I make mailing labels by pulling information about specific real-world locations into small database files. I used to get MS Access-ready DBase files, but now I have to work with CSV files, which don't seem to play well with Access. Please help me get more use out of Access, find out how to convert CSV to DBase or similar file types, or figure out better ways to use Excel. Long version inside.
I make labels for specific projects by pulling location-specific addresses from a huge collection of addresses. The old program I used generated DBase (dba) files, which I then tweaked in Access, deleting duplicates and adding extra addresses, and in the process a linked Microsoft Access Database (mdb or accdb) file was created. Someone took that cleaned up Dbase file by way of the mdb, and linked to it to print individualized letters.
Now we have a new system that is easier to use on the front-end, but it generates CSV files instead. Those CSV files create problems in Access, as I can create new fields for new recipients, but I cannot delete the duplicates or accidentally created rows or fields. I get the error message "Deleting data in a linked table is not supported by this ISAM."
Searching online for that error message turns up solutions that involve some level of coding, which seems like it should be overkill for something that happened automatically with dba files. In looking for a CSV to DBA converter only turns up programs to purchase, and I don't know enough about Access to know what other file types that I could create from the CSV that I currently generate.
The kludge fix is to delete data in Excel, but sorting data in Access was so much easier, especially when I sometimes deal with hundreds of addresses.
Lot number Name Address City State ZIP
455456602 Jane Doe 155 That St Cityville CA 90210
455456606 John Smith 123 That St Cityville CA 90210
455456644 Jane Doe 155 That St Cityville CA 90210
455456646 Frank Guy 127 That St Cityville CA 90210
455456647 Jane Doe 155 That St Cityville CA 90210
I would delete all but one Jane Doe address, as they're going to the same place, even though she has three lot numbers. If that list isn't cleaned, Jane Doe gets three letters for the same project, and the top row are titles for the columns, so they shouldn't be sorted when I'm sorting the entries by name or address.
In summary, my questions:
1. Is there some way to fix or override the ISAM error messages in Access? If not,
2. Is there an easy way to convert CSV files to Dbase files, or something else that Access will handle more easily? If not,
3. Is there a better way to sort rows of data by columns in Excel, when the rows need to stay together and the headers are the titles for the columns?
Any way to streamline this process is great, because this sort of task gets done pretty frequently, and often by people in a rush.