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Mail Merge

  • 4 minutes to read

RichEditControl allows you to perform mail merge in three steps:

  1. Provide a Data Source
  2. Load a Document Template
  3. Merge and Save the Document

Provide a Data Source

RichEditControl supports the following data source types:

  • System.Collections.IList;
  • System.Collections.ArrayList;
  • System.Data.DataTable.

Use the RichEditMailMergeOptions.DataSource property to set the data source to used in a mail merge.

richEditControl1.Options.MailMerge.DataSource = new SampleData();
richEditControl1.Options.MailMerge.ViewMergedData = true;

If the data source contains multiple data tables, use the RichEditMailMergeOptions.DataMember property to define a specific data member. The RichEditMailMergeOptions.ViewMergedData property specifies whether to display field results or field codes.

Load a Document Template

The template is a document containing fields. These fields refer to the data source’s data column names.

Call the RichEditControl.LoadDocument or RichEditControl.LoadDocumentTemplate method to load a document template.

The RichEditControl allows you to add fields to the template. Call the FieldCollection.Create method to insert one of the following fields to the desired document position:

  • MERGEFIELD - for plain text;
  • DOCVARIABLE - for formatted content;
  • INCLUDEPICTURE - for images.

    Use the INCLUDEPICTURE field as follows: {INCLUDEPICTURE “{MERGEFIELD PictureLocation}” \d} (the PictureLocation is the path to the desired picture).

    If you need to merge different images, make sure that the images have the same name as the field’s contents in the database (for example, as the “FirstName” field), and insert the INCLUDEPICTURE as follows: { INCLUDEPICTURE “PicturesLocation\{ MERGEFIELD FieldName }.jpg” *MERGEFORMAT \d }.


    Use the IUriStreamProvider to insert pictures from a data base. Refer to the E4164 code example for details.

Merge and Save the Document

Use the following API to set additional merge options (the number of records, merged ranges delimitation, etc.) and merge the document:

API Description
RichEditControlOptionsBase.MailMerge Provides access to the default mail merge options. Use the richEditControl.Options.MailMerge notation to access these settings.
Document.CreateMailMergeOptions Initializes an MailMergeOptions instance, which contains additional mail merge options.
MailMergeOptions.FirstRecordIndex Gets or sets the record index from which the merge starts.
MailMergeOptions.LastRecordIndex Gets or sets the record index at which the merge finishes.
MailMergeOptions.MergeMode Gets or sets how the merged ranges are delimited in the resulting document.
Document.MailMerge Merges the current document using the specified options, and sends the result to the specified document.

The following code uses records 1 to 3 to perform a mail merge. Each record is merged into a new section in a merged document. The target document is created in another RichEditControl (richEditControl2).

using DevExpress.XtraRichEdit.API.Native;
            MailMergeOptions myMergeOptions = richEditControl1.Document.CreateMailMergeOptions();
            myMergeOptions.FirstRecordIndex = 1;
            myMergeOptions.LastRecordIndex = 3;
            myMergeOptions.MergeMode = MergeMode.NewSection;
            richEditControl1.Document.MailMerge(myMergeOptions, richEditControl2.Document);

Mail Merge Events

RichEditControl provides the following events to control specific mail merge steps:

Event Description
RichEditControl.CustomizeMergeFields Fires when the ‘Insert Merge Field’ command button is clicked, and enables you to customize a drop-down field list.
RichEditControl.MailMergeStarted Fires before mail merge starts.
RichEditControl.MailMergeFinished Fires when mail merge is completed.
RichEditControl.MailMergeRecordStarted Fires before each data record is merged with the document in the mail merge process.
RichEditControl.MailMergeRecordFinished Fires after each data record is merged with the document in the mail merge process.

The code sample below shows how to handle the RichEditControl.MailMergeRecordStarted event to insert and format additional content to the mail merge result:

        private void richEditControl1_MailMergeRecordStarted(object sender, MailMergeRecordStartedEventArgs e) {
            DocumentRange _range = e.RecordDocument.InsertText(e.RecordDocument.Range.Start,
String.Format("Created on {0:G}\n\n", DateTime.Now));
            CharacterProperties cp = e.RecordDocument.BeginUpdateCharacters(_range);
            cp.FontSize = 8;
            cp.ForeColor = Color.Red;
            cp.Hidden = true;

Mail Merge Functionality in the User Interface

The RichEditControl provides the Mail Merge ribbon tab, which allows end-users to insert merge fields, toggle field codes and results and view the merged data. Refer to the How to: Create the RichEditControl with a Ribbon UI topic for details on how to provide the ribbon UI for the RichEditControl.