Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've just moved a number of Word mail merge files, and a number of Excel spreadsheets that are the data sources for the mail merges, from a Windows XP computer to a Windows 7 computer, and now all the paths for the merge sources are incorrect (used to be c:\documents and settings\user\my documents.... now c:\users\documents....). While I can correct the path of the data source in each file individually, I was hoping that there would be some way of updating the files in bulk, as there are a relatively large number of them. Word 2007 is what is being used, but the documents are all in the previous DOC format (not DOCX).

share|improve this question

I think it's a registry setting you can tweak as described here:

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).

alt text

If you chose to use an existing data source, by default Word 2007 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.

alt text

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:


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. I regret I have not found a way to change drives within this mechanism.

This method allow you to move the folder to a different path location. e.g., here 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.

alt text

To move to another sub folder of My Documents eg "D:\My Documents\Merge" simply change the default "My Data Sources" to "Merge"

alt text

and to move to a different branch of the folder structure eg to "D:\Merge", add the period/full stop to the path as below:

alt text

share|improve this answer
That looks like it would be handy for creating new documents, but I was looking for a way to update the data source path in existing documents, which this doesn't look like it does. – Daft Viking Feb 26 '10 at 18:12

Try putting a shortcut to the sources you want, inside the My Data Sources folder. This works for me. I have the opposite problem now, having just been "upgraded" to Office 10. I WANT the merge to open "My Data Sources" (where all my shortcuts and directories are) but instead it sends me to a QUERIES folder somewhere in Office14. I'm no tech wiz, but maybe this registry hack will work if I can get there and figure it out.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .