The Basics Of Exporting FileMaker Data

From Dwayne Wright PMP, PMI-ACP, CSM
Certified FileMaker Developer

TWITTER: dwaynewright
YOUTUBE: FileMakerThoughts

A situation may arise where you want to take some of the data you have gathered in your FileMaker solution and (move / copy) it to another database, software package or spreadsheet. This process has a name and it is called EXPORTING. It is a fairly straight forward process, once you have successfully completed it a time or two. If you have done an IMPORT in your past, it's basically the same set of steps, only the final result is reversed.

We should also mention that the exported data can either add to the data in the existing file or replace data in the existing file. Normally, this is a setting in a dialog box you will encounter from the DESTINATION FILE and is part of IMPORTING. When you are exporting data, you don't have to worry about this but it is something you will need to address when doing the next logical step ... which is of course importing.

You have two options in your export, all of the data or just some of it. If you want to export all the data, make sure your found set of records equals the number of records in the table. If not, then do a FIND operation, so your found set of records contains only the information you want to export.

The next step is to name the file you are exporting. This is the first two dialog boxes that you will come across. You can get to this by choosing export records from under the File-Import/Export menu choices.

Then directly after that, you will get another dialog box that is used to determine...

- Where you want the exported file stored
- What name you are going to give the file
- What format you want the file saved in
- What fields do you want to export the data from

Here you can see the pop up menu of export formats you have available.

Here you can see the dialog box for picking and choosing what field data you want to export.

WARNING : Make sure you don't replace a file in the same location by naming the exported file with the same name as an existing file ... unless of course .... that is exactly what you are trying to do.

The last step is to click the export button.
More info about the author and FileMaker in general, contact me at

© 2008 - Dwayne Wright -

The material on this document is offered AS IS. There is NO REPRESENTATION OR WARRANTY, expressed or implied, nor does any other contributor to this document. WARRANTIES OF MERCHANT ABILITY AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMED. Consequential and incidental damages are expressly excluded. FileMaker Pro is the registered trademark of FileMaker Inc.