Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Importing or Linking to Data
✦ Accessibility: If you’re leaning toward linking to the data, will the data
always be available when you need it? Is the data likely to move, or will
you need it when you’re traveling or not on your usual local area
network? If the data isn’t accessible, Access won’t be able to use it for
queries, reports, and forms.
If you need the data to get started in Access, and if you’ll be using Access
exclusively to update and analyze the data, you should import the data. If
the data is collected and updated in another format, and if you’ll be using
the database from a computer that can always access the data source,
linking probably is a good option — but scheduled imports may work, too.
Evaluate your situation and consider the preceding points to decide whether
linking or importing is the better choice.
Understanding what applications
are compatible with Access
Here’s the scenario: You were lucky enough to find the data you need for
your database, and it’s even in electronic form. But that data is stored in an
ODBC (Open Database Connectivity) database, Excel, Word, another Access
database, or some other file format. What do you do?
In most cases, Access knows how to import the data directly or to create a
link to the data. If you can’t import the file type directly, chances are that
you can use the program in which the data was entered to save it in a file
format that Access can import. Currently, you can import or link to files as
follows (and Access can also export to many of these file types):
✦ Microsoft Access data can be imported, linked to, and exported.
✦ Microsoft Excel spreadsheets can be imported, linked to, and exported.
✦ ODBC data (from SQL Server, for example) can be imported, linked to,
✦ Text files (delimited or fixed-width) can be imported, linked to, and
exported. (Use this option for Microsoft Word files.)
✦ XML documents can be imported and exported but not linked to.
✦ PDF and XPS files can be created by exporting from Access but can’t be
imported or linked to.
✦ SharePoint lists can be imported, linked to, and exported.
✦ HTML documents can be imported, linked to, and exported.
✦ Outlook folders can be imported and linked to.
If you have data in a format that your version of Access can’t use, see
whether the application allows you to export the data in one of the accepted
formats. (Often, you use the Save As menu command.) Then you can import
it into Access.