Export a database object to another Access database

Export a database object to another Access database

Access provides a number of ways to copy an object such as a table or form from one database to another. Copying and pasting an object is easiest, but exporting an object offers you more options. For example, you can export the table definition and the data in the table, or export just the table definition (a blank copy of the table). You can also save the details of the operation as an export specification for future use.

Overview

You can export a table, query, form, report, macro, or module from one Access database to another. When you export an object, Access creates a copy of the object in the destination database.

You export database objects when you need to do any of the following tasks:

  • Copy the structure of a table to another database as a shortcut to creating a new table.

  • Copy the design and layout of a form or report to another database as a quick way to create a new form or report.

  • Copy the latest version of a table or form to another database at regular intervals. To do this, you can create an export specification the first time you export the object, and then use the specification to repeat the operation later.

Note that exporting an object to another database differs very little from opening a second database and then importing the object from the first. The two main differences between importing and exporting objects between Access databases are:

  • You can import multiple objects in a single operation, but you cannot export multiple objects in a single operation. If you want to export multiple objects to another database, it is easier to open the destination database and then perform an import operation from within that database.

  • In addition to database objects, you can import relationships between tables, plus any import and export specifications, and menu bars and toolbars. You can also import a query as a table. Exporting does not offer you these options.

Looking for information about importing objects into an Access database? See Import database objects into the current Access database.

Prepare for the export

  1. Open the source database, if it is not already open. The file format can be either MDB or ACCDB. If the file is in MDE or ACCDE format, the source object must be a table, a query, or a macro. You cannot export forms, reports and modules from an MDE or ACCDE file.

    Note: If the database is read-only, or you don't have permissions to make changes to the database, you can complete the export operation, but cannot save the export specification.

  2. Identify the object that you want to export. If this is the first time you are exporting data to an Access database, remember the following:

    Element

    Description

    Single object per operation

    You can export only one object at a time. To export multiple objects, repeat the export operation for each object, or do an import operation from within the destination database.

    New table

    Each export operation creates a new object in the destination database. If an object with the same name already exists, you can choose to overwrite the existing object or specify a different name for the new object.

    Note: An export operation cannot add records to an existing table. To add records, consider creating an append query. For more information, see the article Add records to a table by using an append query.

    Exporting a linked table

    If the table that you want to export is a linked table, the export operation creates a linked table in the destination database. The new linked table links to the original source table.

    For example, if you export a linked table named Employees1 in the Sales database that is linked to the Employees table in the Payroll database, the export operation creates a linked table in the destination database. The new linked table links directly to the Employees table in the Payroll database.

    Partial export

    You cannot export a portion of an object or just a few selected records.

    Relationships

    Since you can only export one table at a time, the export operation does not copy relationships. If you want to import multiple tables and their relationship, open the destination database and import the objects.

    Table definition

    You can choose to export an entire table or just the table definition. Exporting the definition creates a blank copy of the table in the destination database.

    Record source

    Exporting a query, form, or report does not automatically export the underlying record sources. You must export the underlying record sources — otherwise, the query, form, or report will not work.

    Lookup fields

    If a field in the source table looks up values in another table or query, you must export the related table or query if you want the destination field to display lookup values. If you do not export the related table or query, the destination field displays only the lookup IDs.

    Subforms and subreports

    When you export a form or report, subforms and subreports included in the form or report are not automatically exported. You need to export each subform or subreport and its underlying record source separately.

  3. Open the destination database. The file format can be either MDB or ACCDB. It can also be an MDE or ACCDE file. Ensure that it is not read-only and that you have permissions to modify it.

    Notes: 

    • If you cannot open the database, another user may have the database open in exclusive mode. You typically need to find that user and request that they close and reopen the database in normal (multi-user) mode.

    • If the database is password-protected, you will be asked to enter the password each time you run the Export Wizard or the saved specification.

    • If you want to export the object to a new database, you must create a blank database (that does not contain any tables, forms, or reports) before starting the export operation.

  4. If an object with the same name as the source object already exists in the destination database, you must decide whether you want to overwrite the existing version or specify a different name for the new object.

    You are now ready to start the export operation. Go to the next set of steps.

Export a database object to another Access database

  1. On the External Data tab, in the Export group, click Access. Note, if you're using Access 2007, click More in the Export group, and then click Access Database.

    Tip: You can also start the export process by right-clicking the object in the Navigation Pane and then clicking Export > Access.

  2. Access opens the Export - Access Database dialog box.

  3. In the File name box on the Export - Access Database dialog box, specify the name of the destination database and then click OK.

  4. In the Export dialog box, change the name of the new object if you do not want to overwrite an existing object with the same name in the destination database.

  5. If the selected object is a table, specify whether you want to export the table's definition and data, or only the definition.

  6. Click OK to finish the operation.

    If an object with the same name exists in the destination database, you will be prompted to either overwrite or specify a different name. Click Yes to overwrite, or click No to return to the Export dialog box. Specify a name that is not in use in the destination database, and then click OK.

    Access exports the objects. If an error occurred, Access displays an error message. Otherwise, the final screen of the wizard appears, and you use that screen if you want to create a specification that saves the details of the export operation.

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