Word 2010 Mail Merge: Changing the Date Format

Ever wonder how to change the date format of a mail merge field in Word 2010?

Although some might expect the answer to be as simple as changing the format in the originating document, I quickly discovered that is not the case. After spending some considerable time trying to figure this out on my own, once again Google came to the rescue!

Thanks to Paul Edstein (a.k.a. “macropod”) of Microsoft.com and his easy-to-follow steps, I was able to accomplish this task in less than 5 minutes!

Here’s how you do it:

1. Select the merge field you want to change. In this case, it’s the Date field:

2. First, you need to make the field coding visible. To do this, press Shift-F9. The field you selected should now look like this:

3. In the screenshot above, the word “Date” is the merge field’s name. If you see any text after your merge field’s name, delete it now.

4. You’re now ready to change the format. Add a space after your merge field’s name and type the following: \@ “MMMM d, yyyy” Your merge field should now look like this:

Keep in mind that you can change the date format to whatever you like. Other possible formats could be: • dd/MMM/yyyy • d/MMM/yy • d MMMM yyyy

The only thing to remember is that you need to use uppercase M’s to indicate months because lowercase m’s represent minutes.

5. When I was done, my date format went from this:

to this:

We’d love to hear from you! If you’ve got any tips or tricks relating to any Microsoft Office program, please feel free to send them on over to info@sectorlearning.com.

-Katie Caplan,
Client Service Coordinator
Sector Learning Solutions

25 responses to “Word 2010 Mail Merge: Changing the Date Format

  1. Thank you. I came across a number of solutions to this issue but either they did not work or were complex and seemed to be aimed at programmers. This one was clear, simple to do and worked perfectly.

    • You’re very welcome.
      We’re always glad to hear that the tips/tricks our team blogs about are useful, and especially that they are written clearly and concisely.
      Please feel free to send along any suggestions you have for other useful blog posts on Microsoft Office topics: info@sectorlearning.com
      -Kelly Marshall,
      Director of Communications

  2. Great!
    Those field codes are ideal to work with, if only you know where to put them down.

    Thanks a lot.

    • SectorLearningSolutions

      You’re most welcome! We’re happy to help. As my colleague Kelly mentioned above, if you have any other suggestions for useful posts on Microsoft Office, please let us know: info@sectorlearning.com.
      -Katie Caplan,
      Sector Learning Solutions

  3. THANK YOU! This was so easy to do and saved me from hours (more hours) of frustrated merging!

  4. Thank you!!! This was very helpful. It did not work because I am using a vlookup excel field in merge doc, so adding the following was successful in excel TEXT(VLOOKUP(A2,Schedule!B:BZ,32,FALSE),”MMMM d, yyyy”)

  5. Thanks for your help! Just one more question: If I want the day of the week included in the date–how do I add that?

    • Hi Holly,
      Great question! All you would need to do is adjust the format from “MMMM d, yyyy” to “dddd, MMMM d, yyyy”. Your date format should now switch from January 2, 2013 to Wednesday, January 2, 2013. Hope that helps!
      -Katie Caplan,
      Sector Learning Solutions

  6. Pingback: More Mail Merge Tips – A Follow-Up | Sector Learning Solutions

  7. Is there a way to also include the day of the week in that formula?

  8. Pingback: Word 2010 Mail Merge: Add Day of the Week to Date Format | Sector Learning Solutions

  9. Thank you, so much. This was driving me crazy!

  10. I have made this amendment and my months are displayed in French! I can’t find the option where French is specified.

    • How strange Richard! I’ll ask Katie to look into this for you… that is a rather peculiar error you’re getting.
      -Kelly Marshall, Sector Learning Solutions

    • Richard,
      If you are still having troubles with the months displaying in French, here’s the fix:

      “On occasion, you might find that Word seems to suddenly change your language to another – such as French. What’s happened? Each paragraph is formatted to a certain language and if you have ‘language’ settings which automatically spell-check accordingly, a paragraphs default language can switch.
      To clear that situation:
      1. Just select the offending paragraph, or you can even select the whole document (CTRL A will do that for you).
      2. Now, go to the Review tab on the ribbon
      3. From the Language section on the ribbon, click the down arrow on the Language icon
      4. Click Proofing options
      5. Select the Canadian English option

      You may also wish to set the proofing language as your default.”

      I hope this answer from our Excel expert Margo Almond has been useful.

      -Kelly Marshall, Sector Learning Solutions

  11. This was very helpful! Thanks

  12. Thank you!!!!! You are life savers!! Like others, I had searched the internet for solutions, which were all incredibly complicated or didn’t work. Your solution made sense, was easy to follow and it WORKED! Yay!

  13. Very helpful and easy to follow. Thanks

  14. thanks a lot for your help! It really saved my day! 🙂

  15. Have you ever run into dates being replaced with 12:00?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s