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Unable to open full DBF file in Excel...

Unable to open full DBF file in Excel...

Unable to open full DBF file in Excel...

I have a DBF file from an old application made for cataloging and labeling slides.

I have tried many methods to import the data into a format I can use but so far none have been successful. What has happened in most or all instances is that the data for all 2000+ records are imported into one cell in a spreadsheet.

Among what I've tried: Opening directly into Excel; converting the dbf file to txt and opening in Excel; using an online converter and attempting to convert to .csv and .xlsx; using Power Query.

The user database folder in the application has 20 files. Going by the Date modified, three files in that folder seem to be relevant: db.dbf, db.mdx, db.dbt. Opening the dbf file with Notepad, I can verify the data I want is present.

How can I get that data into Excel? Or, what other information do you need to address this issue?

Many thanks.

RE: Unable to open full DBF file in Excel...

What old application are you taking the data from, I assume it's either DBase of Foxpro?


RE: Unable to open full DBF file in Excel...

The application is ProSlide II by Elenco. They've been defunct for at least 10 years, I think. I was told by someone on an Excel forum that it's DBase.

RE: Unable to open full DBF file in Excel...

Old Dbase files cannot be readily accessed by external programs such as Excel.
However you can open your database file and issue the following command:-


this will give you a text file with fields separated by commas,

"1234", "text in here", "other text"
"1235", "more text", "other text" and so on.

You should then be able to import the text file into Excel.


RE: Unable to open full DBF file in Excel...

I appreciate the replies, Phil.

In what application do I open the dbf file and how do I go about issuing the command?

I searched for how to do what you suggested but didn't come up with anything I understood.

RE: Unable to open full DBF file in Excel...

Hello ixodid,
I've never heard of ProSlide II. Are you able to look at the file on screen?
How do you actually get it into Excel even though it is wrong.

I'm just trying to get a better feel for what you have in front of you.

Have you tried the Import facility in Excel as this gives you many types of files that it accepts.

The more info you have the more I may be able to help.


RE: Unable to open full DBF file in Excel...

I can view the records as intended in the original program, but that doesn't allow me to use the data as I need to now.

I have tried many different ways to get it into Excel. Then I installed PowerQuery in Excel and attempted to use several of its import options at the suggestions of members of an Excel forum.

For example:

-- I used PowerQuery > Get External Data > From File > From Text/CSV.
-- Tried a command in PowerQuery's Advanced Editor
-- Attempted using an online DBF to CSV converter
-- Installed and attempted to use LibreOffice because some people have said that works

What I'm working with: From the program I have a folder called "User_db" (see attached screenshot) and the file that contains the data I need is "db.dbf". I can open that in Notepad and view its contents (sample screenshot attached to next post).

RE: Unable to open full DBF file in Excel...

Trying to convert to CSV is usually the best way, so the only thing I can suggest is you send me db.dbf so I can inspect its structure etc. (philthoms91@gmail.com) if that's okay with you. I have several database programs I can try to get a result.


RE: Unable to open full DBF file in Excel...

4 four months ago I found a very good converter dbf to csv and also csv to dbf or dbf to excel. Converter is WhiteTown Converter. With free version you could convert only 50 records. With this converter you can also create a batch file with the convertion. For example I create a batch file to convert dbf in csv and I scheduled this bat to automatize import data in a ecommerce. Very good


RE: Unable to open full DBF file in Excel...

Hi Duffyduck94,
Thanks for the information but this query was completed on 4/1/21 but I forgot to raise the final posting.

RE: Unable to open full DBF file in Excel...

Hi Rosciano,
Thanks for the info but If you read through the original questions/answers you will become aware that there were other problems. However this query was fully resolved in January this year.


RE: Unable to open full DBF file in Excel...

The user-db-ss.PNG you attached contains DBase III Plus Database (.DBF) Files. All files with file extension ".DBF" can be opened directly in Excel even with the latest version of MS Excel. Just make sure that your Information System in your office is not currently running or using the files. If so, close your Information System and go to the folder where the .DBF files are located and double-click the desired .DBF to be opened. If it cannot be opened, it might be protected by the system programmer for security reasons.

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