Saving, importing, and exporting data > Converting a data file to a new FileMaker Pro file

Converting a data file to a new FileMaker Pro file

You can convert a data file from another application into a new FileMaker Pro file. FileMaker Pro imports the data and creates a new FileMaker Pro file. This converted file will contain:

The data from the file or source you convert.

Two layouts for displaying the data: a Standard form layout and a List view layout.

Converted field names if they are available in the file or source you convert. Otherwise, field names are generic: f1, f2, f3, and so on. (Field names convert from Microsoft Excel, FileMaker Pro, Comma-Separated Values, Custom-Separated Values, DBF, merge, ODBC, and XML formats.)

Converted field types (text, number, date, and so on) if they are available in the file or source you convert. Otherwise, all fields are text fields. (Field types convert from FileMaker Pro, Microsoft Excel, ODBC, DBF, and XML formats.)

For information on importing data into an existing file, see Importing data into an existing file.

To import data into a new file:

1. In the source application (the application from which you're importing data into FileMaker Pro), save the data to import in a file type that FileMaker Pro supports.

See Supported import/export file formats.

2. In FileMaker Pro, choose File menu > Create New, then double-click Convert.

Or use one of the following methods to open the data file:

Choose File menu > Open, and continue to the next step.

Drag the data file to the FileMaker Pro application icon and skip to step 4.

3. In the Open File dialog box, for Files of type (Windows) or Show (macOS), choose the type of file (if needed). Locate the file to convert, then choose the file and click Open.

4. If you’re converting a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and the Specify Excel Data dialog box appears, choose a worksheet or named range from the workbook file, then click OK.

5. In the Save As dialog box, type a name for the new file, choose a location, then click Save.

6. In the Convert File dialog box, if a record in the source data you’re importing contains field names (column headings) instead of data, click Backward arrow or Forward arrow until the record containing field names appears. Then choose Use as Field Names.

Only the subsequent records will be available to import. The target field names are now the same as in the source.

7. In the Mapping column between each pair of fields in the list, click the current mapping and choose whether to import data from each field in the source file.

8. For Target, specify the name of the table to import data into.

9. In the Import Options area, choose character set and field delimiter options, if necessary.

See step 9 in Setting the import action and mapping fields during import.

10. Click Convert.


If the file you’re converting is large, you may see an Importing dialog box that shows the progress of the import process. To stop importing, click Stop. However, FileMaker Pro still creates a file containing a partial set of the converted data.

If you routinely import data from the same source, you can automate the process by setting up recurring imports. Data imported via recurring import is read-only in FileMaker Pro. See Setting up recurring imports.