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Kathy Kathy is offline
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Posts: 146
Default mail merge from excel data source

I have mailing lists in excel spread sheets, that are updated monthly. I
mail merge using word for either labels or letters. On occassion, when I
browse to choose an existing list, the mail merge recipitents table will come
up. Other times I get a table that I cannot choose my listing. The window
heading is "select a table." It wants me to choose a workbook
(c:/documents.....) but when I click on one, the cancel button highlights.
Sometimes I can get by this glitch by copying data into a listing that I know
works, but is there some option that needs to be addresses, a sharing glitch
or something.
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Peter Jamieson Peter Jamieson is offline
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Posts: 4,582
Default mail merge from excel data source

1. Which version of Word are you using?

2. Word has several different ways to open an Excel file for use as a data
source. Word 2002 and later will typically /try/ to open the data source
using something called OLE DB. If that fails (and I do not know why it is
failing in this case),
a. you /might/ see a dialog box titled Data Link Properties
b. Word will try to open the workbook using an older method called ODBC,
which displays a dialog box like the one you describe.
c. in that ODBC dialog box, the filename presented in the "workbook"
dropdown is not necessarily the one you chose in the "Select Data Source"
dialog box. Unfortunately, if the full path name of the file is long, there
is no way to see it in the dropdown so it is difficult to be sure that you
have selected the correct file. The only way I know to be sure is to ensure
that the part of the file's path name that you /can/ see is enough to
identify the individual file.
d. You may not see /any/ worksheets in the list of tables until you click
the Options button and select all four option checkboxes, then press OK.

That should at least allow you to get connected. If not, and the worksheet
or range you want to connect to is the first one in the workbook, you can
check Word Tools|Options|General|Confirm conversions at open, go through the
connection process again, and try the DDE option when it is offered. This is
an even older connection method that has other limitations (e.g. it cannto
read "Unicode" characters that are non-ANSI) but again, it may be enough to
get you going again.

On the whole it would probably be better to try to ensure that these
workbooks open with OLE DB, but as I say I do not know why OLE DB connection
sometimes fails. Some possibilities:
a. If the workbook you're trying to open has a very long path name (e.g. it
is deep in the folder hierarchy and/or has a long file name) you might
encounter problems.
b. sometimes I have found that using Excel Data List|Create List seems to
cause the problem, or Excel Data|Import External Data, but it doesn't
/always/ seem to cause the problem.
c. it's possible that a worksheet that has different numbers of cells
containing data on each row can cause this problem.

Peter Jamieson

"Kathy" wrote in message
...
I have mailing lists in excel spread sheets, that are updated monthly. I
mail merge using word for either labels or letters. On occassion, when I
browse to choose an existing list, the mail merge recipitents table will
come
up. Other times I get a table that I cannot choose my listing. The window
heading is "select a table." It wants me to choose a workbook
(c:/documents.....) but when I click on one, the cancel button highlights.
Sometimes I can get by this glitch by copying data into a listing that I
know
works, but is there some option that needs to be addresses, a sharing
glitch
or something.


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Kathy Kathy is offline
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 146
Default mail merge from excel data source

Thank you for answering. I have an appointment with a computer company to
sit with a tech and see what exactly is going on. I am using Office Excel
2003. Your #2.c is exactly the window I am getting. Where can I find the
OLE DB that you refer to, to check on how my workbooks open?
K-

"Peter Jamieson" wrote:

1. Which version of Word are you using?

2. Word has several different ways to open an Excel file for use as a data
source. Word 2002 and later will typically /try/ to open the data source
using something called OLE DB. If that fails (and I do not know why it is
failing in this case),
a. you /might/ see a dialog box titled Data Link Properties
b. Word will try to open the workbook using an older method called ODBC,
which displays a dialog box like the one you describe.
c. in that ODBC dialog box, the filename presented in the "workbook"
dropdown is not necessarily the one you chose in the "Select Data Source"
dialog box. Unfortunately, if the full path name of the file is long, there
is no way to see it in the dropdown so it is difficult to be sure that you
have selected the correct file. The only way I know to be sure is to ensure
that the part of the file's path name that you /can/ see is enough to
identify the individual file.
d. You may not see /any/ worksheets in the list of tables until you click
the Options button and select all four option checkboxes, then press OK.

That should at least allow you to get connected. If not, and the worksheet
or range you want to connect to is the first one in the workbook, you can
check Word Tools|Options|General|Confirm conversions at open, go through the
connection process again, and try the DDE option when it is offered. This is
an even older connection method that has other limitations (e.g. it cannto
read "Unicode" characters that are non-ANSI) but again, it may be enough to
get you going again.

