How to Create MS Access Database from MS Excel Using DAO

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In some cases, you may want to create a Microsoft Access database from a Microsoft Excel for Windows 95 version 7.0 workbook, but are not able to use Access Links. While the preferred method of moving a Microsoft Excel workbook into Microsoft Access is to use Access Links, you can also use data access object (DAO).


The reasons for not being able to use Access Links include (but are not limited to) the following:
  • Microsoft Access for Windows 95 version 7.0 is not installed on the computer.
  • There are not enough system resources to have Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Access loaded at the same time.


You can use data access objects (DAO)to create any version of a Microsoft Access database. Although this method is not as complete as Access Links, you can use it to create a Microsoft Access database from a Microsoft Excel workbook. This method should be used only if you are experienced with Visual Basic for Applications and are familiar enough with Microsoft Access databases to be able to edit the tables that are created by this code.

Some things that you may need to change are the data types of each field and whether or not you want indexing.


Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied. This includes, but is not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language that is being demonstrated and with the tools that are used to create and to debug procedures. Microsoft support engineers can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific requirements. The code in this article will go through each worksheet in a Microsoft Excel version 7.0 workbook and create a Microsoft Access table as specified in the code. There are several requirements for this code to function properly.

NOTE: These requirements are similar to what would be required if you were transferring data using Access Links.

Please ensure that the workbook used has a list on each worksheet consisting of at least two columns.

The requirements are as follows:

  • The data must be in column form with the field names in the first row. While the data may start in any row, this subroutine assumes that row 1 contains the field names and anything beneath row 1 is data for the table.
  • The data must be contiguous. Data missing within a record will not affect this subroutine adversely. However, after a blank row is encountered, the subroutine will assume that it has retrieved all of the data on the current worksheet. Likewise, once a blank column is encountered, the subroutine will assume that there are no more fields to the right.
  • Each column will be regarded as a field and each row will be regarded as a record. For example, the data should be set up as follows:
          Lname              Fname       EmpNum     SpouseName
          Ebbeson            Frida          12         Dave
          Edelstein          Alex           15
          Edmonds            Cora           18         Paul
          Eliasen            Deborah        22         Tom
          Erickson           Gregory J      25         Lisa
          Fallon             Scott          23
          Feig               Wayne A.       35         Laurie
          Fetty              Ellen M.       54         James
    Please note that incomplete records are allowed.
The subroutine described below will do the following:
  • Declare variables. While this is not required, it is useful for syntax checking and reducing the amount of memory you use.
  • Turn off screen updating. This will make the subroutine run faster, plus you won't see the screen flash.
  • Create the database. The first argument specifies where the database will be, and what the name will be. The subroutine creates the new database in the same folder as the workbook and with the same name as the workbook (with an .mdb extension). If there is already a database with that name in the folder, a message box will appear asking if you want to delete the existing database. This is done by trapping "Error 3294 Database already exists."
  • Set up a loop to go through all the worksheets in the workbook.

    NOTE: Because modules, chart sheets, and dialog sheets are not part of the Worksheet collection, they will not affect the subroutine.
  • Within the worksheet loop, create a table based on the worksheet name.
  • Enter a loop that goes through each column in the data range and creates a field in the table with the same name as the column heading. In the Create Field section of the subroutine, you need to know what data type to assign the new field. To do this, the subroutine looks at the cell directly below it and it determines the NumberFormat property of the cell.

    A Select Case statement is entered that looks at the left most letter of the NumberFormat property. The data type is created, based on this letter. If an "m", "d", or "y" is returned, the data type is set to "dbDate." If "G" is returned, the cell below it is formatted to "General." If this is the case, you need to determine if the cell contains a number or text.

    To test to see if the cell contains a number or text, the subroutine attempts to divide the cell contents by 2. If the division fails, the routine drops to an error handler, which determines if "Type Mismatch" is the error. If this is the case, the field is set to dbText. If the division is successful, the subroutine drops to the next cell down to determine if that division will be successful. This is necessary because you need to determine that all the records contain a number for that field before you assign the data type to a number format. If all the divisions are successful, a data type of dbDouble is assigned.

    Because checking every cell in a column is a time consuming process. The subroutine checks for the presence of "Zip" or "Postal" in the column header. The reason for this is that Zip Codes and Postal Codes should be formatted as dbText. Even if you have all 5-digit Zip codes in your worksheet, you may want to add a 9-digit Zip code some day. If you have the field formatted as "dbDouble," you will receive an error message when trying to enter the Zip plus four value. Searching for "Zip" or "Postal" reduces processor time to create the field.

