Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Printing Portions of Mail Merged Documents.

Printing Portions of Mail Merged Documents

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 6, 2021)


When you use the mail merge feature of Word, you have the capability to either merge to the printer or to merge to a new document. Choosing the latter is often the best alternative, since you have the ability to inspect your output before actually printing.

What happens if you need to only print a portion of your merged documents, however? For instance, if your merged document takes 320 pages, and you only need to print the last 15 of them? You might think the answer to print only a range of pages, meaning pages 305-320.

If you try to do this with a mail-merged document, you will not get an expected result. In fact, you will get no result at all. This is because Word inserts a section break between each merged record it adds to your document. Thus, if you are printing 320 copies of a single-paged document, you have 320 page ones, not pages 1 through 320.

Sound confusing? It can be if you don't understand how sections work. Every time a new section is started, Word starts counting page numbers over again. To get around this problem, you have three alternatives. First, you can simply start deleting pages until you only have your desired pages remaining. (I call this the brute force method, and it is not always the best choice.) Second, you can simply replace all the section breaks in the merged document with line breaks. This is done by following these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+H. Word displays the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  2. Figure 1. The Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  3. In the Find What box, enter ^b. This is the code for a section break.
  4. Click on the No Formatting button, if it is available. This removes any formatting specifications in what you are searching for. (You may need to click on the More button to see the No Formatting button.)
  5. In the Replace With box, enter ^m. This is the code for a page break.
  6. Click on the No Formatting button, if it is available. This removes any formatting specifications in what you are replacing with.
  7. Click on Replace All.

Now you can print as normal, entering a range of page numbers you want to print.

The third solution is perhaps the fastest and easiest, however. Simply remember that in your merged document you are working with sections, instead of pages. Thus, if you want to print out the form letter for records 305 through 320, you would follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+P. Word displays the Print dialog box (Word 2007) or the print options on the File tab of the ribbon (later versions of Word).
  2. In the Pages box, enter s305-s320. Note the inclusion of the "s." This indicates you are specifying a section range, as opposed to a normal page range.
  3. Click on OK. Your desired information is printed.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9991) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Printing Portions of Mail Merged Documents.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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What is five more than 2?

2021-11-28 13:49:23

Ann Mudge

Thank you so much. This worked except that a blank envelope feeds through after each envelope printed. I can live with that though.

2020-06-08 13:00:22


Thank Gog I found your tips. Been fighting this problem for about 3 days so far. I finally got 20 pages printed with the "s". I'm a bit chicken with the find and replace. But I have a list of items (3,000) that I need to send to, and some not. Can I I do something like this and how far will it accept things in the numbering system": s119,120,123,124,127,128,130-134,140-143

2019-11-25 16:09:48


Thank you for your tips. I am printing letters using a mail merge. Each letter is a short 3-line note. I need to print all the notes on one page, or as many as will fit on one page, then continuing on the next page if necessary. Is there a way to do this using mail merge in Word.
Thank you so much.

2019-08-29 08:49:19

Mark T

Thank you for sharing this gold nugget. Works with Word 365 / 2016

2018-12-12 02:10:47


I can't thank you enough for your article on printing portions of mail merge documents! You had the best solution and it worked like a charm! You saved my day!! Thank you!

2018-12-11 10:54:13


I can't thank you enough for your article on printing portions of mail merge documents! You had the best solution and it worked like a charm! You saved my day!! Thank you!

2018-12-04 16:03:05

Mary Lee

Thank you! I've been struggling with this for 2 days. Solution 3 worked like a charm.

2018-10-07 17:36:05


Tried your solution 3 of printing a few merged documents rather than all of them. Nothing printed and nothing shows in the print queue. I am running office 2016 under win 10. Any other suggestions?

2018-04-11 16:03:20

Amy C.

Thank you! This problem has plagued me for ages and I finally decided to solve it. Your #3 solution worked best for me because I have different headers and footers on various pages. When I tried to replace the section breaks, it changed all of my headers to match the first page, so that wasn't going to work. Thanks again! ;)

2018-03-13 11:58:41


Thank you !!!! This issue has bothered me for a long time, and I finally thought to search for a work-around. Super helpful!
I used the 'replace' option because I want to be able to make corrections to individual letters and do a "print current page" option, so this worked perfectly.

2017-10-27 15:43:40


This is brilliant . . . how long have I used mail merge and I didn't know this?! Thank you so much.

2017-10-13 06:43:11


Thanks - very useful and solved my issue instantly :)

2017-09-16 14:53:57


WOW- how helpful and extremely "S" as in Simple! Thank you so much for sharing.

2017-09-05 12:22:32


How do I know how many "pages" I have when my document is merged, if they are all "page 1"?

2017-04-29 12:09:20

Sheryl Lucas

Bookmarked this one! Thank you!

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