Microsoft Word 2007 brings some changes to how Mail Merge works. On top of this, Windows XP Service Pack 2 and Service Pack 3 change some settings that effect mail merges that depend on Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE). By default, Word 2007 also turns off the ability to connect to documents that are on a server. This document will walk you through the steps you need to make your old mail merge procedures work in Office 2007.
Choosing a Communication Protocol
Mail merges usually consist of two documents, an Excel spreadsheet or Access database, and a Word document. When you initiate a merge, Word needs a way to communicate with Excel or Access, so that it can request and receive the data from the file containing your merge data. There are two main protocols that can be used for this communication: DDE and Object Linking and Embedding (OLE).
DDE is an older technology that trasfers the data in a text format; most mail merges that we see on campus are set up to use DDE to transfer. OLE is a newer technology that uses a binary format to communicate. There are trade-offs with each technology, and unfortunately you need to understand them before you do your mail merge.
Enabling Communication with a Document on a Sever
If your merge data is not on your local hard drive (for instance, if it's on newmisserver), you must tell Word that you "trust" the location where it resides. This is true for both DDE and OLE connections. You do this through the Trust Center:
The links to the left detail what you need to know to make an OLE or DDE mail merge successful in Word 2007.
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