OutputTo Action [Access 2003 VBA Language Reference]
You can use the OutputTo action to output the data in the specified Microsoft Access database object (a datasheet, form, report, module, data access page) to several output formats.
The OutputTo action has the following arguments.
|Object Type||The type of object containing the data to output. Click Table (for a table datasheet), Query (for a query datasheet), Form (for a form or form datasheet), Report, Module, Data Access Page, Server View, Stored Procedure, or Function in the Object Type box in the Action Arguments section of the Macro window. You can't output a macro. If you want to output the active object, select its type with this argument, but leave the Object Name argument blank. This is a required argument. The default is Table.|
|Object Name||The name of the object containing the data to output. The Object Name box shows all objects in the database of the type selected by the Object Type argument.
If you run a macro containing the OutputTo action in a library database, Access looks for the object with this name first in the library database, then in the current database.
|Output Format||The type of format you want used to output the data. You can click HTML (*.htm; *.html), Text Files (*.txt), Microsoft Active Server Pages (*.asp), Microsoft Excel (*.xls), Microsoft Excel 5-7 (*.xls), Microsoft Excel 97-10 (*.xls), Microsoft IIS (*.htx, *.idc), Rich Text Format (*.rtf), Data Access Page (*.htm; *.html) , or XML (*.xml) in the box. Modules can be output only to MS-DOS text format. Data access pages can only be output in HTML format. Only forms and reports can be output to data access pages. Microsoft Internet Information Server and Microsoft Active Server formats are available only for tables, queries, and forms. If you leave this argument blank, Access prompts you for the output format.|
|Output File||The file you want to output the data to, including the full path. You can include the standard file name extension (.asp, .htm or .html, .htx, .xls, .txt, .rtf, or .xml) for the output format you select with the Output Format argument, but it's not required. If you output to Internet Information Server or Active Server files, Access will always create files with the standard .htx and .idc or .asp file name extensions. If you output data access pages, Access will always create files with .html file name extensions. If you leave the Output File argument blank, Access prompts you for an output file name.|
|Auto Start||Specifies whether you want the appropriate software to start immediately after the OutputTo action runs, with the file specified by the Output File argument opened. If you select Yes, one of the following starts with the output file from the Access object opened: Excel (for .xls files), Microsoft Windows Notepad (for .txt files), or Microsoft Word (for .rtf files). For .html files, your default Internet browser starts.|
|Template File||The path and file name of a file you want to use as a template for .htm, .html, .htx, or .asp files. The template file is a text file that includes HTML tags and tokens that are unique to Access.|
|Encoding||The type of character encoding format you want used to output the text or HTML data. You can click MS-DOS, Unicode, or Unicode (UTF-8) in the box. MS-DOS is only available for text files. If you leave this argument blank, Access will output using the Windows default encoding for text files and the default system encoding for HTML files.|
The Access data is output in the selected format and can be read by any application that uses the same format. For example, you can output an Access report with its formatting to a rich-text format document and then open the document in Microsoft Word.
If you output the database object to HTML format, Access creates a file in HTML format containing the data from the object. You can use the Template File argument to specify a file to be used as a template for the .html file.
If you output the object to Internet Information Server format, Access creates two files:
- An .idc file, which contains information on how to connect to an ODBC data source, and an SQL statement to execute against this data source. In this case, the Access object you're outputting contains the data defined by the SQL statement and the current Access database is the ODBC data source.
- An .htx file, which specifies how to format data returned from the SQL statement specified in the .idc file as an HTML document. You can use the Template File argument to specify an .html file to be used as a template for the .htx file.
Internet Information Server uses the .htx and .idc files to create an .html file with the data in the Access object you output.
If you output the database object to Active Server format, Access creates a file in .asp format that contains information on how to access and format the object's data. Active Server uses the .asp file to create a .html file with the data in the Access object you output. You can use the Template File argument to specify a .html file to be used as a template for the .asp file.
The following rules apply when you use the OutputTo action to output a database object to any of the output formats except Active Server (some of these rules also apply to the Active Server format):
- You can output data in table, query, and form datasheets. In the output file, all fields in the datasheet look as they do in Access, except fields containing OLE objects. The columns for these fields are included in the output file, but the fields are blank.
- For a control bound to a Yes/No field (a toggle button, option button, or check box), the output file displays the value –1 (Yes) or 0 (No).
- For a text box bound to a Hyperlink field, the output file displays the hyperlink for all output formats except MS-DOS text (in this case, the hyperlink is just displayed as normal text).
- If you output the data in a form in Form view, the output file always contains the form's Datasheet view.
- If you output the data in a report, the only controls that are included in the output file are text boxes (for .xls output files), or text boxes and labels (for .rtf, .txt, and .html output files). All other controls are ignored. Header and footer information is also not included in the output file. The only exception to this is that when you output the data in a report to an Excel file, a text box in a group footer containing an expression with the Sum function is included in the output file. No other control in a header or footer (and no aggregate function other than the Sum function) is included in the output file.
- Subreports are included in the output file. Subforms will be included when outputting to .asp, but only when outputting as a form (not a datasheet).
- When you output a datasheet, form, or data access page in HTML format, one .html file is created. When you output a report in HTML format, one .html file is created for each page in the report.
- You can size the controls by pointing to Size on the Format menu, and then clicking To Fit.
- You should avoid overlapping controls or placing controls too close together.
- You can align the controls on the report by pointing to Align on the Format menu, and then clicking the appropriate command. Controls that aren't aligned in the same row may be placed in separate rows in the output file, causing additional spacing.
The OutputTo action is similar to clicking Export on the File menu and selecting the Save Formatted check box in the dialog box that's displayed. The action arguments correspond to the settings in the Export dialog box. The Export command, however, applies only to the object selected in the Database window. By using the OutputTo action, you can specify the object you want to output.
Note You can output the selected data with the Export command. However, this functionality isn't available with the OutputTo action.
You can also point to Office Links on the Tools menu, then click Analyze It With MS Excel or Publish It With MS Word to output a database object, and open the output file immediately in Excel or Word.
To run the OutputTo action in Microsoft Visual Basic, use the OutputTo method of the DoCmd object.