Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Merging Only a Date from Access.

Merging Only a Date from Access

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated April 13, 2024)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Tricia is creating a mail-merge document using an Access database as a data source. One of the fields being merged is a date/time field, but when the merge is complete the resulting merged data shows both the time and the date. Tricia wants to only show the date portion of the data.

There are two ways you can approach this issue. One is to format the data in the original Access database and the other is to format what is merged from that database. If you have access to the database, you can look at it in design view (in Access) and change the format of the field. Format it using something like mm/dd/yyyy, and that is the way that the data will be merged into Word.

The other approach is to change the formatting used with the merge field in Word. Display the source of the merge field, and it should look something like the following:

{ MERGEFELD NameOfDateFieldInAccess \* MERGEFORMAT }

You want to add a formatting code to the field; change it to look like the following:

{ MERGEFELD NameOfDateFieldInAccess  \@ "M/d/yyyy" \* MERGEFORMAT }

Now, collapse the field code and again run your merge. The merged data should be shown in the specified format (M/d/yyyy). If you want a different format, all you need to do is change the pattern used in the merge field.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1603) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Merging Only a Date from Access.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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