One of the advertised strengths of a good Windows Based Accounting System is its ability to migrate data between itself and other systems such as Microsoft Excel & Access. While most Dos Based Systems are not as easy to interface, Libra does offer a number of routines that make moving data fairly easy.


The data formats most commonly used to pass data to and from Libra modules are:


1)          Fixed Width / Fixed Fielded Ascii

2)          Comma Delimited Ascii

3)          DIF


A number of Libra / Visual Modules have specific programs to migrate data to and from that system. All modules may be used to export data by using Spool Files however. If the module has a built in Report Writer this process becomes easier and more flexible.


The most commonly used Import / Export routines are located in the following modules:



General Ledger


Merge Offsite Transactions located in Transaction Data Entry imports external Ascii transactions from remote systems.


Ledger File Export located on the main menu exports Accounts, Descriptions and Balances in various formats and arrangements.


Budget Import / Export located in Ledger File Maintenance moves budget data to and from Excel Spreadsheets and such sources.



Accounts Payable

Import Transaction Data located on the main menu imports Ascii invoices to be paid as supplied by an external source such as a spreadsheet or a vendor supplied file.



Visual Canadian Payroll


Transaction Import located in Payroll Data Entry imports employee transactions from a variety of time card and similar systems.


Employee Data Exports located as options in the Employee File Listing exports various combinations on employee data in Tab Delimited Ascii for import to Excel, Access.



Beyond the built in routines, there are other ways to export data from Libra. Imports on the other hand are not quite as easy. If a routine does not exist, we may need to write one. Since we have done this numerous times over the years, we have available routines to import data into many of the Libra and Visual Accounting modules. Let us know if you need assistance in this area.


The most common form of generic export of Libra data is facilitated by using spool files.

Most reports can be printed to a spool file. In Libra modules, printing to a spool file creates an Ascii image of the report. This file can be found in the LIBRA2 folder and the file name takes the form LPFxxy, or LSFxx, where xx would be your workstation number and y would be the spool file number that you picked in report defaults.


Each of these files is an exact image of the report and can be imported into Excel as a Fixed Width file. You may need to clean up the repetitive headings by sorting the spreadsheet and deleting the extra data, but this is usually much faster than the alternative re-keying of mountains of data.


By using the integrated Report Writers, data can be organized in nice neat columns and exported to spool files for easy assimilation. A short training session can provide you with substantial data manipulation options.