Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Maintaining Leading Zeroes.

Maintaining Leading Zeroes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 7, 2016)

1

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 (324) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) 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

Tools to View Field Codes

Fields can be used to add all sorts of dynamic data to your documents. Viewing the field codes, at times, is desirable. ...

Discover More

Where Are Templates Stored?

Need to know where templates are located in Word 2007? The locations may be the same as in earlier versions of the ...

Discover More

Fitting Text Into Cells

Need a way to make sure your text fits within the space available in a table cell? Word has a handy setting that will ...

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 (menu)

Can't Merge Alphanumeric Data Correctly

When you merge data from Excel into a Word document, you may need to do some conditional processing based on the data you ...

Discover More

Checking Your Data File

When you get ready to merge a document with a data source, you'll want to make sure that everything is "as expected" ...

Discover More

Printing Portions of Mail Merged Documents

When you use a data source to create a bunch of documents in a mail merge, you might not want to print all the documents ...

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 6Mpixels. 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 two minus 1?

2012-10-23 11:09:56

Scott

I have written a vba macro that I use on my excel sheets to fix the zip codes. Highlight the zip code row, and run the macro to format the column to text and add the necessary leading zeroes.

I'm not a VBA expert or an Excel whiz, so there may be further improvements that could be made:

---

Sub fix_zip()

Dim arrData() As Variant
Dim rng As Excel.Range
Dim lRows As Long
Dim lCols As Long
Dim i As Long, j As Long
Dim reps As Integer
Dim LastRow As Long

' let's not accidently use this on a non-Range object
If TypeName(Selection) <> "Range" Then Exit Sub

lRows = Selection.Rows.Count
lCols = Selection.Columns.Count

LastRow = Cells.Find(What:="*", After:=[A1], SearchOrder:=xlByRows, SearchDirection:=xlPrevious).Row

If lRows > LastRow Then lRows = LastRow

Selection.Resize(lRows, lCols).Select

ReDim arrData(1 To lRows, 1 To lCols)

Set rng = Selection
rng.NumberFormat = "@"
arrData = rng.Value

For j = 1 To lCols
For i = 1 To lRows
If Len(Trim(arrData(i, j))) < 5 And Len(Trim(arrData(i, j))) > 0 And Left(Trim(arrData(i, j)), 1) >= 0 And Left(Trim(arrData(i, j)), 1) <= 9 Then
reps = (5 - Len(Trim(arrData(i, j))))
For k = 1 To reps
arrData(i, j) = "0" & Trim(arrData(i, j))
Next k
End If
Next i
Next j

rng.Value = arrData

Set rng = Nothing
End Sub



This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon 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.