Just as import/export firms have different methods for transferring goods (air, rail ground), as an Access importer and exporter, you can choose among various transport methods. As always in Windows, cut and paste is a simple, powerful, and convenient device for moving data and objects between two Access databases or Access and an external environment. Drag-and-drop can sometimes be an alternative to copy-and-paste. The Office Links command from the Tools menu is an excellent way of quickly sending Access data to Word and Excel. Perhaps most often, however, you'll work with Access import and export wizards, whose dialog boxes make it relatively easy to move data in and out of Access files.
As in international trade, exporting and importing in Access are not truly separate actions, but rather opposing halves of the same activity. Exporters of, say, machine tools, pharmaceuticals, and foodstuffs have to work closely with importers to make sure their products are compatible with local laws, tastes, and customs. Similarly, you'll be a more successful Access exporter if you have a good knowledge of the target program. Importing data into Access goes much more smoothly if you diligently perform preliminary spade work in the source program to make sure the data complies fully with Access rules. These rules include both Access conventions and specific field and table properties.
Another important question in this area is whether you should begin the import/export process from the external program or start the transfer in Access. Because this is an Access book, I focus on Access as the initiator in both exporting and importing. But by no means is this emphasis rigorously applied. The ultimate goal is to make your computing work easier, so some exercises are partially or even primarily performed in other Office programsnotably, Word and Excel.
After completing an exercise, I often ask you to save the file. You can then compare your work to the solution file of the same name that you downloaded. However, none of the exercises depends on another, so you can ignore saving the file and still complete all other exercises.