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How to import a Works database file into Access 2000 database

This article was previously published under Q197894
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
For a Microsoft Access 97 version of this article, see 176201.
Novice: Requires knowledge of the user interface on single-user computers.


This article describes how to import a Works database file into a Microsoft Access 2000 database. This is a two-step process. First you must save the Works database file in a format compatible with Microsoft Access. Then you can import the Works database into Microsoft Access.

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Saving the Works Database File

Save the Works database file in a format compatible with Microsoft Access. To do so, follow these steps:
  1. Open the database in Works.
  2. Make sure the field widths in Form view are large enough to display all the information in the field.
  3. Check the format of each field that contains text to ensure that it is General or Text formatting. If the format of a Text field is set to a numeric format, such as Currency or Date, the field will be blank when you open the database in Access.
  4. When you save in dBASE format (as you will do in step 8), field names will be truncated at 10 characters, so ensure the first 10 characters of each field name are unique. For example, two fields named "Address 1" and "Address 2" would be OK, but "Address Line 1" and "Address Line 2" would not be.

    NOTE: If the first 10 characters in two or more fields are the same, these field names will be imported into Access with a default field name, such as Field_1, Field_2, and so on.
  5. On the File menu, click Save As.
  6. Select a folder to which to save the database. To make the database easy to locate, select the Access folder.
  7. Enter a new name, without an extension, in the File Name field.NOTE: When you import a dBASE file that does not follow the MS-DOS 8.3 file name convention (that is, an 8-character name followed by a period (.) and a 3-character extension), you may encounter problems when you try to import the dBASE file into Microsoft Access. Therefore, be sure to create a new file name that does not use more than 8 characters.

    For more information, see:
    209685 Could Not Find Object... Error When Importing dBASE, FoxPro, or Paradox File
  8. In the Save File As Type list, select dBASE III or dBASE IV, and click Save.

    NOTE: If you receive the error message, "Some Field Text Was Truncated," return to step 2 and increase the field width.
  9. Quit Works.
NOTE: If Works does not add the .dbf extension, resave the file with this extension.

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Importing the Works Database into Access

To import the database into Access, follow these steps:
  1. Start Microsoft Access.
  2. In the Microsoft Access dialog box, under "Create a new database using," click to select Blank Access Database, and then click OK.
  3. Name the database, and then click Create.
  4. In the Database window, under Objects, click Tables, and then click New.
  5. In the New Table dialog box, select Import Table from the list, and then click OK.
  6. In the Import dialog box, click the arrow in the Look In box, and select the folder that contains the dBASE file that you created in Microsoft Works. Click the arrow in the Files Of Type box, and select either dBASE III or dBASE IV, depending on the format you chose in step 8 of the "Saving the Works Database File" section earlier in this article.
  7. Click the database that you want to use, and then click Import.
You should receive a message that the file has been successfully imported. Click OK. Then close the Import dialog box.

The Works file has been imported into Access. If you want to view the imported data, select the new table in the Database Window, and click Open. If you want to discard the Works file used to transfer your data into Microsoft Access, delete the file.

For information about importing Works Spreadsheets into Microsoft Access, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
209726 HOW TO: Import Spreadsheets from MS Works for Windows in Access 2000

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Article ID: 197894 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 10:05:46 - Revision: 5.0

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