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

Converting a data file to a new FileMaker Pro Advanced file

You can convert a data file from another application into a new FileMaker Pro Advanced file. FileMaker Pro Advanced imports the data and creates a new FileMaker Pro Advanced 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, 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 Advanced), save the data to import in a file type that FileMaker Pro Advanced supports.

See Supported import/export file formats.

2. Use one of the following methods to open the data file:

In FileMaker Pro Advanced, choose File menu > Create New.

Click Create in the My Apps or Recent window.

Drag the data file to the FileMaker Pro Advanced application icon.

3. In the Create window, double-click Convert.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. If you see the First Row Option dialog box, choose whether the first row of data contains field names or the first record of data, then click OK.

7. In the New File dialog box, type a name for the new file, choose a location, then click Save.


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 Advanced 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 Advanced. See Setting up recurring imports.