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  1. #1
    Silver Lounger
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    Hi Loungers,

    A strange occurrence using mail merge on a PC with both Office 2007 and 2003. And more strangely, it seems to have resolved itself (which I don't necessarily count as a good thing).

    I teach classes in a local college. When I return a test, I give students a status report that allows them to see how they're doing. This report is generated from a mail-merge directory (a Word doc basically consisting of a table to lay out all the info) using the Excel data base where all student grades are kept. Because there are several sheets in the file containing info for the status report, I put everything together in a sheet called "Grade Record DB". That sheet has a header row, cols for the various pieces of info and rows for each student. The entire range for the DB is given the name grade_DB and it is this name that is specified as the part of the Excel file for the mail merge to use.

    In this DB, there are fields/cols like Name, Class, Semester, Status, ... that are text fields (not formatted that way but used that way). There are also fields/cols that are used purely numerically like quiz average, test1 (score), days absent, etc.

    My old PC was just "retired" about a month ago. Up until that time, I was generating the status report on that computer. It ran just Office 2003. No problems.

    The new semester (summer) started about 2 weeks ago and I just gave a test that was to be returned. So I had to generate status reports. Everything else seemed to be working fine on the new PC, so I was ready to generate the status reports on the new PC. It has both Office 2003 and 2007 but I hardly use 2007 (a long story and the subject of another thread of about 3 months ago; the dual installation may not have been done correctly but the issues raised at that time certainly did not seem related), so I went into 2003 to generate the reports.

    Everything started out OK in terms of Word asking me for the source. But there was a problem right there. Word gave me the warning about SQL getting data that might be harmful. I seem to recall that in this msg box I could also specify a source (new semester = new file, so need a new source). I didn't have that in the msg box (maybe my memory is playing tricks). An annoyance but not a show stopper: I know I can change the source in Word, so I did that. Now Word is showing me a status report for one of my students. It has his name, the class name and all the other "text" fields ok.

    But all the numeric fields are 0! When I checked the Excel source, that was NOT the case - the fields there looked as they should.

    I figured maybe this is because this is just a sample even tho I didn't recall that to be the case from my old PC. So I moved forward in the merge process to merge to a new document. All the numeric fields are still 0 (and all text fields are OK) for ALL students. I tried several things but nothing worked. I even tried to do the process using Word 2007. It seemed a little bit unclear how to start with existing files (the main document and the source; starting anew seemed straight forward) but I finally got beyond that. But the table and page margins seemed messed up so I didn't pursue it; time was running short and I had to leave for school.

    So fired up the old PC and everything worked fine - just in the past.

    Today, I decided to try an expriment. Turned on the new PC, opened the Word document (it already had been saved with the new source), tried to add a text field (some fields from the DB don't come into the status report but were put there strictly for use in Excel bcs it made sense; but they do show as available fields in Word so I added one of them).

    The numeric fields are now ALL numeric - just as they should be. Go all the way to the end of the process by creating a new doc. EVERYTHING IS GOOD; just like on the old PC.

    1. Any ideas of what the problem was yesterday?
    2. Any ideas of how things resolved themselves (the new PC was shut down and booted up this morning)? I'm trying to avoid surprises the next time around and eventually get rid of the old PC.

    TIA.

    Fred

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
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    My guess is that there was some confusion between 2003 and 2007, and opening 2007 to try the merge cleared up some issues with the data source definition for 2003 - but that is strictly a guess at this point. If it happens again, you can view the data in the record selection grid in Word and see if the data is being seen correctly by Word. Systems with two versions of Office often have weird things happen - my preference is to run VirtualPC where I need different versions on the same PC.
    Wendell

  3. #3
    Silver Lounger
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    Wendell

    Thks for the guess - good as any at this point.

    But your suggestion of checking the record selection grid is a good one - didn't think of it at the time. Since I tried running the merge on the new PC several times before giving up, I could have checked the grid or even backed up to that step in the merge process.

    Fred

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