Microsoft KB Archive/221178

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Article ID: 221178

Article Last Modified on 1/24/2007


  • Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition

This article was previously published under Q221178


When you create a mail merge main document in Word and then attach the Microsoft Outlook Address Book as a data source, the following error message may appear:

Word was unable to open the data source.

When you close the mail merge main document, the following error message may also appear:

Microsoft Word: Word cannot open the document.
Try one or more of the following

  • On the File menu, click open to open the document
  • Make sure the document has a .Doc extension

(Outlook Address Book)


Organizations having multiple sites, servers, address book views, and other containers can experience this problem due to the extent of hierarchy information retained by the client. This information is cached in the profile and can prevent Word from finding the Outlook contacts information when the profile is searched.

This problem can also be caused when the Outlook Address Book does not contain contacts.


A supported hotfix is now available from Microsoft, but it is only intended to correct the problem that this article describes. Apply it only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem.

To resolve this problem, contact Microsoft Product Support Services to obtain the hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Product Support Services telephone numbers and information about support costs, visit the following Microsoft Web site:

Note In special cases, charges that are ordinarily incurred for support calls may be canceled if a Microsoft Support Professional determines that a specific update will resolve your problem. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for the specific update in question.


If the fix mentioned above is not available, the following methods may allow you to perform the mail merge with your Outlook Address Book. Use the following methods appropriate for your situation.

Method 1: Export the Outlook Address Book

To export a list of contacts to use as a data source in a Word mail merge, follow these steps:

  1. In Outlook, create a new folder for the contacts you want to export.
  2. If the Folder List is not visible, click the View menu, and then click Folder List.
  3. On the Tools menu, click Find to group the contacts you want to export.
  4. Press and hold down CTRL and drag the contacts to the new contacts folder to copy them.
  5. On the File menu, click Import and Export to export the new contacts folder.
  6. Click Export to a file.
  7. Follow the instructions in the Import and Export Wizard.

NOTE: If you export to a file for use in Microsoft Word, choose either the Tab Separated Values or the Comma Separated Values file type.

Method 2: Create a Profile

Create the profile manually. Make sure the Outlook Address Book is added first to the profile.

To configure the profile manually, perform the following steps:

  1. Click the Start button, point to Settings, click Control Panel, and then double-click Mail. Click the Show Profiles button if it appears in the dialog box that is displayed. If a Show Profiles button does not appear, proceed to step 2.
  2. Click Add.
  3. Click Manually Configure Information Services, and then click Next.
  4. Type a name for the profile in the Profile Name box, and then click Next.
  5. Click Add, click Outlook Address Book in the list of available information services, and then click OK.
  6. Click Add, click Microsoft Exchange Server in the list of available information services, and then click OK.
  7. In the Microsoft Exchange Server box, type the name of the Microsoft Exchange Server computer to which you want to connect. Type a mailbox name in the Mailbox box, and then click Next. Note that you can click Check Name before you click OK to verify the server and mailbox names.

After the Outlook Address Book and Microsoft Exchange Server services are added, additional services may be added to the profile by selecting Add, selecting other services in the list of available information services, and then clicking OK.

After the profile is created, start Outlook and ensure the Contacts folder or folders is included in the Outlook Address Book. To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. On the View menu, click Folder List.
  2. In the Folder List, right-click the Contacts folder, and on the context-sensitive menu, click Properties.
  3. Click the Outlook Address Book tab, and click to select Show this folder as an e-mail Address Book.

NOTE: Your contacts should appear in the Name of the address book box.

  1. Click OK.

When a Mail profile is created in the Control Panel Mail tool and Manually configure information services is selected, services can be added in any order. With the Outlook Address Book included in the profile in front of the Exchange server, the Contacts address book may be found by Word during the mail merge.

If a new profile is created through the Control Panel Mail tool and the Profile Generation Wizard is used (default), there is no option of adding an Outlook Address Book; the first dialog box includes the Exchange Server service and other services and the Outlook Address Book is automatically added to the profile. A Microsoft Word Mail Merge with Outlook Address Book using this type of profile may fail with the error message above.

Method 3: Add a Contact to the Outlook Address Book

Before you can use the Microsoft Outlook Address Book as a data source in a Word mail merge, you need to type a contact listing in the Address Book. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Start Microsoft Outlook.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Services. On the Services tab, make sure Outlook Address Book is in the profile list. If Outlook Address Book is not in the list, click Add and add Outlook Address Book. For additional information if your contact information does not appear correctly, please click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:

    161349 OL97: Contact Information Does Not Appear in Address Book

    180830 OL98: (CW) Contact Information Does Not Appear in Address Book

  3. On the Outlook bar, which is on the left, click Contacts. If the Outlook bar is not visible, click Outlook Bar on the View menu.
  4. On the File menu, click New, and click Contact on the New menu.
  5. Type the information for the new contact entry.
  6. On the Contact toolbar, click Save, and then click Close.
  7. On the Outlook bar, right-click the Contacts button. Click Properties on the shortcut menu, and then click the Outlook Address Book tab.
  8. Click to select the Show this folder as an e-mail Address Book check box, and click OK.


Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article.


The original Wwpab.cnv file was limited in the amount of information it read from the profile. When it reached the limit without finding the Contacts address book, it reported that the data source could not be found. This is corrected in the newer Wwpab.cnv file.

Additional query words: contacts addressbook

Keywords: kbhotfixserver kbqfe kbbug kbfix kbqfe KB221178