Excel mailmerge to Word changing TEXT to DATE format

Greetings all,

I have an excel file that I am using as the data source for a mail merge document.  One column is labeled SiteSurvey and it contains a date formatted as TEXT which has data such “11-15 September 2006”  “29 Oct – 4 Nov 2006” and so on.

When I add this field to the word document it only displays as 12:00:00 AM.  I gather that either word or excel is seeing this as a formula date field rather than a text field and is trying to convert it.  I don’t want it to convert anything I just want the straight text ported over.  Considering that it's formatted as TEXT in Excel I suspect Word is the culprit.

I’ve looked through the other solutions here relating to Excel/Word date problems and don’t see anything that relates.  I am using Office 2003/SP2 and everything has been updated/patched/hotfixed appropriately.  

Any help, advice, or ideas would be welcome. I have 130 of these documents to merge/create by yesterday so I'm a little pressed for time - thus the 500 points offered.


Who is Participating?
DarthModConnect With a Mentor Commented:
PAQd, 500 points refunded.

CS Moderator
mullinsbcAuthor Commented:
Thanks Glenn.  I had seen that earlier in my search but it wasn't helpful.

I just found the answer though and came here to post what I found.


The fix was under the "Use Dynamic Data Exchange."  Its a bit clunky because I now have to confirm a data conversion everytime I want to use that excel file, but at least it works.

Free Tool: ZipGrep

ZipGrep is a utility that can list and search zip (.war, .ear, .jar, etc) archives for text patterns, without the need to extract the archive's contents.

One of a set of tools we're offering as a way to say thank you for being a part of the community.

I can  only reproduce that problem if the field is unnecessarily formatted with a date switch, like

{ MERGEFIELD "daterange" \@ "hh:mm:ss" }

(Field code display can be toggeled on and off weith Alt + F9)
mullinsbcAuthor Commented:
Mine was only { MERGEFIELD "SiteSurvey" } with nothing else.
Didn't see your penultimate post.

DDE was the old default and ODBC is the new default. DDE copies what you see, rather than the underlying values, though simple text should appear the same with either method.

You can ask for a points refund in the Support area.
mullinsbcAuthor Commented:
True, text is text is text and it should port over with no problems.  I take some measure of comfort in knowing that I'm not the only one with the issue - Microsoft posted a work around for it so I reckon that the problem has been known for a while.  The down side is - Microsoft posted a work around for it so I reckon that the problem has been known for a while.  :-)

Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.