Export Access data to a Word document

Applies to: Access for Microsoft 365, Access 2019, Access 2016, Access 2013, Access 2010, Access 2007.

You can export data from your Access database to a Microsoft Word document by using the Export – RTF File Wizard. This article delineates how to use the Export – RTF File Wizard and how to save your export settings as a specification for later reuse.

In this article

Exporting data to Word: the basics

Export data to Word

Understand how Access exports objects to Word

What else should I know?

Exporting data to Word: the basics

You can export a table, query, form, or report to Microsoft Word. Once you export an object by using the Export – RTF File Wizard, Access produces a copy of the object’s data in a Microsoft Word Rich Text Format file (*.rtf). For tables, queries, and forms, the visible fields and records display as a table in the Word document. After you export a report, the wizard exports the report data and layout  — it attempts to make the Word document replicate the report as closely as possible.

  • Start the operation from Access  –  To export data from Access to Word, you must work in Access. There is no capability in Word that can import data from an Access database. You even cannot save an Access database or table as a Word document by employing the Save As command in Access.
  • Objects you can export  –  You can export a table, query, form, or report. You can even export only the records chosen in a view. You cannot export macros and modules. Once you export a form or datasheet that includes subforms or subdatasheets, solely the primary form or datasheet is exported. You have to repeat the export operation for every subform and subdatasheet that you want to view in Word. Conversely, once you export a report, subforms and subreports that are contained in the report are exported, along with the key report.
  • Outcome of the operation  –  The Export – RTF File Wizard constantly exports formatted data. This means that only the fields and records that are seen in an object or view are exported alongside the display format settings. Columns and records that are concealed, due to filter settings, are not exported. For a report, the layout of the report is even retained after it is exported.
  • Merging with an existing document  –  Once you export from Access to a Word document, the data is permanently exported into a new Word file. If you want the data to be added into an existing Word document, you must first export it from Access into a new Word document, and then copy the data from the new Word document and paste it into the current document. Alternatively, you can duplicate rows directly from an Access table, query, form, or report, and then paste them into your established document.

Export data to Word

The process of exporting data to a Word document matches these broad steps:

  • Prepare your source data for the export. Within this step, you ensure that your data is infallible, and you choose whether to export part or the entire dataset in your source table.
  • Perform the Export – RTF File Wizard.
  • Optionally, save your settings as an export specification for reuse at a convenient time for you.

The steps in the following sections outline how to carry out each task.

Prepare for the export

  1. Launch the source Access database.
  1. In the Navigation Pane, pick your desired object including the data to export. You can export a table, query, form, or report.
  1. Gloss over the source data to check that it completely correct. Make sure that you have resolved any errors before you export the data to Word. Otherwise, you will find that certain values are overwritten with a null value.
  1. If the destination Word document exists and is accessed, exit it before you proceed. The wizard asks you before updating the document.

Note: You cannot append data to an existing Word document.

  1. In the Access database, if you want to export only a section of a table, query, or form, enter the object and highlight only the records you want.

Export the data

  1. On the External Data tab, in the Export group, press Word.
  1. The Export – RTF File export wizard emerges.Select a destination and export options on the Export - RTF File dialog box.Note: The Export commands are available only when a database is open.

  1. In the Export – RTF File wizard, state the name of the destination file.
  1. The wizard regularly exports formatted data. If you want to see the Word document after the export operation is complete, choose the Open the destination file after the export operation is complete checkbox.
  1. If you picked the records that you want to export before you started the export operation, you can click the Export only the selected records checkbox. However, if you want to export every record in the view, leave the checkbox unmarked.

Note: This check box appears unavailable (dimmed) if no records are selected.

  1. Press OK.
  1. If the destination document exists, you are alerted to press Yes to overwrite the file. Select No to edit the name of the destination file, and then press OK again.

Access exports the data and launches the destination document in Word, depending on the export options you defined in the wizard. Access even indicates the status of the operation on the final page of the wizard.

Understand how Access exports objects to Word

The following table summarises how Access exports several objects and values to Word. This can guide you with knowing for certain what is going wrong if the export operation is working differently than from what you anticipated.

ItemExport considerations
Field namesWhen you export a table, a query, or a form, the field names are placed in the first row of the table in the Word document. When you export a report, the placement of the field names in the Word document varies with the report layout.
Multivalued fieldsA field in Access that supports multiple values is exported to a single column in Word. The values are separated by commas (,).
Pictures, objects, and attachmentsAll graphical elements — logos, data in OLE object fields, and attachments that are part of the source data  — are not exported.
GraphsMicrosoft Graph objects are not exported.
ExpressionsExpressions are not exported to the Word document. Only the results of the expressions are exported.
Subforms and subdatasheetsWhen you export a form or datasheet, only the main form or datasheet is exported. You must repeat the export operation for each subform and subdatasheet.

What else should I know?

  • For information on how to change a specification name, delete specifications, or update the names of source files in specifications, see the article Manage Data Tasks.

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