On the whole it would probably be better to try to ensure that these
workbooks open with OLE DB, but as I say I do not know why OLE DB connection
sometimes fails. Some possibilities:
a. If the workbook you're trying to open has a very long path name (e.g. it
is deep in the folder hierarchy and/or has a long file name) you might
encounter problems.
b. sometimes I have found that using Excel Data List|Create List seems to
cause the problem, or Excel Data|Import External Data, but it doesn't
/always/ seem to cause the problem.
c. it's possible that a worksheet that has different numbers of cells
containing data on each row can cause this problem.

Peter Jamieson

"Kathy" wrote in message
...
I have mailing lists in excel spread sheets, that are updated monthly. I
mail merge using word for either labels or letters. On occassion, when I
browse to choose an existing list, the mail merge recipitents table will
come
up. Other times I get a table that I cannot choose my listing. The window
heading is "select a table." It wants me to choose a workbook
(c:/documents.....) but when I click on one, the cancel button highlights.
Sometimes I can get by this glitch by copying data into a listing that I
know
works, but is there some option that needs to be addresses, a sharing
glitch
or something.



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Doug Robbins - Word MVP Doug Robbins - Word MVP is offline
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Posts: 8,832
Default mail merge from excel data source

From the Tools menu, select Options and then go to the General tab and check
the box against the "Confirm conversions at open" item.

Then when you go through the action of attaching the data source to the mail
merge main document, a dialog box will open that allows you to select the
method by which the data source is attached to the mail merge main document.

--
Hope this helps.

Please reply to the newsgroup unless you wish to avail yourself of my
services on a paid consulting basis.

Doug Robbins - Word MVP

"Kathy" wrote in message
...
Thank you for answering. I have an appointment with a computer company to
sit with a tech and see what exactly is going on. I am using Office Excel
2003. Your #2.c is exactly the window I am getting. Where can I find the
OLE DB that you refer to, to check on how my workbooks open?
K-

"Peter Jamieson" wrote:

1. Which version of Word are you using?

2. Word has several different ways to open an Excel file for use as a
data
source. Word 2002 and later will typically /try/ to open the data source
using something called OLE DB. If that fails (and I do not know why it is
failing in this case),
a. you /might/ see a dialog box titled Data Link Properties
b. Word will try to open the workbook using an older method called ODBC,
which displays a dialog box like the one you describe.
c. in that ODBC dialog box, the filename presented in the "workbook"
dropdown is not necessarily the one you chose in the "Select Data Source"
dialog box. Unfortunately, if the full path name of the file is long,
there
is no way to see it in the dropdown so it is difficult to be sure that
you
have selected the correct file. The only way I know to be sure is to
ensure
that the part of the file's path name that you /can/ see is enough to
identify the individual file.
d. You may not see /any/ worksheets in the list of tables until you
click
the Options button and select all four option checkboxes, then press OK.

That should at least allow you to get connected. If not, and the
worksheet
or range you want to connect to is the first one in the workbook, you can
check Word Tools|Options|General|Confirm conversions at open, go through
the
connection process again, and try the DDE option when it is offered. This
is
an even older connection method that has other limitations (e.g. it
cannto
read "Unicode" characters that are non-ANSI) but again, it may be enough
to
get you going again.

On the whole it would probably be better to try to ensure that these
workbooks open with OLE DB, but as I say I do not know why OLE DB
connection
sometimes fails. Some possibilities:
a. If the workbook you're trying to open has a very long path name (e.g.
it
is deep in the folder hierarchy and/or has a long file name) you might
encounter problems.
b. sometimes I have found that using Excel Data List|Create List seems
to
cause the problem, or Excel Data|Import External Data, but it doesn't
/always/ seem to cause the problem.
c. it's possible that a worksheet that has different numbers of cells
containing data on each row can cause this problem.

Peter Jamieson

"Kathy" wrote in message
...
I have mailing lists in excel spread sheets, that are updated monthly.
I
mail merge using word for either labels or letters. On occassion, when
I
browse to choose an existing list, the mail merge recipitents table
will
come
up. Other times I get a table that I cannot choose my listing. The
window
heading is "select a table." It wants me to choose a workbook
(c:/documents.....) but when I click on one, the cancel button
highlights.
Sometimes I can get by this glitch by copying data into a listing that
I
know
works, but is there some option that needs to be addresses, a sharing
glitch
or something.





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