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  1. #1
    New Lounger
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    DDE Connection (97)

    I'm trying to do a large mail merge in Word 97. After setting up several related merges successfully and attempting to do one more, I am now getting a message that states, "Could not reestablish a DDE connection to Microsoft Excel to complete current task." Can anyone tell me what I need to do? I'm running Office 97 on Win XP Pro.

    Bob in Seattle

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: DDE Connection (97)

    See if one of the other methods of connecting to Excel works - tick the "Select method" check box in the Open Data Source" dialog (step 2 of the mail merge helper). Apart from DDE, you can also use the spreadsheet converter or ODBC.

  3. #3
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: DDE Connection (97)

    Hi Bob:
    I've ocassionally gotten this message on a Win98 machine with Word 2000 when I keep changing options, data sources, & type of main document. I have found that shutting everything down, deleting temp files, & restarting everything seems to work.

  4. #4
    New Lounger
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    Re: DDE Connection (97)

    Thanks, Hans and Phil. I clicked on "Select method" and tried both other methods. The spreadsheet converter came closest to working. However, it didn't pick up the multiple hard returns that were in each cell, preferring to merge all the data in each cell together. Continuing with DDE attempts, I tried pasting to a new spreadsheet. I also tried completely deleting the first row and reproducing it. All to no avail.

    A friend suggested that DDE merges with large spreadsheets (this one has > 2000 records) can be problematic. He suggested -- and I did this -- copying the contents to Word and converting the data to a table. With the Word file as the data file, the merge came off without a hitch. Two smaller merges with Excel data files, each with about 500 records, worked just fine with DDE. Go figure!

    Anyway, thanks for your suggestions.

    Bob in Seattle

  5. #5
    Super Moderator
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    Re: DDE Connection (97)

    DDE is both a very old technology, and also very fragile - but it works if somewhat slowly most of the time. And there are some things that just seem to work best with DDE.
    Wendell

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