Word – mail merge field changes format (font/size) when merged

Problem

When running a mail merge in Microsoft Word some merge fields change format. For example, the font or size will change.

Changing the styles applied to the field or the merge code do not resolve the issue.

Solution

When this happens you can edit the merge code to include the ‘charformat’ switch to enforce the formats applied to the field.

  1. Right-click on the merge field and choose ‘Toggle Field Codes’
  2. At the end of the merge field code, before the closing bracket, add
  3. \*charformat
  4. For example – { MERGEFIELD Balance_Remaining } would become { MERGEFIELD Balance_Remaining \* charformat }
  5. Right-click on the merge field again and choose ‘Toggle Field Code’ to restore the merge field.
  6. Now when you run the mail merge the formatting applied to the field should remain.

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17 comments on “Word – mail merge field changes format (font/size) when merged

  1. Hello, I created a custom font from my handwriting (called MyFont). I can change the return address to this font but not the mail address. I read the above and am still not understanding how I change the address fields to MyFont in the main address.

    Thanks,

    Karen

    1. Hi, I know this was several months ago, but for anyone else, I used a simple solution to edit my entire document.

      First, select your whole document (Ctrl + A), then right click on one of the mail merge fields and click Toggle Field Code. This will toggle all field codes in your doc.

      Next, If you only have a few variables, you can use find/ replace (Ctrl + H) to replace all e.g., “LastName” with “LastName \* charformat” .

      — If you have tons of variables, what I did was added text to my source file variables, since that didn’t matter to me (no other formulas relying on those headers). I went into my Excel file, insert a blank row at row2, use =A1&” MMM” (I knew MMM wouldn’t appear in my word doc), and pull across to the end, then copy and replace with values into your headers. (Yeah, I had to re-match these in my mail merge, but it was quick). Then using the same steps as “Next” above, select all, toggle field codes, replace all ” MMM” with ” MMM *\ charformat” . I bet after that, you could go back to excel and remove the MMM, but then you’ll probably need to reconnect your fields again, so maybe you can skip it the first time it prompts you to reconnect, idk.

      Either way, either of those options should be fairly quick and worth it.

    2. Oh PS, maybe not on the reverting your header names back, it removed my \* charformat, better to work in word to find/replace as efficiently as you can if you can’t afford to perm change your source headers for the cause.

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