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Microsoft KB Archive/171596

From BetaArchive Wiki

Article ID: 171596

Article Last Modified on 1/20/2007


  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q171596


When you perform a mail merge in Microsoft Word 97 using a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet as your data source using a dynamic data exchange (DDE) connection, you may receive the following error message:

This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down. If the problem persists, contact the program vendor.

When you click Details, you receive the following message:

WINWORD caused an invalid page fault in module WINWORD.EXE at <address>


This problem occurs when all of the following conditions are true:

  • You are creating a mail merge document that combines both a form letter and an envelope.


  • You are using an Excel spreadsheet as your mail merge data source, and select "MS Excel Worksheets via DDE (*.xls)" as the data source.


  • You click Cancel on the Envelopes and Labels dialog box, and then click Envelopes and Labels on the Tools menu a second time.


To work around this problem, use any of the following methods.

Method 1: Using the DDE Connection

  1. Before clicking Envelopes and Labels on the Tools menu, select the mail merge fields in the document that you also want to be added to the Envelope.
  2. On the Edit Menu, click Copy.
  3. On the Tools Menu, click Envelopes and Labels.
  4. On the Envelopes tab, press CTRL+V to paste the mail merge fields into the Delivery Address box.
  5. Click Add To Document.
  6. Proceed with the Mail Merge.

Method 2: Use a Connection Method to Excel Other Than DDE

When setting up the mail merge document, select a connection method to Excel other than DDE. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Mail Merge.
  2. Under Data Source, click Get Data, and then click Open Data Source.
  3. Click to select the Select Method check box.
  4. In the Confirm Data Source dialog box, click to select the Show All check box. In the Open Data Source list, select either "Microsoft Excel Worksheet via Converter (*.xls; *.xlw)" or "Microsoft Excel Files via ODBC (*.xls)."

Method 3: Use Separate Mail Merge Documents

Create the form letter and envelope in two different mail merge main documents. Use the same spreadsheet as the data source for both documents.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Microsoft Word 97 for Windows.


For additional information about similar problems using Word and Excel, please see the following articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

113705 Word Could Not Re-Establish DDE Connection to MS Excel

155179 WD: How to Use Microsoft Excel Data Source for Word Mail Merge

Keywords: kbbug kberrmsg kbinterop kbmerge KB171596