Link External Information | CustomGuide
Access Basic

Link External Information

How to Link External Information in Access

Link External Information

Another way you can add external information into your database is by creating a linked table. You can add, delete, and edit a linked table's records in Access, but you can't change the table's structure.

Linking data may sound a lot like importing, but there are some very important differences between the two:

  • Imported: When you import data, you copy data from an external data source and place it in a new table in your database.
  • Linked: When you link to data, the data stays in its original location. If you link to another database, changes made in either Access or in the other database will flow back and forth. But if you link to an Excel source, changes made in Excel flow to Access, but not vice versa.

  1. Click the External Data tab.
  2. Select the type of file you want to link to from the Import & Link group.
    Link External Information

    The Get External Data dialog box appears. Here you need to specify the Microsoft Access database that contains the object(s) you want to import into the current database.

  3. Select the folder and file that you want to link to.
    Link External Information
    Link External Information

    Now you need to choose the tables to which you want to link.

  4. Select the Link to the data source by creating a linked table option and click OK.
    Link External Information
  5. If you're linking to an Access object, click the tab that corresponds to the type of database object you want to import and click OK.
    Link External Information

Access links the selected object to the current database.

You can link to more than one table at a time—simply select all the tables you want to select.

Many databases use a front-end database file, which contains forms, reports, and queries. Front-end database files are linked to a back-end database file, which contains the actual tables. Such designs work great when you want several users on several front-end databases to be able to access the same information in a single back-end database.