How to Import a Word Document Into an Access Table

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Data can come to you in many different formats from many different sources. Whether it is a list of contacts, a table of account records or an index of inventory, sometimes you need to get data from Microsoft Word into a Microsoft Access database. Imports are the most efficient way to move data from a Word document to an Access table or database. These instructions apply to Microsoft Word 2010 and Microsoft Access 2010.


Step 1

Prepare the data in your Word document for import. Structure the data into either a delimited or fixed-width format. Delimited formats separate fields with a single character, such as a comma or semicolon. Fixed-width formats arrange data so the width of each field remains constant to denote when one field ends and the next begins. Both formats require each record to be on a separate line. These formats tell Access where to place the data once imported.


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Step 2

Save the Word document as a plain text file. Access can only read data that is in a plain text, CSV or Excel format. Once it is saved, close the file.

Step 3

Start up Microsoft Access and open a new database or an existing database where you will store the imported data. Choose a new table or an existing table in which to store the data. If you choose an existing table, Access will append the data to the existing table in the existing format. The imported data must match the existing table's format and structure.


Step 4

Navigate to the "External Data" tab, locate the "Import" group and click the "Text File" icon. This opens the "Get External Data - Text File" dialog box.

Step 5

Browse to or type in the name of the text file you prepared earlier into the "File name" box. Specify where you want the data to be stored. For a new table, click "Import the source data into a new table in the current database." For an existing table, click "Append a copy of the records to the table" and choose the appropriate table from the drop-down list.



Step 6

Click "OK" to continue and open the "Import Text Wizard." Access will scan the data and recommend a file structure. Confirm or select the option that matches your file's format: "Delimited" or "Fixed Width." Click "Next."

Step 7

If you're using a delimited format, select the character being used to delimit the fields. If the file contains a text qualifier, choose the qualifier you have used in the "Text Qualifier" box. If the first row of your Word document contains the field names, check "First Row Contains Field Names." If you're using a fixed-width format, review the data and structure displayed and adjust the column positioning if necessary. Click "Next."


Step 8

Review the data and structure one more time before continuing. If you need to specify additional information about any of the fields, click on the field header and enter the appropriate data for "Field Name" and "Data Type." To create an index on the selected field, set "Indexed" to "Yes." To exclude the selected field in the import, check off "Do not import field (Skip)." Click "Next."


Step 9

Establish a primary key if you are importing to a new table. You can select "Let Access add primary key," which automatically populates a sequence of IDs, choose your own primary key from one of the source fields or select "No primary key." Click "Next."

Step 10

For a new table, confirm or modify the name for the new table in the "Import to Table" box. Click "Finish" to import the data. A dialog box will open to indicate the status of the import.

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