    If all the Select Case statements fail, the field is set to dbText.
  • After all the fields on a worksheet are created, all the data is added to the table.
  • After all the data is added to the table, the next worksheet is selected and the process starts over again until all the worksheets have been selected and saved as a table.
          Sub DataToAccess()
         ' Declare variables.
         Dim Db As database
         Dim Rs As Recordset
         Dim Td As TableDef
         Dim Fd As Field
         Dim x As Integer
         Dim i As Integer
         Dim f As Integer
         Dim r As Integer
         Dim c As Integer
         Dim Message As String
         Dim Title As String
         Dim LastColumn As Integer
         Dim NumberTest As Double
         Dim StartCell As Object
         Dim LastCell As Object
         Dim Response
         Dim CreateFieldFlag As Integer
         Dim Flag As Integer
         CreateFieldFlag = 0
         Flag = 0
         ' Turn off Screen Updating.
         Application.ScreenUpdating = False
         On Error GoTo ErrorHandler
         ' Create the database.
         ' This line will create an Microsoft Access 2.0 database. To vary the
         ' version of the database, change the "dbVersion" constant.
         ' See "CreateDatabase" in online Help for more information.
         ' The database will be created in the same folder as the
         ' activeworkbook.
         Set Db = workspaces(0).CreateDatabase(ActiveWorkbook.Path & "\" & _
            Left(ActiveWorkbook.Name, Len(ActiveWorkbook.Name) - 4) _
            & ".mdb", dbLangGeneral, dbVersion20)
         ' Loop through all the worksheets in the workbook.
         For i = 1 To Worksheets.Count
            ' Select the "i th" worksheet and Cell "A1."
            ' In this example, you need column headers in the first row.
            ' These headers will become field names.
            ' If the ActiveCell is blank, open a message box.
            If ActiveCell.Value = "" Then
                Message = "There is no data in the active cell: " & _
                    ActiveSheet.Name & "!" & ActiveCell.Address & Chr(10) & _
                    "Please ensure that all your worksheets have data on " & _
                    "them " & Chr(10) & _
                    "and the column headers start in cell A1" & Chr(10) & _
                    Chr(10) & "This process will now end."
                Title = "Data Not Found"
                MsgBox Message, , Title
                Exit Sub
            End If
            ' Create a new Table, and use the Worksheet Name as the
            ' Table Name.
            Set Td = Db.CreateTableDef(Worksheets(i).Name)
            ' Find the number of fields on the sheet and store the number
            ' of the last column in a variable.
            LastColumn = Selection.Column
            ' Select the current region. Then find what the address
            ' of the last cell is.
            Set LastCell = Range(Right(Selection.Address, _
                Len(Selection.Address) - _
                Application.Search(":", Selection.Address)))
            ' Go back to cell "A1."
            ' Enter a loop that will go through the columns and
            ' create fields based on the column header.
            For f = 1 To LastColumn
                Flag = 0
                ' Enter a select case statement to determine
                ' the cell format.
                Select Case Left(ActiveCell.Offset(1, 0).NumberFormat, 1)
                    Case "G"    'General format
                        ' The "General" format presents a special problem.
                        ' See above discussion for explanation
                        If ActiveCell.Value Like "*Zip*" Then
                            Set Fd = Td.CreateField(ActiveCell.Value, _
                            Fd.AllowZeroLength = True
                            r = LastCell.Row - 1
                            Flag = 1
                            If ActiveCell.Value Like "*Postal*" Then
                                Set Fd = Td.CreateField(ActiveCell.Value, _
                                Fd.AllowZeroLength = True
                                r = LastCell.Row - 1
                                Flag = 1
                            End If
                        End If
                        ' Set up a text to determine if the field contains
                        ' "Text" or "Numbers."
                        For r = 1 To LastCell.Row - 1
                            If Flag = 1 Then r = LastCell.Row
                            CreateFieldFlag = 1
                            NumberTest = ActiveCell.Offset(r, 0).Value / 2
                        Next r
                        ' If we get all the way through the loop without
                        ' encountering an error, then all the values are
                        ' numeric, and we assign the data type to be "dbDouble"
                        If Flag = 0 Then
                            Set Fd = Td.CreateField(ActiveCell.Value, dbDouble)
                        End If
                    ' Check to see if the cell below is formatted as a date.
                    Case "m", "d", "y"
                        Set Fd = Td.CreateField(ActiveCell.Value, dbDate)
                    ' Check to see if the cell below is formatted as currency.
                    Case "$", "_"
                        Set Fd = Td.CreateField(ActiveCell.Value, dbCurrency)
                    ' All purpose trap to set field to text.
                    Case Else
