Start the pdfMachine mail merge Wizard from the Word addin tab.
  4. Set up the email details, the to address, the content and select the method eg Outlook, SMTP or a MAPI client.
  5. Enable Permissions and set either a personalized password by using a merge field or a common password for all documents.
  6. Test or Send the Mail Merge.

  7. Review the results.

Read in detail

Requirements

Windows 7 / 8 / 10 / Vista / 2008 / 2012 / 2016, includes x64 Platforms

Microsoft Office 2007 / 2010 / 2013 /2016, 365

pdfMachine ultimate : Download here

An email account which can send using one of Outlook, SMTP or a Mapi clients.

What is Mail Merge?

Mail merge is a method used to create multiple documents for mass mailing with little effort. The documents have identical layout, formatting, text, and graphics that are defined in a template. The final documents each have different personal information within them. The specific data for each document is provided in a data source that works with the template. The data source is typically an Excel or CSV file. The template is created once and then each individual document is created by pulling in data from the rows in the data source. The result is a batch of personalized documents.

Email merge is a mail merge where the documents are automatically emailed out to the specified email address(es) in the data source.

Broadgun Software provides software and services to perform mass emailing of personalized emails with personalized PDF attachments.