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Chapter 29. Working with External Data > Using File, Open to Import External Da...

Using File, Open to Import External Data Files

You can access external data in various formats using the File, Open command. When you do this, Excel opens the entire file in question and parses it into spreadsheet columns. How the resulting list behaves in Excel depends to some extent on its external source. In some cases— text files, for example—the data becomes ordinary tabular matter. You can convert it to a list object by choosing Data, List, Create List. You can publish the resulting object to a SharePoint site, but you can't refresh the list against its original text-file source. In other cases, such as Microsoft Access tables, the result in your spreadsheet is what Excel calls an external data range. You can refresh the data (update it so that it reflects any changes that might have occurred in the external source) on demand or on schedule, but you can't convert it to a list object or publish it to a SharePoint site.

In all cases, however, the File, Open command imports entire external files. If you want to analyze only a particular set of records from the external source—those that meet criteria you specify—you need to create a query instead of simply opening the external file. You do this with commands on the Data menu, as opposed to File, Open. The procedures for creating queries are described later in this chapter.


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