Skip to main content

Fixing broken offer templates

  • SmartRecruit


SmartRecruiters' offer letter templating engine supports only plain text merge fields. Structured merge fields, such as mail merge fields, form fields, or basic input fields supported by Microsoft Word and other proprietary word processors are not compatible with our engine. Before you upload a new or updated template, make sure that the document does not contain any hidden merge, form, or input fields.

If your offer templates have rendering or formatting issues, follow these instructions to check whether the template document contains hidden fields, and remove them.


At first sight, this document looks perfectly fine, as Word displays only plain text fields:

It contains, however, two errors that will prevent it from being properly rendered:image3.png

Detect hidden fields

To identify the hidden fields that cause templating issues in Word documents:

  1. Go to Word Preferences.
  2. Click View settings.
  3. Choose these options:image5.png
    • In the Show in Document selection:
      •  Select the Field codes instead of values option.
      • Select Always from the Field shading list.
    • In the Show Non-Printing Characters section, select All.
  4. Close the Preferences window to return to the document.

After updating your Word Preferences, you should be able to see hidden content and easily distinguish between plain text and structured merge fields.

Resolving hidden field issues

To remove the fields, just delete them. You may need to select and remove accompanying text content along with the field and then retype it manually. It's common that there are hidden characters around the field which should be removed as well.


Follow these instructions to replace the deleted fields with plain-text merge fields.