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Chapter 17. Exporting Data to World Wide... > Exporting Table and Query Datasheets...

Exporting Table and Query Datasheets to HTML

Northwind.mdb's Suppliers table is a good choice for exporting to a Web page because it contains relatively few fields and records. The Suppliers table also includes four hyperlinks, two of which link to sample home pages in your ...\Office\Samples folder. To create a formatted Web page from the Suppliers table, follow these steps:

Open the Suppliers table of Northwind.mdb in Datasheet view.

Choose File, Save As/Export to open the Save As dialog. With the To an External File or Database option selected, click the OK button to close the dialog and open the Save Table 'Suppliers' In dialog.

In the Files of Type drop-down list, select HTML Documents (*.html, *.htm), as shown in Figure 17.1. The .html extension is used most often by UNIX servers, while .htm is most common for Windows NT 4.0 servers. Internet Explorer (IE) 3.0 handles .html (the default) and .htm extensions equally well.

Figure 17.1. Choosing HTML Documents as the format for exporting the content of an Access 97 table.

Selecting HTML Documents enables the Save Formatted check box, which you must mark to include Access 97's automatic HTML formatting. When you mark the Save Formatted check box, the Autostart check box is enabled. Mark the Autostart check box to have IE 3.0 or another default browser display the page when exporting completes (see Figure 17.2).

Figure 17.2. Specifying HTML formatting with the Save Formatted option and opening the exported .html file in your default browser with the Autostart option.

Click the Export button to close the Save Table 'Suppliers' In dialog and begin the export process. Click OK to close the HTML Output Options dialog, leaving the HTML Template text box empty (see Figure 17.3). The section Using HTML Templates later in the chapter describes how to base the design of your Web page on an HTML template.

Figure 17.3. Bypassing use of an existing HTML template file by leaving the text box of the HTML Output Options dialog empty.

When the formatted Suppliers.html Web page automatically appears in your browser (see Figure 17.4), scroll to the right to display the Home Page table column (see Figure 17.5). Click one of the local hyperlinks (CAJUN. HTM or FORMAGGI.HTM) to test the links to the sample Web pages in your ...\Office\Samples folder. HTML formats hyperlinks with <A HREF=location> tags that include the location of the linked document.

Figure 17.4. The formatted Web page created from the Suppliers table.


HTML uses tags to identify the beginning and end of HTML documents ( <HTML> and </HTML>), titles (<TITLE> and </TITLE>), and other elements of the page. HTML 3.2, the current version of HTML when Microsoft released Access 97, has hundreds of tags for formatting, creating control objects on pages, and other uses.

Figure 17.5. Hyperlinks to local (CAJUN.HTM) and Internet (Mayumi's) Web pages in the Suppliers.html file.


The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is responsible for maintaining the standards for HTML. You can obtain the latest information on HTML 3.2 and its successors from


Choose View, Source from IE 3.0's menu to display the HTML source for the Suppliers.html file in Windows Notepad (see Figure 17.6). If the size of the file is larger than about 50K, you receive a message that the file is too large for Notepad and you are given the option to open the file in WordPad.

Close Notepad and your browser, then return to Access.

Figure 17.6. The first few lines of the HTML source for the Suppliers.html file.

Creating an Unformatted Web Page

The vast majority of the content of the Suppliers.html file is HTML formatting instructions for colors and text fonts. The color and font formatting instructions obscure the HTML text that creates the tabular structure of the Web page. Much of the formatting content is duplicated throughout the source code; duplicate formatting is typical when you use tools that automatically create Web pages for you.



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