Sign in with Microsoft
Sign in or create an account.
Select a different account.
You have multiple accounts
Choose the account you want to sign in with.


When you perform a mail merge in Microsoft Word by using OLEDB with a Microsoft Access or Microsoft Excel data source, the merge results for the Date, Phone Number, and Currency fields are incorrect. For example:

The Date field is displayed in the following format:

1995-10-22 00:00:00
The Phone Number field from an Access data source is displayed in the following format:

The Currency field is displayed in the following format:





This behavior occurs because the data is displayed in its native, stored format in Access or Excel. To format merged data, you must format the merge fields in the main document. If you format the data in the data source, the formatting is not retained when you merge the data into the main document.


To work around this problem, use one of the following methods.

In Microsoft Word

Use a switch to format the results of the MERGEFIELD. To do this, use one of the following methods.

Note To view the field codes in Microsoft Word, press ALT+F9.

Method 1: Use the Numeric Picture Switch

Include a numeric picture switch (\#) similar to one of the following examples:

In a currency field, use a Numeric Picture switch similar to:

{MERGEFIELD number \# $####,0.0}Note The {MERGEFIELD number \# $####,0.0} string works for Microsoft SQL Server 6 as well.

In a telephone field, use a Numeric Picture switch similar to:

{MERGEFIELD phone \# ###'-'###'-'####}Note The hyphen inside the mergefield is in single quotation marks.


Method 2: Use the Date-Time Picture Switch

Include a date-time picture switch (\@) in the Date field, so that the Date field looks like this:

{MERGEFIELD date \@ "MMMM d, yyyy"}Note The picture switch is case-sensitive. Additionally, you must use quotation marks around the picture string.


In Microsoft Access

Create a query in Microsoft Access, and use the query in your Word mail merge. In the Microsoft Access query, use the FORMAT() function to format the data to be merged in Microsoft Word.

More Information

By default, Word uses OLEDB to connect to the data source when performing a mail merge. You can force Word to use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) by using programming code to access the data.

Note For more information about using field switches in Microsoft Word, click Microsoft Word Help on the
Help menu, type general switches in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned. 

Need more help?

Want more options?

Explore subscription benefits, browse training courses, learn how to secure your device, and more.

Communities help you ask and answer questions, give feedback, and hear from experts with rich knowledge.

Was this information helpful?

What affected your experience?
By pressing submit, your feedback will be used to improve Microsoft products and services. Your IT admin will be able to collect this data. Privacy Statement.

Thank you for your feedback!