Formatting Numbers in a Merge Field in Microsoft Word

Posted by Orlando Calundan at 12:01 AM

You might already know how powerful the "Mail Merge" function of the Microsoft Word is! 

With only a single "letter" (assuming you are writing a letter), you can print it for a thousand recipients without manually typing all the names, addresses and other unique information. Isn't that awesome?

This article assumes that you are already familiar with, and already using the mail merge.

When performing a mail merge in Word, numbers don’t always automatically display with the correct formatting (currency, decimals, etc.). Here’s how to fix it.

Formatting Prices with a “Numeric Picture Switch”

Numbers don’t always automatically display with the correct formatting (currency, decimals, etc.). To fix that:

  1. On your original source document (before completing the merge), right-click on the field and select “Toggle Field Codes.”
  2. It will look something like this (where “Price” is your particular field name):
    { MERGEFIELD “Price” }
  3. Place your cursor before the closing bracket and type:
    \# $,#.00(There is a space between the first # and the $.)
  4. It should now look like:
    { MERGEFIELD “Price” \# $,#.00 }
  5. Right-click on the field name once again and select “Toggle Field Codes” to return to the original view. Your prices should now display appropriately.

What do the Symbols Mean?

\# - Begins the “switch” which tells the document to apply formatting to the number.
$ - The character to display at the beginning of the number (in this case, a dollar sign).
, - Indicates that you want commas to designate thousands.
# - The number of number signs (#) typed after the comma indicate the number of digits that should be forced to display.
.00 - Indicates that you want to include a decimal point to two places with each number. Anytime a number to be merged doesn’t include decimals, it will display with zeros.

What can you say about this tip? Let us know! :)


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