Mail Merge - Word Does not remember data source link

Word does not seem to remember the Excel data source path each time.  Is there a way to lock the data source path?
bookbinder75Asked:
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liguruCommented:
Why would you want to lock the data?  Isn't it going to change? Aren't you going to update the info?
 If not,  have you tried saving  the merge?  Once you Save it, that mail merge product (let's say labels) should save along with the data.
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bookbinder75Author Commented:
What I am trying to save is the path to the mail merge data (Excel spreadsheet) that is updated each time.  I am not trying to lock the data just the path to the data.
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dave608Commented:
The path to the data source (in your case, your spreadsheet) IS automatically saved with the Word document.  You say that it does not "seem" to be saved.  What problems are you getting?
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patrickabCommented:
bookbinder75,

You need to be clear that there are two elements to what is produced and or saved. They are:

1. The merged output. That can be just output and used or it can be saved as a file for later use. The output will obviously change if the source data changes or the usage change e.g. same list of data used for letters as opposed to labels for those letters. The merged output doesn't save the merge procedure.

2. The merge procedure. If you save the merge procedure it will save the source and applications for the merge. This allows you to update the source data and then just re-run the merge. However the source data file name must not be changed from the original run. In fact you can only change the source data and nothing else if you want to re-run the procedure again. The procedure is not automatically saved - you will need to do that at the appropriate stage of the merge. Personally I don't bother to save the procedure as I have always found it an awkward process and I somehow never get it quite right. So I just redo the mailmerge - it takes me about 2 minutes now.

Hope that helps

Patrick
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liguruCommented:
So, you are looking for an easy way to update your data sheet and then have that info be updated automatically in your merged product.  
To say it clearly--Unfortunately I do not know of any way to lock the path to the data and then have it update automatically without running the merge again.
However, if you are using an Excel spreadsheet, you can move that spreadsheet into My Documents/My Data Sources folder for easy finding when running the merge.
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patrickabCommented:
bookbinder75,

If you have saved the routine then you will be able to run it whenever you want - it will 'remember' the path and filename of the data source - so don't move it or rename it. However you can update the data in the source data file.

Merges are batch processes so they are not 'live' all the time. They are uptodate when you run them - and only when you run them.

Patrick
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dave608Commented:
patrickab,

I think we might be confusing bookbinder75 - or perhaps he's confusing us!  My interpretation of his question is that he is wanting to repeatedly run the merge but each time he opens the master document he has to reconnect the data source.  The path has not been saved.  Bookbinder75, can you please confirm that that is your problem?

Dave
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patrickabCommented:
Dave,

There is no confusion. The master document, by which I assume you mean the document produced by the merge process, is not linked to anything. I don't know how much clearer it can be.

If he is wanting to repeatedly run the merge then he must save the merge process before he reaches the end of the merge. It's no use saving the finished document and then complaining that it isn't linked to the source data. It's too late by then as the final document is NOT linked to the source data.

Patrick
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dave608Commented:
Patrick,
We (or perhaps, I) have a terminology problem here.  Assume you create a mailmerge document - say, envelopes.doc - and link it to your data source - say an Access Database, addresses.mdb -, run the mailmerge to print your envelopes, and then save envelopes.doc.  Some time later, you add addresses to your database, and then open envelopes.doc again.  Envelopes.doc will still know where to find addresses.mdb.  Running mailmerge once again will print an envelope run than includes the changes you have made.
My understanding of bookbinder's problem is that if he reopens envelopes.doc on a second or subsequent occasion, envelopes.doc cannot find its data source and he has to manually "re-link" it.  

Dave
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patrickabCommented:
Dave,

You do indeed have a terminology problem. The reason you have a problem is that you are not confining yourself to the question. The question is only about Word and Excel mailmerges and not about Access or other dB applications. Thus the significant confusion. It does not work 'live' with Word and Excel - as I've said already it's a batch process with a final output - that's it.

Hope that clears things up a bit.

Patrick
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dave608Commented:
Patrick,

I'm sure you know much more about Word than I do, but I can assure you that you can substitute "Excel spreadsheet"  and "addresses.xls" wherever "Access database" and "addresses.dbf" appear in my previous comment, and my statements remain true.  [I've just checked to make absolutely sure! :-) ]

In essence, I agreed with the first part of paragraph 2 in your very first comment.  It's the following bit I have a problem with:

"The procedure is not automatically saved - you will need to do that at the appropriate stage of the merge. Personally I don't bother to save the procedure as I have always found it an awkward process and I somehow never get it quite right."

Again, I agree that it is not "automatically"saved, but all you have to do is save the configured mailmerge document (envelopes.doc in my example above).  Hardly an awkward process as only one button click is required.  What am I missing?

Regards,

Dave


 
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patrickabCommented:
Dave,

I expect you're right. Perhaps it isn't that hard to save the routine.

Patrick
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dave608Commented:
Unless bookbinder75 tells us whether or not he is saving the Word document in which he constructed the mailmerge, I don't think we can go any further.

Dave
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patrickabCommented:
Agreed

Patrick
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bookbinder75Author Commented:
Dave608 is correct.  

I think we might be confusing bookbinder75 - or perhaps he's confusing us!  My interpretation of his question is that he is wanting to repeatedly run the merge but each time he opens the master document he has to reconnect the data source.  The path has not been saved.  Bookbinder75, can you please confirm that that is your problem?

This is what my problem is.  I update and save the excel spreadsheet and then go to the word document.  This is just a data document with a form letter.  I open the letter and the path is not always still there.  I have to relink to my source document.  I have save the word file several times with the link but it does not allways stay attached.
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