Displaying Custom Fields in Decision Letters (Merge Queries)

Many standard fields and all custom fields are automatically available to  use as merge fields in a decision letter. Any items that are not available by default can be added by creating a query called MergePublic. Multiple of these queries may exist simultaneously in a database.

Creating a MergePublic Query

  1. Select Queries / Reports on the top navigation bar.
  2. Select New Query.
  3. Enter the following user configurations in the dialog box:
    • Name: Provide a short, descriptive name based on what the MergePublic query will be used for, such as "Decision Letter Merge Query." (It is not necessary to name it "MergePublic.")
    • User: Select a user. This setting will default to the current user.
    • Sharing: To ensure no disruption for readers while configuring the MergePublic query, leave this option cleared for now. This option will be selected later, once the query is created and runs successfully.
    • Folder: Save the query in a folder called "System."
    • Base: Select Applications.
    • System Key: Select MergePublic.
  4. Add exports that contain the values that are to be included as merge fields in the decision letter. Examples include:
    • Missing Admissions Checklist Items (line break)
    • Missing Financial Aid Checklist Items (line break)
    • Staff Assigned
    • Activites - Line Separated
  5. Update the export names for the merge fields. Give each merge field a unique name. Merge fields should not match any custom or standard field names. Double click an export box to edit the name of the merge field. 

    For example, "Staff Assigned" should be renamed to something like "staff_assigned"

  6. Save and run the MergePublic query. Confirm that the exports are displaying the data to include in the decision letter.
  7. Turn on sharing. Return to the query and select Edit. Select the sharing option to activate the new merge fields.
  8. Add the MergePublic query fields in the decision letter. The merge fields created in this query can now be added to the decision letter. Use the regular {{mergefield}} syntax to add fields to the letter.

Use Lookup Applicant to display values for the merge fields that have been added. They will appear at the bottom of the merge field list.


If an address block is used in a decision letter and that address isn't complete (street, city, region, etc.), the merge field will not display any address. Alternatively, you might consider including discreet merge fields for each component of an address (one for street, a second for the city, a third for the region, a fourth postal, etc.)


Avoid adding merge fields to the query that already exist in the letter template (for example, First, Last, or Birthdate). If you do , they will produce duplicate mappings in decision letters.

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