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If you specify a range when you attach a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet as a mail merge data source using dynamic data exchange (DDE), the following error messages may occur
This task is taking longer than expected.
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Word could not re-establish a DDE connection to Microsoft Excel to complete the current task.
Case 1: Selecting Ignore Other ApplicationsThis error occurs if the Ignore Other Applications check box in Microsoft Excel is selected. To locate this option in Microsoft Excel, click Options on the Tools menu, and then click the General tab.
Case 2: Using a Colon to Specify a Range of CellsThis error also occurs if you use a colon to specify a range of cells. For example, if you specify a range by typing "A1:G6" or "R1C1:R6C7" in the Microsoft Excel dialog box that appears after you select a spreadsheet, this error occurs. If you use a different separator (such as a comma, period, or semicolon) the data source opens as expected.
Case 1: Selecting Ignore Other ApplicationsIn Microsoft Excel, clear the Ignore Other Applications check box and use a name to define the range of data you want to use as the mail merge data source. In Word, when the Microsoft Excel dialog box appears, select that name in the Named or Cell Range list. This method works whether you open the spreadsheet using DDE or the Microsoft Excel converter.
Case 2: Using a colon to specify a range of cellsOn the Tools menu, click Mail Merge, click the Get Data button, and click Open Data Source. Ensure that the Select Method check box is selected. When Word prompts you to confirm the data source, select Microsoft Excel Worksheet Via Converter (*.xls) from the Open Data Source list. When you use the converter, the error does not occur, even if you specify a range using a colon as the separator.
Word Help contains incorrect information in the Microsoft Excel Dialog Box Help topic. This Help topic states the following:
Typing the row and column references will not produce the results you expect.
Select a named range of cells or type the row and column references you want to use from the worksheet. For example, A1:C5 includes the information in cells A1 through C5.
Article ID: 196952 - Last Review: October 26, 2013 - Revision: 2.0