Field codes: Compare field

The Compare field code compares two values and displays the result "1" if the comparison is true or "0" (zero) if the comparison is false. You can use this field to create compound logical comparisons with And and Or functions in an = (Formula) field, and then you can use the result of the = (Formula) field in an If field.


When you view the Compare field code in your document, the syntax looks like this:

{ COMPARE Expression1 Operator Expression2 }

Note:  A field code tells the field what to show. Field results are what is shown in the document after having evaluated the field code. To toggle between viewing the field code and the field code results, press Alt+F9.


Expression1, Expression2

Values to compare. Expressions can be bookmark names, strings of text, numbers, nested fields that return a value, or mathematical formulas. If an expression contains spaces, enclose the expression in quotation marks.


Comparison operator. Insert a space both before and after the operator.




Equal to


Not equal to


Greater than


Less than


Greater than or equal to


Less than or equal to

Note: If the operator is = or <>, Expression2 can contain a question mark (?) to represent any single character, or an asterisk (*) to represent any string of characters. The expression must be enclosed in quotation marks so that it is compared as a character string. If you use an asterisk in Expression2, the portion of Expression1 that corresponds to the asterisk, plus any remaining characters in Expression2, cannot exceed 128 characters.


Suppose that the If field in the following example is inserted into a mail merge main document. The Compare fields examine the data fields CustomerNumber and CustomerRating as each data record is merged. The Or function of the = (Formula) field returns the value "1" (true) if at least one of the data fields indicates poor credit, in which case the first text in quotation marks is printed.

{ IF { = OR ( { COMPARE { MERGEFIELD CustomerNumber } >= 4 }, { COMPARE { MERGEFIELD CustomerRating } <= 9 } ) } = 1 "Credit not acceptable" "Credit acceptable"}

The following Compare field results in the value "1" if any value in the PostalCode data field is the range 98500 – 98599:

{ COMPARE " { MERGEFIELD PostalCode } " = "985*" }

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