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Mergin Access file into Word

Posted on 2004-09-06
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Last Modified: 2010-05-19
Over a period of a few years I have merged some 50 Access files into Word for printing. I opened a merge_form.doc and then opened the .mdb data source and used Mail Merge. Recently I was given an .mdb file that was created with a different number of fields and with different names. So now when I go to Microsoft Access box the old merge document is not there but the choices are Switchboard Item or Table 1 and I believe it should now be otherwise. If I click on either of these the Main Document is incorrect, then when I locate the Data Source  .mdb file I want to merge I get a message saying "the merge field used in the main document does not exist in the data source".   I then have a choice to rename the invalid field or replace it with a valid merge field.  After which the error message "merge field was not found in header record of data source" appears.  I want to be able to use this new database of some 2000 records and merge it with Word but it appears I need a new merge_form.doc.  But I am probably in over my head because I don't know how to create that. Any suggestions what I can do now? Don Pierce Albuquerque
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Question by:donpierce
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4 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:will_scarlet7
ID: 11988095
Hi Don,
It might be easier to create a query in your Access database with the same name as the table in your old database that you used as the source for your merge. You would also need to use the query to re-arrange the data (presumably from "Table1" as "Switchboard Items" is a table for controling an access switchboard) int the same format that the other table had. Hopefully that will help you current Main document to be able to read the data from your database without having to reformat/rebuild it.

God bless!
Sam
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Expert Comment

by:dannywareham
ID: 11988371
Alternatively, link the table in your new database to the old database and rename it in the old db.
Then you can use the old db to do all updating/merging.

(variationon a theme, WillScarlet)   :-)
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shanesuebsahakarn earned 2000 total points
ID: 11988732
donpierce,

In addition to the information provided by will_scarlet7 and dannywareham, in order to make your documents work with the new database, once you have selected Table1, go down your document and look where the merge fields are. They should appear in between double <<    >> signs. Delete these, and insert new ones by clicking "Insert Merge field". You'll see the names of the fields in table1. Choose the field that contains the data you want to appear at that point in your merge letter. The document should now work but obviously will no longer work with the old documents, so you might want to make a copy.
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Author Comment

by:donpierce
ID: 11990991
By using the comments from shanesuebsahakarn I was able to delete the merge fields in the old merge document and inserted the new fields thereby creating a new compatible merge document.  As advised I retained the old merge document for future use and now have a new one to work with this form. It pushed my technical envelope to the limit but much to my delight I now have a Word file that I can use for publishing. The only surprise, other than the fact I was able to make it work at all, was the Word file did not retain the columns (table?) but I can fix that with tabs. Thank you kindly for the help.
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