Paul Liebrand’s Weblog

Welcome to my blog mainly about SharePoint

Office 2007 and Mail Merge with SharePoint

I have been working with Microsoft Premier support on an issue around performing a mail merge with a Word document and Excel document stored in a SharePoint (WSS 3.0 or MOSS 2007) team site.

According premier support, they are unable to 100% duplicate my issue. However, I am convinced this is a problem.  I have conducted this test in a number of environments and configurations and always land up with the same result.

So I am going to outline the issue here, and then ask for feedback from the community to see how many others are / are not experiencing it.

Setup

  1. Created a default Team Site
  2. Created an Excel document with two data fields (First Name and Last Name) and some dummy data that will be used for mail merge.
  3. Created a blank Word document

Steps

  1. Edit the blank Word Document
  2. Click Mailings
  3. Click Select Recipients and Use existing list
  4. For the filename, type http://sharepointsite and hit enter
  5. Navigate to the Excel document, select it, and click Open

I get presented with the following error message:

image

Other Tests

Please can anyone else in the SharePoint community confirm or deny that this is also happening to them?

UPDATE 10/24/2007

I worked with a new guy from Microsoft today regarding this issue and apparently mail merge does not support HTTP. He also told me not to expect it to get fixed in Office 2007 and they are going to try getting mail merge over HTTP implemented in the next version (no guarantee’s).

I am still working with the gentlemen on another workaround that used to work awhile ago and I will provide an update on that when I know more.

UPDATE 11/1/2007

We reached several dead ends on this issue.  Basically, the only way to do a mail merge with a document stored in a SharePoint site is to either access the file directly via UNC, or through a mapped network drive to the SharePoint site. The engineer told me that he has requested that this be made as an enhancement to a future version of Office.

Advertisements

November 29, 2007 - Posted by | SharePoint

11 Comments »

  1. Hello All,

    I’ve this problem with my collegue at work who wants to keep 2 documents on Sharepoint. One is .XLS and is the data source and one is word. When he had those 2 documents on his hdd the source was working fine. When he moved the WOrd document to Sharepoint it was still working fine for him but not for other people. So we uploaded the .XLS file to sharepoint aswell and renamed the XLS file on his computer (so we knew it would work from share and not locally).

    I tried pointing to file on sharepoint (changing the source from LOCAL TO UNC PATH) serveral times but and in the end i ended up trying:
    * UNC directly to the file opens it successfully (i.e.:\\sharepointsite\Shared Documents\Data.xlsx)

    And it worked fine. However when i saved and closed document and reopen word again i always get prompted for the data source. It always tries to point to LOCAL source where the file first existed, it never saves the location of UNC path. If i enter the uncpath again it works fine but it works until i close the doc. Anyone can help with this?

    Comment by MadBoy | June 3, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks so much for the post! We had the same errors.

    I had a team attempting to use the Mail Merge wizard & create a mail list on the fly. This posed a number of problems. First I had to unblock the .mdb file type on our farm by following the instructions on Sean’s Blog: http://geekswithblogs.net/seanfao/archive/2007/11/12/116814.aspx.

    Then I created a mapped drive to the site ie. http://Moss2007/Site (left off the /default.aspx as it didn’t seem to like it). Now mail merge works like a dream! The team simply saves & retreives the source files from the mapped drive.

    Thanks for the great workaround idea Paul. 🙂

    Comment by Lisa E | July 8, 2008 | Reply

  3. Quick update…
    Apparently .mdb files are quirky on Moss 2007 so we are using the new Office 2007 version for both the Word doc & the Access Database. The .accdb file extension is already enabled so you won’t have to hassle with unblocking .mdb as I posted above. 🙂

    Also just want to clarify that we did not use “network places”, we actually mapped a drive using “My Computer” > Tools > Map Network Drive. That is the trick to making it all work.

    Comment by Lisa E | July 10, 2008 | Reply

  4. We opted not to use the mapped drive option because we have so many different users who go to so many different places that it would not work in our environment. However, we do use it if people REALLY need to use this functionality. I am glad you found this useful.

    Comment by liebrand | July 10, 2008 | Reply

  5. In our company we are having the same problem. We need to share a xls file and a word document to print several notes via mail merge. We share this information via the company’s intranet for 4 different provinces and each province needs to print thier client’s notes. We had to send via mail the 2 archives for each province’s responsable cause I wasn´t able to mail merge via Sharepoint…I am dissapointed with this.
    Gretings for all!

    Comment by Miguel Gomez | March 17, 2009 | Reply

  6. There are already Web Parts developed for this which will save you all the hassle

    Comment by Matthew Gordon | April 2, 2009 | Reply

  7. Best to contact Link Software or me

    Comment by Matthew Gordon | April 2, 2009 | Reply

  8. Matthew,

    Thank you for letting us know about your web part. However, I still think 99% of the people are trying to mail merge between an Excel / Word document stored in SharePoint, not with a list of SharePoint data.

    I could be wrong, but it appears that your web parts mail merge from SharePoint lists in Office documents.

    Thanks,

    Paul Liebrand

    Comment by liebrand | April 2, 2009 | Reply

  9. aha! thank you for the mapping work around – that fixed it!

    Comment by auschick | July 13, 2009 | Reply

  10. Thanks for this; another quirky Microsoft product….

    Comment by Dan | September 8, 2009 | Reply

  11. Did this ever get resolved in later patches of Office 2007? I still have the problem, do not want to use mapped drives and just find it inconvienent.

    Comment by Art | April 28, 2010 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: