We usually add merge field in print pages and user GUI pages in layout mode. And after putting all the formatting to the merge field it becomes very long in design page. How do I shorten the length of merge field? with the existing font size and color formatting.
The following two lines give you the same out-put in your browse mode:
Order State/County: <<order_STATES__StateName::State_xt>> |<<order_STATES__StateName::County_xt>>
Here in 2nd line it is taking less space than 1st line so that you can put other objects after this merge fields with out overlap. The one line tip is do the formatting and set the font size only to the 1st opening and last closing bracket ( < > ) and then shorten the font size of inner content with no formatting also, it will print according to the formatting present for 1st opening and closing bracket so it will reduce merge field object the size in design page.