Convert information

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Converting information: Existing information is in Microsoft Excel and the users desire the information to be entered into an OpenOffice database.

Rationale: Many office workers find that the expense of continued use of Microsoft prodocts prohibits their continuing to follow the upgrade path to newer versions of the applications. At the same time, the ubiquity of Excel has led to numerous files storing information that would have been better entered into Access, a fine database application, but less-well-known and -used than Excel. With the increased popularity of OpenOffice products, and their cross-platform availability, several people are interested in migrating information from spreadsheets into proper databases.

Caveats: Although this present writer is familiar with both Macintosh and Windows operating systems and software, he has not used Linux systems in this conversion, so some details may not apply to the conversion of information in all circumstances.

  1. Open the existing spreadsheet.
  2. Ensure that a row at the top of desired information contains all and only the information desired to serve as field labels in the database to be created.
  3. Select information (rows and columns) desired for import.
  4. Open a new OpenOffice Database.
  5. In the Database Wizard, choose 'Create a new database'.
  6. Select 'Yes, register the database for me' and 'Open the database for editing' (should be default options) and click 'Finish'.
  7. Carefully note the location and enter a filename for the new database.
  8. From the OpenOffice 'Base' window that opens, note that the 'Table' tab has been selected by default (or click on Table, if for some reason it is not already highlighted) and choose 'Paste' from the 'Edit' menu.
  9. Enter a name for the newly created table (do not use the same name as chosen for the database) and click 'Next'.
  10. Select fields desired in the new database from the list given; if all are desired, click the '>>' button. Then click 'Next'.
  11. If any fields will have special restrictions on the sort of information that can be properly entered into the field, proceed field-by-field to specify these restrictions. Click 'Create'.
  12. Allow OpenOffice to create a key field (arbitrary reference field to structure the database by).
  13. Save the database (choose 'Save' from the 'File' menu).
  14. Verify that existing information is correct and intact. Also, establish that a new record can be entered in the database table.