How to Use the Import Wizard to Import Records, Transactions, and Other Data
Introducing the Import Wizard
This help topic explains how to import data into Total Office Manager using the fully integrated Import Wizard. We have other help topics which cover the data and field types in great detail. We also have a help topic that lists the various records that can be imported.
How to Use the Import Wizard
The import feature includes a very easy to use wizard that guides you through the entire process. Use of this feature is intended to import data from other programs.
For example, you may have a large customer list from another software program that allows exporting. You would, first, export that customer list from the other software program and then import it into Total Office Manager.
Note: This particular import feature is NOT meant to be used to import Flat Rate Plus data. We have a special import wizard specifically designed for importing Flat Rate Plus data into Total Office Manager.
Import File Types & Data Types
Total Office Manager allows users to import using various file types which can be created either directly by exporting from other software or created for use with Total Office Manager. Importable file types are as follows. Any file types not listed below cannot be imported by users and must first be converted into one of these acceptable file types first:
- Microsoft Excel (.xls) Files
- Comma Separated Values (.CSV) Files
- Microsoft Access (.mdb) Files
- Text (.txt) Files
Note About Delimiters: ASCII Text files can be created using various different “delimiters”. Delimiters are used to separate fields. They are how the software knows when one field ends and another field begins. If your text contains characters that are the same as a delimiter, but they are not meant to be a delimiter, the software will not “realize” this. The text will be broken into new fields each time the delimiter is encountered. A good delimiter is something that is not normally found in the text you are importing.
Unless users have specific reason for doing so or otherwise cannot avoid it, we recommend that users create Tab Delimited files.
For the purposes of properly formatting your data file, regardless of the type, it is important to understand the various data types and how to properly use them. The following lists the various data types encountered in Total Office Manager and a description:
- String: A combination of characters which can be alpha, numeric, or special characters, such as exclamation points, question marks, or parenthesis.
- Double: A decimal (e.g. 4.096)
- Long: A whole number (e.g 4096).
- Date: A date. Must be formatted as mm/dd/yyyy.
- Boolean: A boolean represents a True/False or Yes/No value. This is usually a checkbox option within a form, where checked means True/Yes and unchecked means False/No.
- Lookup: This data must exist in the software. The import will look elsewhere in the software to match the mapped field. An example of a Lookup field would be a field where a Chart of Accounts account selection is required. The account must already exist in Total Office Manager before it can be selected in the import field as the import will not create the Chart of Account if it does not exist.
- Memo: A string value field. This field is typically used for notes.
How to Access the Import Wizard
From the main menu click File | Company Utilities | Import.
IMPORTANT: Please backup your company file (database) before doing any importing. If something goes wrong, you may wish you had backed it up.
- Go to File | Company Utilities | Import to begin the import process.
- In the Open dialog, locate and select the file you wish to import. Take care to change the “File Type” (above the Open button) to the specific type you wish to import. You may also select the “All Files” option.
- In the “Data Type To Import” list, select the data that describes what you are importing and click Next. If you do not see a description of what you are trying to import, Total Office Manager does not allows users to import it. Please contact the Aptora Help Desk at email@example.com and let us know what you need imported.
- If the first row of the file you are importing contains field names (e.g. Type, Email, Name, Price, etc.), check the First Row Contains Field Names box. See tips below for more information.
- Select the type of delimiter used to separate the records in the import file. Tab is the most common.
- When you make the selection, you will see an instant preview of the import data. If it looks correct, continue. Otherwise try Comma, Space, or Other. The Other option will require you to enter the delimiter in the box provided. If you are unsure, ask the person that created the file for you.
- Field Mapping is a very important step and should be done very carefully. In the “Map Fields” section, under the column named Total Office Manager Field, select the data type that describes the field you are importing. The Sample Data column displays the fields from the first record in the import file. This is shown to help you figure out what the field should be mapped (matched) to in Total Office Manager. Double check your work and click Next.
- Click the Clip Strings to Length to allow the software to cut off excess data where the information entered in the import file for any specific field may be longer than the length allowed for the field in Total Office Manager.
- Click the Overwrite Existing Data checkbox to allow the software to overwrite the information should duplicates be found. This is very important if you are importing to update data.
- Click NEXT to proceed
- Read the Import Agreement and check the checkbox stating that you have read, understand, and agree to the risks and responsibility as stated in the agreement.
- Click NEXT to proceed
- Click Import to begin the import.
Once the import has completed you will be given the option to save the import log. It is highly recommended that you save this log as its contents can be useful in troubleshooting any problems related to imported data.
After the import, immediately study the results (before letting anyone else work in the program). If you see problems, restore your original company file.
Data Types & Field Definitions
Please follow this link to learn more about all the types of data that can be imported, such as Customers, Employees, and Vendors, as well as each field related to that Data Type, such as Name, Terms, Addresses, etc.