Performing a Mail Merge with Google Docs (To Create Documents or Emails)

Google Docs is wonderful in many ways, however, there are a couple of areas where it has limited functionality that were issues for me recently and this is the second of a two-part series of blog posts (see the first part here) on what I did to work around those limitations.

A Google Docs mail merge is not a native capability of Google Docs. Said another way, Google Docs does not natively offer the ability to do a mail merge (that is, it does not offer the ability to use a template document with special data placeholders and create a set of documents from a set of data where the data is used to populate the values for the special data placeholders in the template document). Fortunately, Google Docs does natively offer the ability to use 3rd party extensions and the excellent DocumentMerge by PandaDoc extension will allow you to do mail merges.

The instructions for how to use DocumentMerge by PandaDoc to perform a mail merge using a Google Sheet as the data source for a template Google Doc can be found at https://www.pandadoc.com/google-docs-document-merge. I won't belabor things by repeating the instructions here; the reason I'm writing this post is that for me, the DocumentMerge by PandaDoc extension wasn't easy to find when searching for a way to do a mail merge with Google Docs and I'm hoping that this blog post will bubble up in search results in the future, making it easier for others to find the extension (if this blog post is helpful to you, please take a moment to leave a comment if you're willing). To be more specific, what I was looking for was the ability to do a mail merge that produced printable documents but all I was able to find was info on how to do mail merges to create emails (which the DocumentMerge by PandaDoc extension will do as well so if that's what you're looking for, it's good for that too).

Anyway, it's a great extension for doing a mail merge with Google Docs (though for some reason it's fairly slow). You'll see that it creates a Google Doc as the output of your mail merge and from there, that document is just like any other Google Doc (meaning you can download it, print it, whatever you need to do). In addition, DocumentMerge by PandaDoc has another capability as well: if you want to email out each of the merged documents as a PDF attached to an email, you can do that directly with DocumentMerge by PandDoc which is a great feature (albeit one I haven't used since in my case I just needed to print the merged documents).

Comments
sarah's Gravatar Very sad to see that DocumentMerge is no longer being supported. I'm autocrat doesn't exactly do what I need it to do.
# Posted By sarah | 5/5/15 7:10 PM
Kate's Gravatar Panda website says: We are no longer offering Google Docs Document Merge add-on. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.
# Posted By Kate | 5/28/15 12:09 AM
Josh Adams's Gravatar That's a real bummer that DocumentMerge by PandaDoc been taken down; thanks for letting me know, Sarah and Kate. I don't have a need for this functionality now but the next time I need it, if I can't find a suitable replacement, I may not have any choice but to go back to using Microsoft Word.
# Posted By Josh Adams | 5/28/15 12:33 AM
Josh Adams's Gravatar @Sarah: so sorry to hear that autoCrat doesn't suit your needs. I just needed to do a mail merge and for me, autoCrat worked great! Really, autoCrat is better for me than DocumentMerge was anyway.
# Posted By Josh Adams | 11/22/15 10:34 PM
Andrew Dimech's Gravatar There is now a new Google Doc Add-on which can help you Mail Merge to emails or letters. You can view/install it from the chrome store:

https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/mail-mer...
# Posted By Andrew Dimech | 12/15/15 3:05 PM
Sarah's Gravatar I'm surprised there wouldn't be an add on for this popular task. I too used Panda Docs and can't find anything as easy or simple. Looks like autocrat may be gone too? At least, I can't find it when searching add ons. I tried the one suggested by Andrew Dimech but it has a limited number of fields, and I want ones currently in my spreadsheet.
# Posted By Sarah | 3/15/16 1:33 PM
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