You may receive the "Word was unable to open the data source" error message when you try to mail merge to Word by using an Access parameter query in Microsoft Access

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INTRODUCTION

When you try to mail merge to Microsoft Word 2002 or a later version by using a parameter querty from Microsoft Access 2002 or a later version of Access, you may receive the following error message:
Word was unable to open the data source.

MORE INFORMATION

You receive the error message that is mention in the "Introduction" section because you are trying to mail merge by using Microsoft Open Database Connectivity (ODBC).

The following steps demonstrate the mail merge process. The following steps use a new Word document. However, you can revise the steps to use an existing Word mail merge document. To mail merge with a parameter query, we recommend that you use dynamic data exchange (DDE).

The following steps are general steps that tell you how to mail merge with a parameter query.

Word 2002 or Word 2003

  1. Start Word.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  3. On the General tab, click to select the Confirm conversion at Open check box, and then click OK.

    Note This lets you select the appropriate mail merge method.
  4. Create a new blank document.
  5. On the Tools menu, point to Letters and Mailings, and then click Mail Merge.
  6. In the Mail Merge pane, click one of the following document types under Select document type:
    • Letters
    • E-mail messages
    • Envelopes
    • Labels
    • Directory
    Note The following steps use the Letters document type as an example.
  7. In the Mail Merge pane, click Next Starting document.

    Note The active document becomes the main document.
  8. In the Mail Merge pane, click Next Select recipients.
  9. In the Mail Merge pane, click Browse under Use an existing list.
  10. In the Select Data Source dialog box, click your Access database in the Look in box, and then click Open.
  11. In the Confirm Data Source dialog box, click MS Access Databases via DDE (*.mdb, *.mde), and then click OK.
  12. In the Microsoft Access dialog box, click the Queries tab, and then click your query.
  13. In the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, click OK.
  14. In the Mail Merge pane, click Next Write your letter.
  15. Write your letter, and then add your query data.
  16. In the Mail Merge pane, click Next Preview your letters.

    Note You are supposed to see a new document appear with the data from your query.
  17. In the Mail Merge pane, click Next Complete the merge to continue with the mail merge.

Word 2007

  1. Start Word.
  2. Click the Microsoft Office Button, and then click Word Options.
  3. Click the Advanced tab, click to select the Confirm file format conversion on open check box in the General area, and then click OK.

    Note This option enables you to select the appropriate mail merge method.
  4. Create a new blank document.
  5. On the Mailings tab, click Start Mail Merge, and then click Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard.
  6. In the Mail Merge pane, click one of the following document types under Select document type:
    • Letters
    • E-mail messages
    • Envelopes
    • Labels
    • Directory
    Note The following steps use the Letters document type as an example.
  7. In the Mail Merge pane, click Next Starting document.

    Note The active document becomes the main document.
  8. In the Mail Merge pane, click Next Select recipients.
  9. In the Mail Merge pane, click Browse under Use an existing list.
  10. In the Select Data Source dialog box, click your Access 2007 database file (.accdb), and then click Open.
  11. In the Confirm Data Source dialog box, click the Show all check box, click MS Access Databases via DDE (*.mdb, *.mde), and then click OK.
  12. In the Microsoft Access dialog box, click the Queries tab, and then click your query.
  13. In the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box, click OK.
  14. In the Mail Merge pane, click Next Write your letter.
  15. Write your letter, and then add your query data.
  16. In the Mail Merge pane, click Next Preview your letters.

    Note You expect to see a new document appear with the data from your query.
  17. In the Mail Merge pane, click Next Complete the merge to continue with the mail merge operation.

REFERENCES

For additional information about using an Access connection to Word, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
813989 You receive a Word could not re-establish a DDE connection error message in Word 2003
211193 Queries not available when using Access database
211353 Mail merge stops responding when you use an Access parameter query
214183 How to use mail merge with an Access parameter query in Word 2000

Properties

Article ID: 888697 - Last Review: March 30, 2007 - Revision: 2.2
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Office Access 2007
  • Microsoft Office Access 2003
  • Microsoft Access 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Office Word 2007
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
  • Microsoft Word 2002
Keywords: 
kbmerge kberrmsg kbdatabase kbhowto KB888697

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