Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Preparing Data for Import into Access.

Preparing Data for Import into Access

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 27, 2018)

5

If you are a database programmer you may sometimes get Excel files that you have to "clean up" to put into Access. Two common problems are caused by Social Security Numbers and ZIP Codes. These are best stored as text in the database, and not as numbers as they often are in Excel. (In Excel the numbers may display properly because of cell formatting, and not because they are stored as text.)

Even when the range is formatted as text in Excel, complete with leading zeroes, Access more often than not converts these values to numbers. However, if the number is preceded with an apostrophe, as for a label, Access will correctly import it as text without the leading apostrophe.

To prepare Social Security Numbers for importing in Access a quick little macro can come in handy—one that makes sure that leading zeros are present and that the apostrophe is in place for the cell. To use the macro, just select the range of Social Security Numbers and then run the macro:

Sub SSN2Text()
    Dim c As Range
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    'Format selected cells as text
    Selection.NumberFormat = "@"
    For Each c In Selection
        If Left(c, 1) = "'" Then
            'strip the apostrophe, if any
            c = Mid(c, 2, 99)
        Else
            c = "'" & Right("000000000" & c, 9)
        End If
    Next c
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

The solution for the ZIP Codes is similar in nature. The macro to process ZIP Codes steps through each cell in the selection, formats it as text, adds a leading apostrophe, and plugs in any leading zeroes. The difference is that the macro must also account for instances where there are either five-digit or nine-digit ZIP Codes.

Sub ZIP2Text()
    Dim c As Range
    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    'Format selected cells as text
    Selection.NumberFormat = "@"
    For Each c In Selection
        If Left(c, 1) = "'" Then
            'strip the apostrophe, if any
            c = Mid(c, 2, 99)
        End If
        If Len(c) <= 5 Then
            c = "'" & Right("00000" & c, 5)
        Else
            c = "'" & Right("00000" & c, 10)
        End If
    Next c
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11228) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Preparing Data for Import into Access.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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Comments

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What is eight less than 8?

2018-09-27 17:47:17

Kevin

I agree with Jeff and Rod - something's not right with that SSN2Text script.


2015-02-26 12:12:39

Nora Abbott

If you don't want to use a macro, append an apostrophe to the beginning of the number.
Assume Labels in Row 1 and numbers formatted as text (73023, 43501, 05454, etc.) in Column K with K1 holding the label ZIP. Insert 2 new columns L and M. In L1 and M1, enter some labels such as APOS and NEWZIP. In L2 enter "'" (that's quotes, apostrophe, quotes). In M2, enter the formula =H1&J1. Copy L2 and M2 down the column. Import to Access and delete the fields ZIP and APOS. The NEWZIP field will come in as text, complete with the leading zeros.


2012-01-26 13:44:36

Jeff Crater

Isn't the third parameter in the MID statement unnecessary in this context? If it truly is necessary then why use 99? Most likely a value of 99 would suffice, but wouldn't Len(c)-1 be better?


2012-01-21 13:41:22

Dominick A. Donoflio

Rod is right. Unless I missed something, SSN2TEXT will not add an apostrophe if one is removed at all. Hence the number is left with no apostrophe, defeating the purpose.


2012-01-21 09:02:27

Rod Grealish

In subroutine SSN2Text a leading apostrophe, if present, is removed. Otherwise (Else) a leading apostrophe is added.

In subroutine ZIP2Text the leading apostrophe, if present, is removed. Whether or not a leading apostrophe was removed one is added. This is different from how apostrophes are handled in subroutine SSN2Text.

I think that SSN2Text should be modified by replacing the Else by the End If thus causing the statement

c = "'" & Right("000000000" & c, 9)

to be uncondionally executed i.e. the apostrophe is added whether or not one was removed.


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