I am trying to perform a mail merge from an Excel document to a Word document. The fields in the source document retrieve text from elsewhere in the Excel document. Thus, the actual fields are in fact formulae. The content of the fields is plain text.

This works fine in most cases, except when the source text is longer than 255 characters. I know that usually one can get around this problem by creating a 'dummy record' at the start of the mail merge which contains more than 255 characters - this forces Word to treat the field as a memo. However, this doesn't appear to work in the case where the field itself is a formula referring to text elsewhere in the document. The result is that any fields with text exceeding 255 characters are simply not displayed at all.

How can I work around this?

  • 1
    Can you divide the formula in the cell among several cells, each less than 255?
    – harrymc
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 7:26
  • @harrymc, this sounds like a suitable solution. I'll see what I can put into practice. McDonald's, I'm afraid having to apply extra steps after-the-fact is not ideal for my application. I'll be handing this over as a system for support staff to use, and the fewer additional steps that are required, the less likely the system will be rejected. At the moment, all that is required is to open the MailMarge Word doc and then specify the range of fields to pull the data from. Asking for more steps each time the MailMerge is to be setup would probably be too much to ask. Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 10:18
  • Let me know how it goes and if you wish me to put this up as an answer.
    – harrymc
    Commented Jun 20, 2017 at 10:50
  • Thanks @harrymc, this solution works. I'm using MID() to extract the relevant portions of each cell. Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 8:58
  • I posted an answer - let me know if you wish any changes or additions,
    – harrymc
    Commented Jun 21, 2017 at 9:31

1 Answer 1


The solution that worked for the poster was to divide the formula, which was previously in one cell, among several cells where each of the cells was at most 255 characters in size.

The poster used the MID() function to cut up the text.

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