A reader asks:
My client has a large contact database in Outlook separated by categories. He can do a mail merge of the entire database but not of just one category. He is using Outlook 2000. He can't find a way to do it. Is there a way in 2000 or 2003 that you can point me to?
Yes! It's actually quite easy to merge by category. Apply the Group by Category view to your contacts and select the category you want to use in the merge, then go to Tools, Mail merge and start your merge. Be sure to choose the option to use the selected contacts, not all of the contacts. If you often use this category for mail merges, create a custom view that filters out the other categories.
In most cases, you should start mail merges in Outlook — create a custom view that filters out the contacts you don't want to include. It's not only easier to filter in Outlook, you'll have better filtering capabilities.
Published March 29, 2005. Last updated on June 26, 2013.