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Article ID: 146406 - Last Review: October 11, 2006 - Revision: 2.3

This article was previously published under Q146406


In the versions of Microsoft Excel listed above, you can use Data Access Objects (DAO) in Visual Basic for Applications to retrieve a table from Microsoft Access.

To provide an example of how you can use DAO to retrieve a table from Microsoft Access, the macro described in this article uses the Northwind database that shipped with both Microsoft Office Professional for Windows 95, version 7.0, and Microsoft Office 97 Professional for Windows. If you selected the default options when you installed Microsoft Office Professional for Windows 95, version 7.0, the database is located in:
If you selected the default options when you installed Microsoft Office 97 Professional for Windows, the database is located in:
   \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office\Samples\Northwind.mdb
If the Northwind database is located in a different folder on your computer, you will need to edit the code provided below before you run it.

To use DAO in your macro, you must reference the Microsoft DAO Object Library or you may receive the error "User-defined type not defined". To reference this library in Microsoft Excel version 7.0, activate a module sheet, click References on the Tools menu, and check the "Microsoft DAO 3.0 Object Library" option. To reference this library in Microsoft Excel version 97, click References on the Tools menu in the Visual Basic Editor and check the "Microsoft DAO 3.5 Object Library".


Microsoft provides programming examples for illustration only, without warranty either expressed or implied. This includes, but is not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. This article assumes that you are familiar with the programming language that is being demonstrated and with the tools that are used to create and to debug procedures. Microsoft support engineers can help explain the functionality of a particular procedure, but they will not modify these examples to provide added functionality or construct procedures to meet your specific requirements. To retrieve a table from Microsoft Access, follow these steps:

  1. Establish a Database object.
  2. Establish a Recordset object.
  3. Retrieve the Headers (if desired).
  4. Retrieve the data from the table.
After the data is retrieved, you should close all the objects you opened by issuing .Close commands.

To retrieve a table from Microsoft Access programmatically, use the following Visual Basic for Applications code:
Sub GetTable()
'This sub will retrieve all the data in the "Customers" table in

   'Declare variables
   Dim Db As Database
   Dim Rs As Recordset
   Dim Ws As Object
   Dim i As Integer
   Dim Path as String

   'This line will define the Object "Ws" as Sheets("Sheet1")
   'The purpose of this is to save typing Sheets("Sheet1")
   'over and over again
   Set Ws = Sheets("Sheet1")

   'Set the Path to the database. This line is useful because
   'if your database is in another location, you just need to change
   'it here and the Path Variable will be used throughout the code
   Path = "c:\msoffice\access\samples\northwind.mdb"

   'This set of code will activate Sheet1 and clear any existing data
   'After clearing the data it will select cell A1

   'Set the Database, and RecordSet  This Table exists in the database
   Set Db = Workspaces(0).OpenDatabase(Path, ReadOnly:=True)

   'This will set the RecordSet to all records in the Customers table
   Set Rs = Db.OpenRecordset("Customers")

   'You could instead set the RecordSet to, for example, the records
   'where the Country Code is "UK", without quotes. To do this, replace
   'the line above: Set Rs = Db.OpenRecordset("Customers") with the
   'Set Rs = _
   'Db.OpenRecordset("SELECT * FROM Customers WHERE Country = 'UK';")

   'This loop will collect the field names and place them in the first
   'row starting at "A1"
   For i = 0 To Rs.Fields.Count - 1
      Ws.Cells(1, i + 1).Value = Rs.Fields(i).Name
   Next I

   'The next line simply formats the headers to bold font
   Ws.Range(Ws.Cells(1, 1), Ws.Cells(1, Rs.Fields.Count)).Font.Bold=True

   'The next line will get the data from the recordset and copy it
   'into the Worksheet (Sheet1).
   Ws.Range("A2").CopyFromRecordset Rs

   'This next code set will just select the data region and
   'auto-fit the columns

End Sub


For more information about Data Access, click the Index tab in Microsoft Excel Help, type the following text
data access in DAO
and then double-click the selected text to go to the "Accessing External Databases with DAO" topic.

  • Microsoft Excel 97 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Excel 95 Standard Edition
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