Add merge field to template directly

As discussed in the merge fields overview, there are two methods for inserting merge fields into document templates:

  • Using a Merge Fields Window
  • Formatted text templates Word templates (usually) have a merge fields window.

  • Adding the merge field directly

This page explains the direct method. This method must be used with:

  • plain text templates
  • Excel templates
  • document titles for all templates
  • Word templates in certain circumstances, see below

The direct method is required for a Word template when:

  • You have an older version of Word, where the Word add-in cannot support custom fields or custom contact roles.
  • Word is running on a Apple Macintosh computer.
  • Here, Word 2008 is the latest version that have a merge fields window. The merge fields window cannot be installed in more recent versions of Word.

    In this situation you can download a Word master file containing all the Case Manager merge fields available in Word. You can use this file to copy and paste merge fields into your Word templates, see Word merge fields.

    You can also copy merge fields from formatted text templates and paste them into Word templates.

If desired, the direct method can be used in any Word template, although the Merge Fields window (installed using the Word add-in) makes things much easier.

Add merge field directly

There are two ways to directly add a merge field to a document template:

Type in the merge field

In all but Word templates, you can directly type merge fields into a template. You simple type the merge field name inside double sets of arrows e.g. <<ClientFullName>>, for example:

Copy and paste the merge field

In Word templates you cannot simply type a merge field name inside sets of double arrows, as above. Here merge fields are complex entities, as you will see later in this section of the site. And they use two special characters, the left and right guillemets: « and », rather than ordinary arrows:

So for Word templates you must copy merge fields from a separate formatted text or Word template (where you see guillemets in use) and paste the merge fields into your Word template.

This is the only way to add merge fields directly to Word templates. It ensures that they are in the correct format and have the correct characters.

You can download a master Word document containing all the Case Manager merge fields available in Word. See Word merge fields if further details are required.

Create master formatted text template containing merge fields

A great time-saver is to create a master formatted text template that contains all your frequently used merge fields.

If you make it inactive, it will not appear on the template dropdown list at case document creation. However, it will always be available for use at the Document Templates List where you are creating new templates. If you put an asterisk at the beginning of its name, it will always be at the top of the list and quick to find.

It is easy to copy merge fields from this template and then paste them into the required locations in other templates when needed.

To set up this master formatted text template:

  1. Select Lists > Document Templates from the main menu.
  2. Click the show inactive toolbar button so that you can see the inactive entries in the list.
  3. Click the New button .
  4. Select Formatted text from the Template Type dropdown list and click OK.
  5. Set the Description to something convenient like *Merge field master list.
  6. Untick the Active checkbox.
  7. Click Save.
  8. Next to the Formatted text box click the Open Folder to open the text document.
  9. Click the Merge field list button (highlighted below).
  10. Insert each merge field into the document.
  11. Click Save.

Once you have this master list you can easily copy its fields and paste them into templates when required.

Note that this list cannot contain merge fields that are lists or tables as these are only available in Word. The downloadable master Word document can supply them.

Video demonstration of this technique being used to insert custom merge fields into older versions of MS Word.