Multi-Computer: How to deal with mailmerge differences between Office 2000 and 2003?
For anyone who has used (or has users who have used) Office 2000, and then move to Office 2003 you should have run into this problem:
Office 2000 uses DDE to communicate between applications, meaning it retains formatting in a Mail-merge. If you format a cell as a having no digits after the decimal (round) and have a dollar sign before it -- a Word mailmerge will pull it through as the same.
Actual Value: 1.567 (Excel 2000)
Displayed value:$2 (Excel 2000)
Merged Value: $2 (Word 2000)
In Office 2003 the applications communicate in some other way (OLE DB?) that uses the actual values of the fields, instead of the formatted view.
Actual Value: 1.567 (Excel 2003)
Displayed Value: $2 (Excel 2003)
Merged Value: 1.567 (Word 2003)
I have a large number of fairly basic users who have step by step directions on their Office 2000 systems for how to mailmerge -- and it works. I have deployed a system with Office 2003 (as well as some users who are slowly learning to merge) and the question comes up -- "it used to work!" -- and no doubt; they are right.
Microsoft (as well as others) covers this in KB320473
-- and there are basically two ways to have Office 2003 work as 2000 did:
1. Enable the 'confirm conversion at open' and train users to select DDE.
2. Convert fields to text.
There is also a 3rd answer that is not covered ..
3. Use merge field codes.
My problem is that we have a few Office 2000 documents that are setup to be merged. The DDE v. OLE DB system use slightly different names for the column headers -- so a mailmerge document can either work natively in one system; or the other; but not both. If you enable DDE in Office 2003 both systems can work on it together -- but you need to enable this on each instance of Office (perhaps I can push it out via GPO?).
Merge fields is a non-starter. These guys don't understand mailmerge -- let alone syntax formatting.
Has anyone delt with a migration such as this?? What is the answer?