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Excel data doesn't retain its formatting in mail merge operations in Word

If you perform a mail merge in Microsoft Word and you use a Microsoft Excel worksheet as the data source for the recipient list, some of the numeric data may not retain its formatting when it is merged.

This behavior applies to formatted percentages, currency values, and postal codes, as shown in the following table:

Format In Excel data In Word MergeField
Percentage 50% .5
Currency $12.50 12.5
Postal Code 07865 7895


This behavior occurs because the data in the recipient list in Word appears in the native format in which Excel stores it, without the formatting that is applied to the worksheet cells that hold the data.


To resolve this behavior, use one of the following methods.

Method 1

Use Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) to connect to the Excel worksheet that contains the data that you want to use.

  1. Start Word, and then open a new blank document.
  2. Select File > Options.
  3. On the Advanced tab, go to the General section.
  4. Select the Confirm file format conversion on open check box, and then select OK.
  5. On the Mailings tab, select Start Mail Merge, and then select Step By Step Mail Merge Wizard.
  6. In the Mail Merge task pane, select the type of document that you want to work on, and then select Next.
  7. Under Select starting document, select the starting document that you want to use, and then select Next.
  8. Under Select recipients, select Use an existing list, and then select Browse.
  9. In the Select Data Source dialog box, locate the folder that contains the Excel workbook that you want to use as your data source, select workbook, and then select Open.
  10. In the Confirm Data Source dialog box, select to select the Show all check box. select MS Excel Worksheets via DDE (*.xls), and then select OK.
  11. In the Microsoft Excel dialog box, under Named or cell range, select the cell range or worksheet that contains the data that you want to use, and then select OK.


Your data now appears in the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box with the same formatting that appears in the Excel worksheet.

Method 2

Format the Excel field that contains the ZIP Code/Postal Code as text.

  1. In Excel, select the column that contains the ZIP Code/Postal Code field.
  2. On the Home tab, go to the Cells group. Then, select Format, and then select Format Cells.
  3. Select Number tab.
  4. Under Category, select Text, and then select OK.
  5. Save the data source. Then, continue with the mail merge operation in Word.


Date, Phone Number, and Currency fields are merged incorrectly when you use an Access or Excel data source in Word