Attaching a large comma-separated variable file as a mail merge data source is very slow

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Article ID: 286901 - View products that this article applies to.
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When you use a comma-separated variable (CSV) file as the data source for a mail merge in Microsoft Word, you find that an inordinate amount of time is required for Word to attach and process the data.


To work around this behavior, import the CSV data file into a Microsoft Excel worksheet, and then use the worksheet file as the data source for your mail merge. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Start Excel. On the File menu, click Open.
  2. In the Files of type list, select Text Files (*.prn; *.txt; *.csv).
  3. Browse to select the CSV file that contains the mail merge data, and then click Open.
  4. On the File menu, click Save As.
  5. In the Save As dialog box, change the Files of type box to Microsoft Excel Workbook (*.xls), and then click Save.
  6. Exit Excel.
You can now use the Excel workbook instead of the text file as the data source for the mail merge. If you have a large data source file, the extra time taken to convert it to an Excel worksheet is more than compensated by the time saved in attaching the data file in the Word mail merge.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.


Article ID: 286901 - Last Review: January 31, 2007 - Revision: 2.2
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
  • Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition
kbbug kbmerge kbnofix KB286901

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