I do not think that there is any App available that will mail merge. Office 2011 is available for a Mac that will do mail merge - but at a fairly high price of course. Macs are great computers and beat PCs running windows but Apple are known to throw the ocasional wobbler. I think there are many thousands of people just hoping it will return but ...
Why should you have to buy an App just to supplement Pages.
To do a job that needs doing. Despite the fiasco surrounding Apple's downgrading of the iWork suite, I can see where (I think) they're going with it. They may or may not add mail merge back into Pages, but Pages is still a nice little app for producing documents that works well with other OSX and iOS apps. It's also free.
Remember this is for my father who I'm trying to persuade to move to a Mac so I need to make sure his needs are served. If I have to supplement the iWork suite with a separate mail merge program it's still preferable to going down the Office route.
Just think what your father will say when he can't open his work anymore or if he does, it is so mangled that he will be tearing his hair out.
I have this peculiar notion. I believe that a wordprocessing app should "wordprocess".
I do not want an advanced electronic typewriter(I am old enough to remember them).
I want a wordprocessor . I expect my wordprocessor to have wordprocessing features.
When I BUY an upgrade I expect that I will get improvements. I do not expect that basic features will be disappeared/removed/discontinued.
If you have made it this far then you are incredibly patient. I've researched this extensively and it isn't pretty.
I have been using Mac's at home forever, and at work recently over the past few years. I was recently at Intuit - a fairly progressive software company and many of the project managers there had friends (or even roommates) at Apple - also in product development.
I'll talk about the why this happened in a minute, first let me tell you the only way to really solve this is to move completely to Microsoft Office. Here is my point. I was recently laid off and went to do a mass mailing to many of my former customers (I'm 48, been in the industry for 25 years and so there are a lot of people in my contact list). My goal was to do an email merge - not a printed mailing - who does that anymore! Okay - yes people do print labels - my sister is getting married and had to print them and its making our mother insane - but she can use contacts for that and avery templates). So I had my newly minted MacBook Pro (had to turn in my old one to my former employer). I went to use Pages and was in the same boat as all of you. I went to use Pages '09 but that didn't work because there is no easy way to merge to an email! So I backed up and said - I know this works for MS Office. I installed the copy of Microsoft Office - yes I purchased it, I need to work. With this I was able to easily do my mailing but wait there is more. In order to merge to email I had to do it with Outlook! So now Apple has lost me for Pages and Email and that's just stupid.
So if you are able to purchase MS Office - you can do this easily with MS Word and MS Outlook. The emails are beautiful with custom fields and rich text. Apple is missing something here - they just made it really easy for me to consider a Microsoft Tablet. In fact - I'm typing this on my iPad with a Logitech keyboard - hmmm..
More on product development - I just came from a Silicon Valley company so I'll explain.
This is common - its a practice that they calculate the impact of disappointing against the cost of investing resources to provide features they feel we don't need. In fact that last part of the sentence is the key here - there is a relative arrogance in product development, specifically product management in the Silicon Valley and that is one of condescending feelings towards the masses - after their extensive field research showing that we don't know what we want. But they aren't really that evil - they are looking to become directors and so they need to show strategic thinking - something bigger. They are a few steps down the road, imagining how we work in 2018 not 2013. The question is always what amount of market share and customer dissatisfaction can we allow for while still making efficient use of development resources to remain incredibly profitable and be viewed as forward thinking.
Further - this is likely part of something bigger they are thinking about. Peter and Tortoise argue a good point - they are considering other apps and why to and why not to. And I already shared that you can easily print mailing labels from contacts - it even supports Avery labels - my wife did this for several invitations for various parties. So why not simply improve that function to include letters and email? Because this is going somewhere...
Imagine this - the average new user (now power user like all of us) won't think in terms of Word Processing but rather the task at hand. They think - "I want to send a mailing to my friends or customers". Where do they go? They go to contacts. They create a group of contacts by tagging them and then they drag them on a template or simply start a wizard of the email they are ready to send. My point is - the functionality will likely come in the OS X or iOS - or within the contacts function, not Pages. Microsoft has created an environment to "work" and Apple has to think differently about it. Its the way the iPhone broke the cycle - and now we all create custom phones by putting the apps we want on it. These apps, with the new iOS7 work together even better as there are more access points via the operating system to share. Its why they build Maps - because everything needs it and Google had control. I could go on and on. We want apps to do things and we want them all to work together. Hence convergence of the operating systems, creation of apps and eventual re-building of the web via HTML 5.0 and Responsive/Adaptive web applications/sites to do the same. iWork will be replaced by integrated apps in the cloud, in a browser, on your phone, tablet and desktop.
Of course - we all suffer while this happens but for now - this is my theory on what is going on.
I'm going to pontificate this more on my blog...
Another bad move by Apple. I can't believe how arrogant this company is. It's a shame because they make great products.
Here I am trying to crank out my Christmas cards and pulling this feature is preventing me from getting it done. Fortunately, I still have Pages '09 installed on my old Macbook. Looks like i'll be dusting it off.
If you want the ability to mail merge DO NOT UPGRADE Pages.
Microsoft couldn't figure how to patch my system without creating more problems. It's seems Apple can't seem to upgrade their software without removing features.
The problem is not just the fact that Apple basically removes a working set of software and replaces it with something that doesn't work or only partially works, it is the manner in which Apple does this without telling its customers. Hence the anger and growing distrust of Apple.
I agree that Contacts (not AddressBook which has been superceded) is the place for holding Data and/or merging to print, but Apple has slashed its functionality as well in Mavericks.
Apple has ambushed its unsuspecting users as they go their usual way to work, and any of them who see the ambush coming and try and evade it are caught as well by Apple's flanking moves to make sure they will not get their work done.
Oh Apple you are such a prankster! Everybody at the office just loves how you disrupt and toss everybody's work in the trash!
Peter - you are right - for so long Apple was so incredibly competent we tolerated thier arrogance because their innovations were game changing and the products had true durable advantage. They seem to have lost thier edge now so if this is part of a major network/ecosystem target/goal - they may find there is no network of users when they get there.
but we digress...
The consensus is - use Pages '09 or Contacts for now, or invest in another program (like MS Office) until Apple comes around with new functionality or an alternative approach to mail merge in iWork.
Well Android is peeling off one desperately clutching finger at a time.
When Android finally makes a move beyond SmartPhones, Tablets, NetBooks and Nettops, that is when Apple will be the next Nokia or Blackberry.
I guess that is where Apple is at the moment, ducking and weaving, trying to evade the oncoming steamroller.
I can't go there.
They have more cash by a wide margin than any other non financial services company out there. They are incredibly profitable and the iPhone and iPad are still the benchmarks.
Google is amazing, in fact their robot strategy will undoubtably put us one step closer to Skynet but Apple is still an amazing and incredibly healthy company. I still love 99% of what they do and believe they will ultimately figure it out. Sure wish they would dig a bit into the soil to rediscover their roots but this, like the frustration with iMovie and the iPhone antenna is not a harbinger of doom