How to Merge a Field Format in Word 2007

By Foye Robinson

Word 2007 lets you customize how fields are formatted in a mail merge. Some fields, such as numerical values with leading zeros from spreadsheets, are sometimes reformatted during a mail merge. Thankfully, you can view the field code and format before completing a mail merge. Word uses special codes in the merge fields that allow you to modify the date format and display leading zeros correctly. You can toggle between the merge field code and field results to check your formatting.

Step 1

Open a new document in Word 2007 by pressing "Ctrl+N" on your keyboard. A new page loads.

Step 2

Go to the "Mailings" tab from the ribbon and go to the "Start Mail Merge" group. Click "Start Mail Merge" and select "Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard."

Step 3

Go to the "Mail Merge" task pane that opens on your right and choose the type of mail merge you want to use. Click "Next" to continue.

Step 4

Select your starting document and click "Next." Choose the recipient list you want to use from the "Select recipients" section and click "Browse."

Step 5

Double-click the mail merge file you want to use as a source. If the source file is from Excel or Access, the "Select Table" dialog box opens. Select the table you want to use for the mail merge and click "OK." You are directed to the "Mail Merge Recipients" dialog box.

Step 6

Uncheck any recipients you don't want to include and click "OK." Select "Next" to proceed and click "More items..." The "Insert Merge Field" dialog box appears. Double-click the fields you want to insert into your document. Click "Close" when you are done.

Step 7

Go to the field on your page to format the merge fields before the merge is complete. Press "Alt+F9" on your keyboard to make the hidden codes visible. The merge field code for "Cost" may look similar to: { MERGEFIELD "Cost" }

Step 8

Change the merge field for "Payment_Date" (for example) from: "{ MERGEFIELD "Payment_Date" }" to the following. It reformats the date to display as October 1, 2010, for example.{ MERGEFIELD "Payment_Date" \@ "MMMM d, yyyy" }

Step 9

Change the merge field for "Cost" (for example) from "{ MERGEFIELD "Cost" }" to the following. It makes leading zeros and the dollar sign visible in the cost.{ MERGEFIELD "Cost" \# "$,0.00;($0.00)" }

Step 10

Press the "Alt+F9" key to view the field results once you've updated the field formats. Return to the "Mail Merge" task pane and click "Next."

Step 11

Click the left or right arrows to preview the merge fields to check that each field appears correctly. Click "Next."

Step 12

Select "Edit individual letters" or "Print" from the "Merge" section of the task pane. The "Merge to New Document" or "Merge to Printer" dialog box opens. Click "OK" to complete the merge.