Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Maintaining Leading Zeroes.

Maintaining Leading Zeroes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 25, 2015)

3

Suzanne has an Excel worksheet containing addresses. The ZIP Codes are formatted via the special Excel formatting that maintains leading zeroes. However, when she uses mail merge in Word, the leading zeroes are dropped.

There are several ways you can approach this problem. You could, for instance, go into Excel and create a new column that contains text versions of the numeric ZIP Codes. Here's a handy Excel formula to use to accomplish this:

=RIGHT("00000" & A1, 5)

If you put this formula in a column that has been formatted as text (and the ZIP Code is in cell A1), you end up with text that contains the leading zeroes. You can then use this new column in your merge in Word.

If you don't want to edit the original Excel data, then you should stick with making your changes in the Word merge document. Take a look at the document; it contains merge fields that indicate where the merged data will be placed. These fields also indicate how the merged data should be treated. If you select the merge field for the ZIP Code, you can expand it by pressing Shift+F9. You should see the underlying code that makes up the field. You can then modify the field code so it looks similar to this:

{ MERGEFIELD "Zip" \# 00000-0000 }

The name within the quote marks ("Zip") may well be different; it represents the name of the column in the Excel worksheet that needs to be merged. The important part is to add the formatting switch (\#) followed by the pattern to be used for formatting the merged data. When you are done making the change to the field, you can press Shift+F9 again to collapse the field, and then do your merge.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9195) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Maintaining Leading Zeroes.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Comparing Workbooks

Do you need to compare two workbooks to each other? While you can use specialized third-party software to do the comparisons, ...

Discover More

Speeding Up Document Display

Are your documents displaying too slowly? You can configure Word so that it is as quick as possible on displaying by using ...

Discover More

Read-Only Files

Read-only documents (those that cannot be updated) are part and parcel of working with Word. There are many ways that a ...

Discover More

Do More in Less Time! Are you ready to harness the full power of Word 2013 to create professional documents? In this comprehensive guide you'll learn the skills and techniques for efficiently building the documents you need for your professional and your personal life. Check out Word 2013 In Depth today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Mail Merge and Data Source Documents become Unattached

When you create a mail merge document, you attach it to a data source that is the basis for the information to be merged with ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Spaces in Merged Data

When you merge information with a Word document, you may not be completely satisfied with the appearance of some of the ...

Discover More

Using Merge Fields

When creating a mail merge document, you use merge fields to indicate where the information from each record of your data ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 8Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 0 + 7?

2015-04-26 18:35:57

Ingrid Kennedy

Here is a quick way to do this, Allan. Type a single quotation mark before the zero. You will have to realign it as it is now seen as text, but the single quotation mark won't show up in the cell.


2015-04-25 09:36:07

awyatt

Thanks for catching that, Micky. Not sure how that got through (must have been asleep when I wrote that line).

Anyway, I changed it in the tip. Thanks, again.

-Allen


2015-04-25 04:50:58

Michael (Micky) Avidan

@Allan,
Is it only my imagination or you have a special & secret relationship, with MS, who enabled your Excel to use: RTRIM in a formula(!) ?
Michael (Micky) Avidan
“Microsoft® Answers" - Wiki author & Forums Moderator
“Microsoft®” MVP – Excel (2009-2015)
ISRAEL


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.