A filter cannot be removed from the "Mail Merge Recipients" records in Word

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This article was previously published under Q286879
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When you attempt to change the filter in the Mail Merge Recipients dialog box in Word, the columns that you filtered previously do not appear to be filtered (for example, the arrow is black, not blue). When you attempt to remove the filter by clicking All in the filter list, the hidden records are not displayed.

When you click any column header to sort the records by that column, nothing happens.
This behavior can occur when the following conditions are true:
  • The name of the column to which you applied filtering criteria contains spaces.
  • The data source is a Microsoft Outlook Contacts folder, a Microsoft Access database, or a Microsoft Excel workbook.
This behavior does not occur if the data source is another Word document (.doc), a text file (.txt), or a Microsoft SQL Server database.

Note In some cases, Word is able to replace the spaces in field names with an underscore (for example: "Zip Code" should become "Zip_Code") to avoid this problem.

If the data source is a Contacts folder

To retrieve the filtered records, re-select the recipients from your data source. To re-select your data source, follow these steps: To retrieve the filtered records, re-select the recipients from your data source.
  1. In the Mail Merge task pane, click Previous until you are on Step 3 of 6 of the wizard.
  2. Under Select recipients, click Select from Outlook contacts, and then click Choose Contacts Folder.
  3. In the Choose Profile dialog box, select the profile that you want to use, and then click OK.

    NOTE: The Choose Profile dialog box only appears if your profile is not already loaded (for example, if you have not yet started Microsoft Outlook).
  4. In the Select Contact List folder dialog box, click Contacts, and then click OK.
    Note In Word 2007, this is the Select Contacts dialog box.

If the data source is an Access database or an Excel workbook

Modify the data source column header that contains spaces.

You may be able to resolve the issue by modifying the column header in your data source so that the column header does not contain spaces.

For example, if a column header is named Zip Code, you may be able to resolve the issue by naming the column header Zip_Code.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed in the "Applies to" section.
WD2002 WD2007

Article ID: 286879 - Last Review: 01/12/2015 17:32:48 - Revision: 3.2

  • Microsoft Office Word 2007
  • Microsoft Office Word 2003
  • Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition
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