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October 06, 2008



YOU GODDESS YOU!! Your article couldn't have been posted at a better time for me. My SVP's EA just approached me with a 'special project' which I thought, sure ok, I've done about 1,000 mail merges easily and then realized she said EMAIL MERGE. Yikes! ok, so, did a little digging to my dismay to fine hardly any tools available that would help Thunderbird do this function with any kind of ease at all! Then I learned that Oracle provided us with OpenOffice...then stumbled on your article and now with just a few short clicks, our EA is up and going and I've just learned a new skill set!

Glad to help! The core info for this piece of ingenuity actually came from the fine brain of Randy Orwin, of Bainbridge Island School District.


This is great - thanks a ton. One question though - we'd like to include a logo in the mail, and that doesn't seem to work. Is this only for plaintext, or is there some way to make this work for in-line images as well?

Thanks and regards / Sreevidya

I'm working in Open Office 3 and Mac OSX and I've tried three separate email accounts to try and get the email mail merge working. I can't establish a network connection. Since this blog is one of the few places I've found giving tutorials, can you refer me to where I might be able to get help with this.


Hi Ryan,

I had a lot of trouble getting it to work on my own, but then my very expert colleague Randy Orwin gave me the port settings and it worked beautifully. All I can say is if you get the port settings right under Tools > Options, that's the key. You might need different ones for your accounts....though I'm not sure whether contacting the chat help for your isp would be that helpful.

Thank you so much, Solveig.

This tutorial on an email merge is just what the doctor ordered. I've been looking for something exactly like this for a while now, so that my wife and I can produce a newsletter. Yours is an extra special bonus because it makes use of my favorite office suite. I'm a techie, but I'm lost when it comes to office software productivity.

Are you coming out with updated versions of your books for OpenOffice 3.0 by any chance?

I'm working in Open Office 3 and Windows XP Professional and I've tried several times with my gmail account to get the email mail merge working. I can't establish a network connection.

I get following message while doing the 'Test Account Settings' test:

OpenOffice.org could not connect to the outgoing mail server. Check your system's settings and the settings in OpenOffice.org. Check the server name, the port and the secure connections settings.

I will appreciate if you can refer me to where I might be able to get help with this.


Hi Saheeb,

You need to do it with an email client such as Thunderbird. I think there's a way to hook thunderbird to gmail, but I'm not sure where I heard it. Then check the port settings for thunderbird/gmail and it should work.


If I'm using Microsoft Exchange server for email, do you know if email merging in OpenOffice is still possible, or does this only work with SMTP?

Please help!!! How can I have an attachment sent with the mail merge.

Love ya all

Hi, I need to email merge BUT to be able to draw contact data for cc to recipients unique to the main recipients held on an excel spreadsheet and to filter which main recipient to send to. Haven't found anything so far - anyone help?

Let me asked one question. In which version of OpenOffice this guide for ?
I used OpenOffice version 3.0.1 and I missed 1 step in Mail Merge Wizard i.e step No.2 "Select Document Type". Also in the Open Office Writer configuration I can't find "Mail Merge Email" item to setup "User Information"
Am I used wrong version of Open Office ?

Hi Adrie,

It's been in for a while; I'm using 3.0.1 and Document Type and Mail Merge Email are both in it.


I am using OpenOffice 3.0.0 from Fedora 10, and I can't find this email merge. And then I read your tutorial and I check that indeed openoffice.org-emailmerge was not on my system, so I am update my OpenOffice through "yum install openoffice.org-emailmerge-3.0.1-15.3.fc10.i386" command. After this my OpenOffice became 3.0.1. But still I can't found this e-mail merge section. My Tools --> MailMerge Wizard -- just displaying 7 step only while I saw on your tutorial there should be 8 step.
What's wrong with my OpenOffice ?
Is that any difference betwen OpenOffice build by Fedora and the original Download ?

Posted by: Sebastian | February 10, 2009 at 08:13 PM

Hi, I need to email merge BUT to be able to draw contact data for cc to recipients unique to the main recipients held on an excel spreadsheet and to filter which main recipient to send to. Haven't found anything so far - anyone help?

I have this same problem, but I can only tell you a work around that did not work: having my SQL concatenate the To and Cc addresses separated by a semicolon and using the result for the To field of the OO Writer mailmerge setup. It just told me this was an invalid address, even though I could copy the query results into my Outlook To and it worked ... so if someone has a solution I would be interested as well!

hi, have been trying to use mail merge in OOO 3.1. Every time it give me a error msg saying cant find outgoing mail server. I can use the same setting with MS-Office. can anyone guide me on the same.

Hey, thanks. This function has always been the biggest reason I have shied away from OO. Haven't paid attention to changes to know it was possible until I stumbled on this post. WooHoo!

Great tutorial! Just what I needed.

However, is there any way to stop it from inserting double line breaks?

It happens to me and it appears to happen to you in the screenshot.

Hi Andy,

I don't know how to prevent that from happening, I think it's just one of those issues that happens when you use two different programs. You just need to compose the email with no spaces between the lines and that should take care of it.

It is cool. Thank.

I have mapped my mail account to open office mail merge. This was a trial email account. Now I need to map my corporate email account to mail merge. However when i am performing the mail merge, it is automatically sending the email through the previous trial account. Can you please let me know, how to change this email account in the open office writer-mail merge settings.

Thank you.


Thanks for the great tutorial. It took me a while to realize that I could not find "New - Database" because OpenOffice Base is not installed by default on my Ubuntu 9.10! But after installing that, it worked great.



Is there any way to attach files when sending?

I'm trying to an email merge and keep getting the following error. Please help. I'm using Openoffice 3.2.

: 'ascii' codec can't encode character u'\xa0' in position 9: ordinal not in range(128), traceback follows
:1 in function sendall() [None]
C:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 3\Basis\program\python-core-2.6.1\lib\smtplib.py:305 in function send() [self.sock.sendall(str)]
C:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 3\Basis\program\python-core-2.6.1\lib\smtplib.py:318 in function putcmd() [self.send(str)]
C:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 3\Basis\program\python-core-2.6.1\lib\smtplib.py:457 in function rcpt() [self.putcmd("rcpt","TO:%s%s" % (quoteaddr(recip),optionlist))]
C:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 3\Basis\program\python-core-2.6.1\lib\smtplib.py:703 in function sendmail() [(code,resp)=self.rcpt(each, rcpt_options)]
C:\Program Files\OpenOffice.org 3\Basis\program\mailmerge.py:193 in function sendMailMessage() [self.server.sendmail(sendermail, truerecipients, msg.as_string())]

Hi Marlene,

It looks like you probably need to reinstall OpenOffice or else try some different email setup settings. I've never seen that. Good luck!


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