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Link a Table to an Access Database

written by: •edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 5/10/2010

If you work in several databases and need to share data between some of them, you might think you need to duplicate a table. Instead of making the table again from scratch, simply link it to the database instead.

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    Linking to Another Access Table

    To link a table to a database, start Access and open the database to which you want to link a table. In Access 2003 or earlier, go to the File menu, point to Get External Data and click on Link Tables. If you are using Access 2007, go to the External Data tab and click on Access in the Import section. Article Image  Article Image 

    In the Link dialog box that opens in Access 2003 or earlier, click the Browse button. Navigate to the Access file that contains the table you want to link to this database. Select it by clicking it once, and then click the Link button. If you are using Access 2007, the Get External Data dialog will open. Click Browse and select the file with the table to be linked to the database. Under Specify How and Where You Want to Store the Data in the Current Database, select Link to the Data Source by Creating a Linked Table and then click OK.

    In any version of Access, a Link Tables dialog box will appear. Select the table from this database file that you want to link to the database previously opened. Click OK.

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    The linked database will now be listed in the window of the previously opened Access database. There will be an arrow to the left of this table, which informs you that this is a linked table.

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    Link a Table from Another Source

    You can also use this feature to link a table to the Access database from another source, such as Oracle. To do so, follow the steps listed in the first paragraph. In Access 2003 or earlier, select the correct file type under Files of Type in the Look In dialog box. For example, if you want to link an Oracle table to the Access database, select ODBC Databases from the Files of Type drop down list.

    In Access 2007, go to the External Data tab and click the More drop down arrow in the Import group. Select ODBC Database from the drop down list. Select Link to the Data Source by Creating a Linked Table and then click OK. The Select Data Source dialog will open. Go to the Machine Data Source tab and select the Oracle database, then click OK. A login screen will pop up. Enter your user name and password for the Oracle database and click OK to log in. Select the table you want to link to the Access database.

    Additional Resources: If you're looking for more tips and tricks, be sure to browse through the other Microsoft Access user guides found here at Bright Hub.