Merged Link is empty although there is data in Database for this Link

This can happen if the database file is using a double-quote (") text qualifier setting but the DDF's "Text Qualifier" setting is set to "None". To determine whether your database file is using a Text Qualifier, do the following:

  1. Open the database text file in a plain text editor, such as TextEdit or Notepad (other types of applications, such as Microsoft Excel, automatically hide Text Qualifier characters). 
  2. Then, search for a double quote mark. If you do not see any double quote marks bracketing field data, search for a single quote mark. You will be able to detect easily whether a quote mark is bracketing any field data. 
  3. Once you have finished examining the database file, close the file without saving any changes to it.
  4. Once you have finished examining the database file, close the file without saving any changes to it.
  5. If you discovered your database file is using a Text Qualifier, then change the "Text Qualifier" setting for your DDF for this database file by editing the DDF. To do this, follow these steps:
  6. Open the Database Definitions window, select the appropriate DDF from the Current DDF popup menu, and click the Edit button. 
  7. This will open the Edit Database Definition window where you will see the DDF's Text Qualifier setting. 

This can also happen if a field in a database record contains a line ending character (either a NewLine/Shift-Return character, or a NewParagraph/CarriageReturn character). To determine this, examine the database file to see if the record where the Variable Link displays "Empty Field" contains any line endings in fields preceding this Link's field. Please open a Support Ticket on the Meadows Help Desk if that is the case for further instructions (

Another reason this can happen would be that the Variable Link is assigned to the incorrect Field. To review which Fields are assigned to Variable Links in this job's DDF, open the "Variable Links" dialog window and choose each Link one by one in the list of the left to review which Field has been selected for each Link.

A helpful tool to examine how each record's database fields are being mapped to the Variable Links in your DDF is to run a "Test: Print Preview" merge session. The "Print Preview" window will display how each record's Field data is being mapped to each Variable Link in your DDF.

You will also find helpful information in Tutorial #1a (The Basics) and in Tutorial #5 (Tips & Tricks) in the DesignMerge Tutorial Manual, which is available in PDF format in the DesignMerge product folder on your system.