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DDE Connection to Microsoft Excel Fails Hot

Added: 08/13/2009, Hits: 18,892, Rating: 0, Comments: 0, Votes: 0
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Dynamic Data Exchange (DDE) is a Windows tool that allows you to set up a communication among different applications. You can use DDE for linking cells of a Microsoft Excel workbook to different values of some other application (for example, Microsoft Word). Thus, when you will change a value in linked application file, it will be automatically reflected in Microsoft Excel workbook. At times, when you cannot successfully link to an Excel workbook, one of prime causes responsible for this behavior could be that the file is corrupted. You get errors explaining that DDE could not perform the specific task while connecting to Microsoft Excel. Thus, to reuse such damaged Excel workbook, you will need to use your recent file backup or scan it by using advanced Excel Repair applications.

As an example, when you use Dynamic Data Exchange to attach an Excel workbook to be used as a mail-merge data source in Microsoft Word and specify a cell range, you might encounter the below error message:

“Word could not re-establish a DDE connection to Microsoft Excel to complete the current task.”

Mail-merge is Microsoft Word feature, using which you can create multiple documents with almost identical but with some unique information. An Excel workbook is usually used as a data source if contains the unique information to be included in documents.


Word might fail to connect to Excel workbook due to any of the possible reasons:

  • You have selected the Ignore Other Applications check box in Microsoft Excel.

  • You are using a colon to specify the cell range.

  • The Excel workbook is damaged or corrupted.

  • Solution

    To successfully connect to the Excel workbook, you need to use these methods:

  • Make sure that the Ignore Other Applications check box is cleared. Locate the option by clicking Tools->Options and then General tab.

  • You can also use Excel Converter to link to Excel Spreadsheet.

  • You need to use RxCx (row and column cell range) to specify the cell range.

  • If Excel workbook is corrupted, repair it by using powerful excel repair applications. Excel Recovery software perform safe file repair using advanced scanning techniques. Such utilities come available with self-explanatory interface to work with.

  • Stellar Phoenix Excel Recovery is a comprehensive file repair product to repair and restore damaged Excel workbooks. It supports safe xls repair for files created with Excel 2007, 2003, 2002 and 2000. The application restores all file objects including hyperlinks, charts, macros, tables, images and more. It is a non-destructive tool that is compatible with Windows Vista, XP, 2003, 2000 and NT.

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