When you work with a document and you try to open a Microsoft Excel file with Microsoft Query, you may receive the following error message:

This data source contains no visible tables.


This issue occurs because the ODBC driver used to connect to the data source perceives the worksheets in your Excel workbook as system tables and does not display them. System tables are objects in database files that are not displayed by default.


To work around this issue, follow these steps:

  1. Start Microsoft Word, and then open your document.

  2. In Word Microsoft 2002, point to Letters & Mailings on the Tools menu, , and then click Mail Merge Wizard.

    In Microsoft Office Word 2003, point to Letters & Mailings on the Tools menu, and then click Mail Merge.

    In Microsoft Office Word 2007, click Start Mail Merge in the Start Mail Merge group on the Mailings tab. Then, click Step by Step Mail Merge Wizard.

  3. Click Letters, and then click Next.

  4. Click Use Current Document and click Next.

  5. Click Use an Existing List, and then click Browse.

  6. In the Select Data Source dialog box, on the Tools menu, click MSQuery. Note that Microsoft Query starts and the Choose Data Source dialog box is displayed.

  7. Click to select Excel Files, and then click OK.

  8. In the Select Workbook dialog box, browse to your Excel file and click OK.

    Note that you receive the error message listed in the Symptoms section of this article.

  9. Click OK. In the Query Wizard - Choose Columns dialog box, and then click Options.

  10. In the Table Options dialog box, click to select the System Tables check box, and then click OK.

    Note that now you can see and select individual worksheets in your Excel data source.


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

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