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Exporting Data from the Program
There are several ways to export data from the program. You might wish to export the data in order to process it in some way in Excel or another spreadsheet program, or because you are switching to a different software program and you want to import the data that you currently have in DONATION into that other program. You may also want to export the data from reports, in order to format it differently or use it in some other way.
The primary way to export data from DONATION is to be on a Report output window, and click the Save As button. For details, see Saving Reports to Files.
However, there are several ways to get to a Report output window. The most obvious is by running a report from the Reports menu. Please note, however, that certain complex reports do not export any data, or only export a portion of their data. Other reports actually export additional data that is not visible on the report!
The next way to generate a report is with the Reports ⇒ Custom Report menu option, which lets you choose exactly the fields you want.
You can also generate a report directly with the Database ⇒ SQL Select menu option. That allows you to export any data that you want to export, whether there is a report that includes it or not, but it does require some minor use of SQL, the internal language used with the database to retrieve data. Read the help page about that for more details.
Once you have your report displayed, if you do not want all of the displayed records to be exported, you can use the Filter button to restrict which ones are displayed before you export them.
For exporting to Excel, you will want to select the "Excel" Data Format on the Save As Options window that comes up when you click Save As, with the "Raw Unformatted Data for Exporting" option also selected. For importing into other programs, often the correct Data Format will be either CSV (comma-separated value) or tab-separated Text.
Exporting to Excel with "Formatted Data for Display" is completely different and is unfortunately somewhat imperfect. Please see here for more details about that.
One additional exporting option uses the Letters ⇒ Mass Mailing menu option, where there is an option to only export the data needed for a given type of mail merge, rather than doing the mail merge within DONATION. That gives you another excellent way to export data, if for some unusual reason you need to do your own mail merges with your word processor. That window also has an option to Filter the retrieved data. You can then use the exported file for Doing Mail Merges using Save As from Reports or Generating Mailing Labels using Microsoft Word. But usually the built-in mail merge and mailing label facilities in DONATION are far easier to use, and quite sufficient.