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Importing a Spreadsheet into Access
Part 1: Getting Started
More of this Feature
Part 2: Selecting the Data
Part 3: Customizing the Database
Related Resources
Microsoft Access Fundamentals
Creating a Report in Microsoft Access
Microsoft Access Forms
Elsewhere on the Web
Access 2003 Tour
Access FAQ

After sending out your holiday cards last year, did you make yourself a promise that you would organize your address list to make the process easier next year? Do you have a huge Excel spreadsheet that you can't make heads or tails of? Maybe your address book looks something like the one shown in the file below. Or, perhaps, you keep your address book on (gasp!) scraps of paper.

It's time to make good on that promise to yourself -- organize your contact list into a Microsoft Access database. It's much easier than you may imagine and you'll definitely be pleased with the results. This tutorial will walk you through the entire process step-by-step. No prior knowledge of databases is required, but if you're curious you may be interested in reading the article Microsoft Access Fundamentals.

If you don't have your own spreadsheet and want to follow along with the tutorial, you can download the sample Excel file used to generate the tutorial.

1. Create a new database. Unless you have an existing database that you use to store contact information, you're probably going to want to create a new database from scratch. We're not going to use a wizard to help us this time, we're going to do it by hand. Make sure that the "Blank Access database" radio button is selected (as shown in the figure below) and click the OK button to get started.

2. Provide a name for the database. Our database file needs to have a name to be stored on the hard drive. This name will appear in your Windows Explorer just like a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, or any other type of file. Double-clicking on it will automatically launch Access and open your database.

3. Begin the import process. To get started, simply click on the File menu, select Get External Data and then choose the Import option on the next menu that appears.

In the next section of this tutorial, we'll select the data we wish to import into our new database. Read on!

Next page > Selecting the Data > Page 1, 2, 3

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