How to Change Date Format in Word Mail Merge: A Step-by-Step Guide

Changing the date format in Word Mail Merge can seem tricky, but it’s actually pretty simple. By using field codes, you can customize how dates appear in your merged document. Follow these steps to make sure your dates look just the way you want them.

Step-by-Step Tutorial on How to Change Date Format in Word Mail Merge

In this section, we will go through the specific steps you need to take to change the date format in a Word Mail Merge. By the end of this guide, you’ll be able to have your dates displayed exactly as you want them.

Step 1: Open Your Word Document

The first step in the process is opening the Word document where you want to perform the mail merge.

Make sure your document is already connected to a data source, like an Excel spreadsheet, that contains the dates you want to format.

Step 2: Insert a Merge Field

Next, insert the merge field where you want the date to appear.

To do this, navigate to the "Mailings" tab, click on "Insert Merge Field," and select the field that contains your date.

Step 3: Toggle Field Codes

Once you have the merge field inserted, you need to toggle the field codes to change the date format.

Right-click on the merge field, and select "Toggle Field Codes" from the context menu. This will display the underlying code for the field.

Step 4: Modify the Field Code

Now, you will modify the field code to specify the desired date format.

Replace "MERGEFIELD FieldName" with "MERGEFIELD FieldName @ "MM/dd/yyyy"" (or any other date format you prefer). For example, you can use "dd MMMM yyyy" for a date like "25 December 2023."

Step 5: Update and Preview

Finally, update the field and preview the results to ensure the date format is correct.

Right-click the field code and select "Update Field." Then, navigate to the "Mailings" tab and click on "Preview Results" to check if the date format looks right.

After completing these steps, your dates should now appear in the format you specified.

Tips for Changing Date Format in Word Mail Merge

  • Use consistent date formats across all merge fields to avoid confusion.
  • Familiarize yourself with different date format codes, such as "MMMM dd, yyyy" or "yyyy-MM-dd."
  • If the date format doesn’t update correctly, double-check the syntax in your field code.
  • Remember to save your document after making changes to avoid losing your work.
  • Test the mail merge on a small section of your data first to ensure everything is working as expected.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I change the date format for multiple fields at once?

You need to update each field code individually. However, you can use "Find and Replace" to speed up the process if you have many fields.

What if my dates don’t update correctly?

Double-check your field code syntax for any mistakes. Common errors include missing braces or incorrect format strings.

Can I use this method for other data types?

Yes, you can use field codes to format other types of data, like currency or numbers, in a similar way.

Do I need to update fields every time I open the document?

Field codes typically retain their format settings between sessions, but it’s good practice to update them before finalizing your document.

Is there a limit to how complex my date format can be?

Field codes can handle most common date formats, but extremely complex custom formats might require additional tweaking.


  1. Open your Word document.
  2. Insert a merge field.
  3. Toggle field codes.
  4. Modify the field code.
  5. Update and preview.


Changing the date format in Word Mail Merge can be a straightforward task once you understand the steps involved. By tweaking the field codes, you can ensure your dates are displayed exactly as you need them. Don’t forget to save your work and preview your document to verify the changes.

If you found this guide helpful, consider checking out more tips and tricks for Microsoft Word. Knowing how to change the date format can make your documents look more professional and tailored to your needs. Happy merging!