                        Set Fd = Td.CreateField(ActiveCell.Value, dbText)
                    End Select
                ' Append the new field to the fields collection.
                Td.Fields.Append Fd
                ' Move to the right one column.
                ActiveCell.Offset(0, 1).Range("A1").Select
            ' Repeat the procedure with the next field (column).
            Next f
            ' Append the new Table to the TableDef collection.
            Db.tabledefs.Append Td
            ' Select Cell "A2" to start the setup for moving the data from
            ' the worksheet to the database.
            ' Define the StartCell as the Activecell. All record addition
            ' will be made relative to this cell.
            Set StartCell = Range(ActiveCell.Address)
            ' Open a recordset based on the name of the activesheet.
            Set Rs = Db.OpenRecordset(Worksheets(i).Name)
            ' Loop through all the data on the sheet and add it to the
            ' recordset in the database.
            For x = 0 To LastCell.Row - 2
                For c = 0 To LastColumn - 1
                    Rs.Fields(c) = StartCell.Offset(x, c).Value
                Next c
            Next x
         ' Repeat the process for the next worksheet in the workbook.
         Next i
         Application.ScreenUpdating = True
         Exit Sub
         Select Case Err
            Case 3204   ' Database already exists.
               Message = "There has been an error creating the database." & _
                    Chr(10) & _
                    Chr(10) & "Error Number: " & Err & _
                    Chr(10) & "Error Description: " & Error() & _
                    Chr(10) & _
                    Chr(10) & "Would you like to delete the existing" & _
                    "database:" & Chr(10) & _
                    Chr(10) & ActiveWorkbook.Path & "\" & _
                    Left(ActiveWorkbook.Name, Len(ActiveWorkbook.Name) - 4) & _
                Title = "Error in Database Creation"
                Response = MsgBox(Message, vbYesNo, Title)
                If Response = vbYes Then
                    Kill ActiveWorkbook.Path & "\" & _
                      Left(ActiveWorkbook.Name, Len(ActiveWorkbook.Name) -4) _
                      & ".mdb"
                    Message = ""
                    Title = ""
                    Message = "In order to run this procedure you need" & _
                        Chr(10) & "to do ONE of the following:" & _
                        Chr(10) & _
                        Chr(10) & "1.  Move the existing database to a " & _
                        "different directory, or " & _
                        Chr(10) & "2.  Rename the existing database, or" & _
                        Chr(10) & "3.  Move the workbook to a different " & _
                        "directory, or" & _
                        Chr(10) & "4.  Rename the workbook"
                    Title = "Perform ONE of the following:"
                    MsgBox Message, , Title
                    Message = ""
                    Title = ""
                    Exit Sub
                End If
            ' Check to see if the error was Type Mismatch. If so, set the
            ' file to dbText.
            Case 13 ' Type mismatch.
                If CreateFieldFlag = 1 Then
                    Set Fd = Td.CreateField(ActiveCell.Value, dbText)
                    Fd.AllowZeroLength = True
                    Flag = 1
                    r = LastCell.Row - 1
                    CreateFieldFlag = 0
                    Resume Next
                    Message = "You have a ""Type Mismatch"" in the code" _
                        & Chr(10) _
                        & Chr(10) & "Error Number: " & Err _
                        & Chr(10) & "Error Description: " & Error() _
                        & Chr(10) _
                        & Chr(10) & "This procedure will close."
                    Title = "Type Mismatch"
                    MsgBox Message, , Title
                    Message = ""
                    Title = ""
                End If
            ' For any other error, display the error.
            Case Else
               Message = "An error has occured in the procedure." _
                    & Chr(10) _
                    & Chr(10) & "Error Number: " & Err _
                    & Chr(10) & "Error Description: " & Error()
                Title = "An error has occured"
                MsgBox Message, , Title
                Message = ""
                Title = ""
         End Select
         End Sub


Microsoft Access 97

For more information about creating indexes, click the Index tab in Microsoft Access Help, type the following text:
Indexes, creating
and then double-click the selected text to go to the "Create an index to find and sort records faster."

Microsoft Access 7.0

For more information about indexing, click Answer Wizard on the Help menu in Microsoft Access 7.0, type Index in the Search box, and click "Decide if and when to use an index."

Microsoft Access 2.0

For more information about indexing, click Search on the Help menu in Microsoft Access version 2.0, type Index in the Search box, click "Index (see also indexes)," and then click "Creating an Index" under Topics.


Article ID: 151566 - Last Review: June 28, 2012 - Revision: 4.0
  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 95 Standard Edition
kbdtacode kbhowto kbprogramming KB151566
Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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