Outlook 2010 and Word 2010

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We have a lot of templates written in VB code which are part of a Third-party vendor software. The vendor software has the capability of connectin gto outlook contacts for importing them into a word template field (like a merge).

Is there a way to connect outlook 2010 contacts into word 2010 templates? We are considering to eliminate this third party vendor software.



Choose the data source

Word can use a wide variety of data sources. The 'Select Recipients' icon offers the option to type a new list, to use an existing list or to select from Outlook Contacts. (Outlook 2007 still provides the option to start the merge from Outlook for even greater flexibility - the procedure is essentially the same as that for Outlook 2003).

If you chose to use an existing data source, by default Word will try and connect to a data source in the 'My Data Sources' folder. This will not help much if the data source is a Word or Excel document, for example, in some other folder. Don't be thrown by the two default entries shown in the illustration below, simply move to the folder that contains your data file and select it.
There is no mechanism included by which the My Data Sources folder can be set to a different location; however, you can set the data source folder to a path on the same drive as the My Documents folder by means of a registry hack. The folder is defined at:

in Word 2010 at


These keys are created the first time you attempt to access a data source for a merge. In the relevant key is not present at the time you edit the registry you can add it.

Edit the 'MyData' sub key to the required folder name (without quotes). The start point for the path is My Documents and the entry in the data key would be a sub folder of My Documents, which by default is the My Data Sources sub folder. If the DataServices key has no entry the default setting is used. To move up to My Documents enter . (a period/full stop). To move up two folders enter .. (two periods/full stops). Although I have not tested it, the convention is one period/full stop for each level, so if your My Documents folder is buried deeper, in theory at least you should be able to add extra periods/full stops to take you back to the root level of the drive.

This method allow you to move the folder to a different path location. e.g., I have My Documents as a sub folder of the D: drive i.e. "D:\My Documents" thus the default setting for the data folder would be "D:\My Documents\My Data Sources" . To move that data folder to "D:\My Documents" you would change the default My Data Sources entry for a period/full stop to move up a level.

To move to another sub folder of My Documents eg "D:\My Documents\Merge" simply change the default "My Data Sources" to "Merge" and to move to a different branch of the folder structure eg to "D:\Merge", add the period/full stop to the path.

Word XP introduced further complications for those merging from Excel data, retained in Word 2007/2010. In earlier versions of Word connection to the data file was by DDE. Microsoft has replaced this default setting by a new OLEDB connection method. This has benefits and drawback. The benefits are that Word can now connect to client/server databases such as SQL or Oracle without resorting to an intervening interface such as MSQuery.

One downside is that OLEDB provides direct access to the data and thus Word is expected to provide the formatting. You can often work round this by applying formatting to the fields in Word. or you can revert to the earlier DDE connection method.

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