WD97: Word Could Not Re-Establish DDE Connection to MS Excel

This article was previously published under Q196952
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
Symptoms
If you specify a range when you attach a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet as amail merge data source using dynamic data exchange (DDE), the followingerror messages may occur
This task is taking longer than expected.
Do you want to continue waiting?
followed by:
Word could not re-establish a DDE connection to Microsoft Excel to complete the current task.
Cause

Case 1: Selecting Ignore Other Applications

This error occurs if the Ignore Other Applications check box in MicrosoftExcel is selected. To locate this option in Microsoft Excel, click Optionson the Tools menu, and then click the General tab.

Case 2: Using a Colon to Specify a Range of Cells

This error also occurs if you use a colon to specify a range of cells. Forexample, if you specify a range by typing "A1:G6" or "R1C1:R6C7" in theMicrosoft 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.
Workaround

Case 1: Selecting Ignore Other Applications

In Microsoft Excel, clear the Ignore Other Applications check box and usea name to define the range of data you want to use as the mail merge datasource. In Word, when the Microsoft Excel dialog box appears, select thatname in the Named or Cell Range list. This method works whether you openthe spreadsheet using DDE or the Microsoft Excel converter.

Case 2: Using a colon to specify a range of cells

On the Tools menu, click Mail Merge, click the Get Data button, and clickOpen Data Source. Ensure that the Select Method check box is selected.When Word prompts you to confirm the data source, select Microsoft ExcelWorksheet Via Converter (*.xls) from the Open Data Source list. When youuse the converter, the error does not occur, even if you specify a rangeusing a colon as the separator.
More information
Word Help contains incorrect information in the Microsoft Excel Dialog BoxHelp topic. This Help topic states the following:
   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.				
Typing the row and column references will not produce the results youexpect.
mail DDE delimiter winword cell range separator colon comma semicolon semi-colon officeinterop excel97 merge mailmerge excel reestablish
Properties

Article ID: 196952 - Last Review: 10/26/2013 15:28:00 - Revision: 2.0

  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 5.0 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 95 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • kbnosurvey kbarchive kbmerge kbprb KB196952
Feedback