Introduction to Exports in Standard products

The 'Exports' function allows you to export certain information from your Standard database to tab-delimited text files from where you can incorporate it in word processing programs for mailmerge, in spreadsheets for further statistical analysis or in page make-up programs for incorporation in publicity material or published reports. In many cases, you can also import the information into other Standard databases using the 'Automatic' and 'Manual file search' import functions in the System module. Remember that you can also print reports to disk, so most of the information that is stored in your Standard database is available to other applications via the medium of the text file.

To export information from your Standard database, follow these steps:

  1. If you are using Standard Accounts, ensure you are in the System module.

  2. In all Standard products, click the [Routines] button in the Master Control panel. A list of routines appears:

  3. Click the [Exports] button in the list of routines to open the list of Export functions. You can also use the ⌘-E keyboard shortcut to open this list.

  4. Double-click the item in the list that you need.

  5. A specification window will appear, where you can decide the contents of the export file.

  6. Click [Run] again and a 'Save File' dialogue box will appear, where you can name the file and determine where it is to be saved.
Text files exported from a Standard database will contain Unicode characters.

As well as exporting information to text files, you can also use the Exports routine to back up your Standard database. For full details about how to do this, please refer to the Backing Up page. For security reasons, the 'Database Text Backup' export does not produce plain text files as mentioned above but encrypted files that can only be read by Standard applications.

Be careful when opening a Standard export file with Microsoft Excel with the intention of editing it before importing it to a new database. Under certain circumstances, Excel will, when opening a text file, convert some variables that it interprets as dates into its own internal date format. Where you are expecting a date to appear in the spreadsheet you may see a number such as "35475". When you save the spreadsheet again as a text file these variables will not be converted back to date format. So, if you import this text file to your Standard database, the dates will not be correct. To avoid this problem, make sure you use the third step of Excel's Import Wizard to set all imported columns to 'text' format (highlight all the columns in the Data Preview area using the Shift key and select 'Text' as the Column Data Format). You cannot open files created using the 'Database Text Backup' function in Excel as they are encrypted.


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