How Do I Create a Microsoft Word Database?

By Trevillian Highter

Microsoft Word has a Mail Merge feature that allows you to create and manage an Microsoft Access database within Word.

Microsoft Word has a Mail Merge feature that links a Word document with information stored in a data file, called a data source. The data source can be a database. Before the merge, you can create and manage a database within Word. The database is saved as an Access database file within Word.


You will not actually perform the mail merge, however, you must select the type of mail merge document you are making before you create the database.

Main Document Layout

Open a blank Word document.

On the Mailings tab, click Start Mail Merge and select Directory. A Directory document type tells Word to create a list and use fields from a data source, such as a database.

Customize Database Fields

Click Select Recipients and select Type New List to open the New Address List dialog box. Use it to customize the fields that will be used in the database. Click Customize Columns. The Customize Address List dialog box appears.

  • To remove field names, select the field name, click Delete and click Yes to remove the field name.
  • To edit field names, select the field name, click Rename, the Rename Field dialog box appears, change the field name and click OK.
  • To add additional field names, click Add, the Add Field dialog box appears, type a new field name and click OK.
  • To change the order of  the field names, highlight a field name and click Move Up or Move Down.

Click OK when you are finished. The New Address List dialog box displays the customized field names in a table.

Enter Database Information

Type data into each field. Use the Tab key to move from one field to another. Click New Entry to move to the next record in the database. After typing the last record, do not click New Entry to move to a new record.

Check Through Records and Make Any Changes

  • To edit a record, highlight the data and type the changes.
  • To search for a record, click Find, the Find Entry dialog box appears, enter search word(s) and click Find Next.
  • To delete a record, click the square located to the left of the first field, click Delete Entry and click Yes to remove the record.

Click OK when done.

Save Database and Main Document

The Save Address List dialog box appears. Choose where you want to save the database file, type the file name and click Save.


Type only the file name and Word will add the .mdb extension, saving the file as a Microsoft Access database file.

Save the main document, a blank directory that links to the database, in case you decide to perform a mail merge later. Close the main document and Exit Word.

View Database

Navigate to the Access database file and open it. Microsoft Access opens. Click Office_Address_List under the Tables heading and the database table that was created in Word displays.

Return to Database and Edit Data

Open the main document in Word. The Microsoft Word dialog box appears. Click Yes so the main document can retrieve information from the database. On the Mailings tab, click Edit Recipient List. The Mail Merge Recipients dialog box appears. Under the Data Source heading, select the database file name. Click Edit and the Edit Data Source dialog box appears. Edit the data. When finished, click OK and click Yes to update the database. In the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, you can refine the database information using Sort, Filter, Find duplicates, Find recipient and Validate addresses options.

Click OK when done. Close the main document. Click Save. Exit Word.


You can perform a directory mail merge in Word using the created database and main document.