Merge fields in Writer

Working with Fields

Supported field types

Supported field typesDescriptionPossible Values in the data sourceRendered asNotes
Plain TextThe value of the field is placed as a string in the document.“test”“test”You can select the field in the document and apply the required formatting in the editor.
Multi-lineSeveral lines of text input in the data source are represented as multi-line data.“test
CheckboxThe value is merged either as a checked or an unchecked box based on the value in the data source.TRUE | true| Yes | 1 for checked box
FALSE | false | No | 0 for unchecked box
☑ | ☐
ImageCustom image fields in a data source will be directly linked as an image file in the target document.URL of the image You can set aspect ratio and size for the image in the editor.
LinkThe URL in the data source is placed as a clickable link in the document. on the value column to create dynamic links with other merge fields. Refer help to learn more.
Rich textHTML values of the data source are rendered in the document.
NumberNumeric values can be placed in the document.100.234100
Click "Format" column to set the desired format for the numbers.
Email | PhoneAn email id or a phone number can be inserted in the
044 6744 7000
044 6744 7000
DateThe value of the field is represented as a formatted date in the document.24/04/202024/04/2020
24 April 2020
Refer help to learn how to configure the date fields.
Image ListComma separated image URLs can be placed horizontally or vertically as an image list.[imageurl1,imageurl2,imageurl3]
ListA comma separated value in the data source can be added as it is or as a vertical bullet list.item 1, item 2, item 3
Comma separated list: item 1, item 2, item 3
Vertical list:
  • item 1
  • item 2
  • item 3
EmbedThe URL value in the data source is embedded in the document as an iframe. UserID Click on the value column to make the URL dynamic by placing merge fields in the URL.
BarcodeThe value can be merged as a Barcode based on the selected code.
QR CodeA high-quality QR code can be added based on the specific field value.
QR code data can be a plain text, a web link, a text message, an email, or a business card.
MapConvert addresses and location latitude or longitude in the data source to an embeddable map of the location post merge.10 Downing Street, Westminster,London,SW1A When the merged document is printed, the embedded Google Maps link is converted to an embedded image.
Matrix field
View all the responses in table format in the merged documents

Refer here.

Main forms

Writer mainly has two broad categories of fields you can create—a main form, and a subform. The main forms are for individual records in your data source, while subforms normally carry choices, transactions, and other information registered under an individual record.

How to configure a main form?

  • Navigate to Automate > Create Fields under 'Manage fields' and enter the following:
  1. Label - Name for every field you are going to create.
  2. Type - Character of the field like text, number, image, link, etc.
  3. Format - Arrangement in which you want your field to appear on the document. For example, you may format a list as either a comma-separated list or a vertical list as required.


A subform is a secondary form that is attached to a main form, which is the primary form. With subforms, you can establish one-to-many relationships with one primary record and multiple/many associated records. In other words, a subform in mail merge is just a sub category of a main form which is the broader category. Subforms belong to a main form by default.
The following real time scenarios will help understand subforms better:
  1. A customer purchasing products in a store.
    Customer is the main form here and the details of the products he purchases like quantity, price, etc., are the subforms.
  2. Work Experiences of an Employee.
    The employee is the main form here while the details of the employee's past work experiences like employer name, years of experience, etc., are the subforms.

How to configure a subform?

  1. Click Create Fields under Manage Fields.

  2. Go to Subforms and click Create Subform.

  3. Now enter a field set name and a label name and then configure the subform as per your requirement.

API Docs for developers to learn more about using fields programmatically.

Import Fields

  1. Select Import fields under Manage Fields.
  2. Pick a data source and the fields from the data source will be imported.

How to insert the created or imported fields in your document?

  1. Place the cursor where you want the field to be inserted.
  2. Select the suitable field from the list under Manage Fields.
  3. The desired field will now be inserted in the desired place.

Imported fields and user created fields will be differentiated.

Matrix field

Using a matrix field to collect feedback or survey responses is useful as you can view all the responses in table format in the merged documents. It allows you to evaluate or filter rows easily by applying a set of column options on every row. You can create a matrix field with as many rows and columns as needed with suitable headers.
You can:
- Create a matrix field in Zoho Forms and import it into a Writer document. Or,
- Select Zoho Forms as the data source and pick the inserted matrix field from the list of fields available.

Next Record field

Next record can be used to tell Writer to fetch data from the immediate next record in your data source. That is, if you insert Next record in between two fields, the field that you have inserted before Next record will fetch data from the first record and the field inserted after Next Record will fetch data from the next corresponding record.

In short, the Next Record field will let you jump over to the next row in your data source. This is especially useful while working on documents with multiple identical fields.

To insert this,

  • Place the cursor wherever necessary.
  • In the Manage fields section under Advanced fields , click on Next Record.

  • Autofields

    Document Sequence

    Document sequence number allows you to create a sequence by affixing a unique sequential numeric value to every new document generated from the merge template. Use this sequence number anywhere in your document as and when required.


    You can set the numeric value from which the sequence has to begin with. This value will be inserted and incremented automatically whenever a new document is generated. You can also put down a prefix or suffix that will uniformly apply to all the documents.

Every time an invoice is generated, a numeric sequent will be inserted. In the above example, a sequence for every invoice in the month of February 2022 is created.

     How to create document sequence

  1. Open your merge template, navigate to Fields > Document Sequence > Create Document Sequence under Autofields.

  2. In the pop up that follows,

    1. Assign a name for your field.

    2. Add a prefix or suffix. In the given example, for invoices in February 2022, we have added "INV-2022-002-" as the prefix.
      You can also insert a merge field and a date field as the prefix or suffix.
  3. Click Save & Insert.

Edit or Delete Document Sequence Number

Once you set up the Document Sequence Number, you can edit or delete it by clicking on the inserted field or navigating to Fields > Document Sequence under Autofields.

Manage fields

Manage fields is the space that allows you to create new main forms and subforms, edit and label both the created and imported main forms and subforms. You can configure the type, format and value of the fields anytime while creating the merge template . To manage fields,
  1. Go to Settings next to Manage Fields in the Automate Panel.
  2. Choose Manage Fields.
  3. In the following pop up, configure fields as per your requirement.

Merge preferences

While merging, datasets might contain null values which would add an unwanted blank line or space in the merged document. Merge Preferences help you suppress blank rows, columns, lines and empty tables.
For example, let's say John has a subform containing a list of products in his merge template, while Ann's subform is empty. Using Merge Preferences will help Ann avoid empty tables in the merged documents.
Below are the steps to set your merge preference:
  1. Go to Settings next to Manage Fields.
  2. Choose Merge Preferences.
  3. In the pop up that follows, choose what not to show after the document merge is run.

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