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  1. #1
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    Mail Merge (Access97 sr2)

    Can anyone tell me why a mail merge between word and access, that I have been doing for years with a DDE connection would suddenly require a ODBC connection???

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    Re: Mail Merge (Access97 sr2)

    Mail merge can use either DDE or ODBC. How do you initiate the mail merge? From Word or from Access, and interactively or in code?

    If interactively, if you check "Confirm Conversion at Open" in the General tab of Word's Tools | Options... dialog, you will be prompted to select a method to connect to Access.

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    Re: Mail Merge (Access97 sr2)

    I guess what I really need to know if why a I was alway able to do mail merges using DDE connections and now it requires me to use a ODBC connection. Do you think something may have changed in my PC, I am on a network?

    Thanks
    Cathy

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    Re: Mail Merge (Access97 sr2)

    I don't see why mail merge would require ODBC. It should be possible both with DDE and with ODBC. Have you tried setting the Confirm Conversion at Open option?

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    Re: Mail Merge (Access97 sr2)

    No I tried that and it still does not work. I get the message "Word cannot re-establish a DDE connection to Microsoft Access to complete the current task".

    We can use the ODBC connection the only problem is you can only choose tables for your data source not queries. Again this is workable. It is just driving me crazy that it worked for years and now it is causing me a problem. I had my tech people down and they are stumped, but sometimes it does not take much to do that!!

    I will just tell my users to use the ODBC method for connection.

    Thanks

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    Re: Mail Merge (Access97 sr2)

    Have you set a different Application Title for your database in Tools | Startup...? That causes problems for DDE.
    And yes, you CAN use queries with ODBC too. Click Options... in the Select Table dialog, and check Views.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Mail Merge (Access97 sr2)

    Thanks,
    I still can't get DDE to work but I can now use the queries for ODBC and that is good enough.

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    Re: Mail Merge (Access97 sr2)

    I always use ODBC; in my experience it is faster than DDE.
    The only downside is that you can't use Access-specific and user-defined functions in queries for mail merge, since ODBC doesn't know about these.

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    Re: Mail Merge (Access97 sr2)

    In addition to Hans' comments, you can't use parameter queries with ODBC, so if you are wishing to do that sort of thing, the only option is to use either a make-table or an append query before you do the merge. If this is being done with Automation, that can be a real pain. Out of curiosity, have you tried to do a new word merge from scratch and had it not allow DDE?
    Wendell

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    Re: Mail Merge (Access97 sr2)

    Wendall,
    Yes we created a new mail merge. It has me stumped, but I am going to use ODBC because it works. Do you know the technical differences between DDE and ODBC? I don't understand that completely, maybe if I did I could figure this out.
    Cathy

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    Re: Mail Merge (Access97 sr2)

    DDE is an old mechanism for talking from one application to another, and it passes data and packets back and forth, which makes it pretty fragile. ODBC on the other hand is a technique for getting data out of a database, and drivers for a number of different database engines (and other data repositories) exist. You install the ODBC driver for the data source, and then you use that connection technique.

    I've never seen DDE actually refuse to work (in Access 97), though it does get fragile, and you do get errors on existing DDE merges when databases get moved, or when the application is named something other than "Microsoft Access" but you can usually get those to work if you persist (Mail Merge in Word 2002 is another matter - on many versions of Windows, you have to jump through lots of hoops if you want to use DDE). We have a brief tutorial on our web site that explores Mail Merges, and includes links to a number of helpful MS Knowledge Base articles on the subject of Mail Merges that you might find useful.

    BTW, I don't believe you ever answered Hans' questions about how the mail merge is being done. Is it:<UL><LI>Initiated from Word or from Access?
    <LI>Done using the user interface, or is it started using VBA and Automation?[/list]
    Wendell

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    Re: Mail Merge (Access97 sr2)

    Thanks for all of your information. We initiate the mail merge in Word, using the merge tools and open the data source, which is an access database table, from word.
    Our support people do this mass mailing about twice a year using the same access tables but different word documents. Our network is growing very quickly, maybe that has something to do with the problem. It works fine using ODBC so I will keep it that way. It just drives me nuts when I can't figure out why something that was working at one time no longer works.

    Again, thanks for all your help.

    Cathy

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