How to Import a CSV File to Access

by Leigh Thompson
laptop with database record on 15.4" wide screen image by .shock from

The comma separated value (CSV) file type is used because of its versatility. CSV files are formatted like spreadsheets but saved as text files. This means a CSV file is accessible by a variety of software including spreadsheet, word processing and database programs. CSV files are plain text files and do not support formatting such as bold or italics. Because of this, CSV files are smaller in size, easily emailed or uploaded to websites. Microsoft Access creates tables based on imported CSV files.

Step 1

Start Microsoft Access. Open a recent database from the list or select the option for "Blank Database." Name the blank database and click the "Create" button.

Step 2

Select the "External Data" tab from the ribbon. Select the "Import Text File" icon in the "Import" box.

Step 3

Click the "Browse" button to locate your CSV file. Select the import option: "New table," "Append to existing table" or "Link to table." Click "OK."

Step 4

Click the radio button next to "Delimited." Click "Next."

Step 5

Choose the type of delimiter to separate your fields, such as "Tab," "Semicolon," "Comma," "Space" or "Other." Check the box for "First Row Contains Field Names" if your CSV file is formatted with field names. Click "Next."

Step 6

Enter a field name and data type for each column. Click the column to select it. Click "Next."

Designate a primary key. Access can create a key or assign the primary key to one of your existing fields. Click "Next." Enter a name for your table. Click "Finish." Check the box if you want to save your import steps. Click "Close."


Photo Credits

  • laptop with database record on 15.4" wide screen image by .shock from

About the Author

Leigh Thompson began writing in 2007 and specializes in creating content for websites. She has been published online in various capacities. Thompson has an associate degree in information technology from the University of Kansas and is working on a bachelor's degree in business and personal finance.

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