This article was previously published under Q286859
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When you attach an existing data source to your main merge document, and then click the Mail Merge Recipients command on the Mail Merge toolbar, Microsoft Word quits unexpectedly. You may also receive the following error message:
Microsoft Word has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
To view the details of the error signature, click the link in To see what data this error report contains,click here in the error dialog box. The following error signature appears:
This message also appears when you are using the Mail Merge Wizard.
If your mail-merge data source contains more than 294 fields or columns, Microsoft Word quits unexpectedly when the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box opens.
To work around this behavior, do one of the following:
Reduce the number of fields in your data source to 294 or fewer.-or-
Do not click the Mail Merge Recipients command on the Mail Merge toolbar.-or-
Do not use the Mail Merge Wizard. Use the merge commands on the Mail Merge toolbar, but do not click the Mail Merge Recipients command.
You can customize your Mail Merge toolbar to remove the Mail Merge Recipients command. To do this, follow these steps:
On the View menu, point to Toolbars, and then click Customize.
On the Mail Merge toolbar, click and drag the Mail Merge Recipients command button off the toolbar.
In the Customize dialog box, click Close.
NOTE: If you remove the Mail Merge Recipients button from the Mail Merge toolbar, you cannot sort or filter your data.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.
For more information about data sources you can use in mail-merge operations, click Microsoft Word Help on the Help menu, type data sources in the Office Assistant or the Answer Wizard, and then click Search to view the topics returned.