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We can convert your Q&A databases and documents to formats you can use in today's  database managers and word processors

D a t a   &  D o c u m e n t   C o n v e r s i o n  S e r v i c e s

We are Marble Publications, Inc.
Publisher of INSIDE SESAME
Call 800-780-5474
  /  office@quickanswer.com


We're the Q&A database & document conversion experts

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Database Export and Conversion Services
Converting Q&A Databases to Microsoft AccessWe can extract the data from any Q&A database to a format that is importable into programs such as Microsoft Access and Excel. You send us the database (the .dtf plus the .idx file), we perform the extraction according to any special instructions you provide, then send you the export file, ready for you to import into your other program (or use as a Microsoft Word or WordPerfect mail merge file).

We can perform a complete A to Z conversion — forms, data, reports, macros, saved specs, merge documents, etc. —  migrating your Q&A system to products such as Microsoft Access, Filemaker, Sesame, Alpha Five or another appropriate database product,  providing you with a modern, trouble-free and 100% ready-to-use data management system. Conversions to Sesame are generally less costly because it has certain compatibilities with Q&A. It's also much easier for former Q&A users to become comfortable with because of the commonality of shortcut keys (F10, F9, etc.) and because it uses the same search methodology and syntax as Q&A.


Call us toll free — 800-780-5474
Email us — tjmarcellus@quickanswer.com

Things are going great! We are very happy with our new system.... running flawlessly these past few months.
Matt Kroona

Your conversion of our old Q&A database system is working out very well. It went much smoother than expected. We feel very lucky to have found you.
—Rosebud Coffey  loscompadres@sbcglobal.net

Q&A for Windows databases can contain multiple forms, such as a Master form, a Main Menu form, an input form and one or more search forms. The database might also contain scripts which link the forms into a kind of application. If you have a Q&A for Windows application like this, we can convert it for you.

Reports and other customization features such as Programming, Macros, Saved Specs, Batch Posting, Restrict Values, Initial Values, and Field Templates may incur additional conversion charges.

"Thank you for being so diligent in converting the [Q&A] database [to Access]. I've viewed the database and everything looks good."
-- Adam Wolf, Legal Web Design,

"It worked great. I imported it [the converted Q&A database] directly into Outlook XP. I really appreciate both the quick turn-around as well as the surprise discount. Again, many thanks!"
-- Russell Jalbert, russelljalbert@msn.com

"You did a great job saving my old Q&A files in a useful Excel format just as you promised. I am deeply indebted to you. Thank you so much. I strongly recommend your service to anyone who needs it."
--Dr. Donald Rapp,

"Thanks very much for your work on this [converting two Q&A databases to an MS Access database]. We installed the database today and the user is extremely happy. I appreciate your attention to detail, and desire to provide an excellent service."
--Bill Lawrence,

"Thanks for all your help. The database works great. It was the easiest conversion I've ever done."
--Julie Gilroy, julieg@walkerhead.com

Everything is working out fine with our [new Access] database [converted from Q&A]. Thanks for the good work. -- Jim Schaefer, jim@princoinstruments.com

Basic conversion converts all Q&A database fields as the same data type (Text, Number, Date, etc.)

If you've been having problems with the database such as disappearing data, reports that won't run, intermittent or regular error messages when performing certain operations, or the like, please inform us. (Please do not supply us with a database that you know is damaged, thinking that it will all "work out okay" in the end. You're only shortchanging yourself as this delays the conversion process and may result in additional charges above what we would normally charge to isolate and repair the damage in advance of conversion.)

Any databases supplied to us for conversion must have all password protection removed or you must provide us with the top-level administrative UserID and Password.

During our post-conversion check, we compare before-and-after record counts as well as sample the records in the converted database and compare them with the same records in the Q&A database to ensure that the conversion process correctly transferred all the data. We guarantee that all of your data will be converted 100% accurately.


Read an actual Conversion Summary Report we provided to a client following a large multi-database conversion job.

Take care when choosing a data conversion service
Beware of developers and companies claiming to be Q&A conversion experts. They can be very convincing. But what you get back from them (after you've paid) might not be what you expected. We've heard the horror stories and have fixed the work that others have failed to properly perform.

The more valuable your data, the more caution you should exercise in choosing who will do your Q&A conversion. Q&A databases can be damaged in ways that you might not see during ordinary usage. A database can contain invalid non-Y2K-compliant dates that might look like 21st century dates but are actually 20th century dates (1912 instead of 2012). Records can be corrupted. Q&A might report that there are far more (or far fewer) records in the database than there actually are. Problems like these, common in Q&A databases, are not checked for by some conversion "experts" and can result in a poor conversion that you might not discover for days or weeks.

We know Q&A inside and out — better than anyone. We wrote The Q&A Bible (1993 IDG Books) and published The Quick Answer Q&A newsletter for 15 years.  We check all Q&A databases prior to conversion so that you receive a guaranteed 100% accurate and healthy data conversion.

Minimum charge of $125 for data export/extraction services. Minimum charge of $160 for conversion services on small databases that have little or no customization. Larger jobs are quoted at a flat rate after we've evaluated the database(s). Payments on larger conversion jobs are normally arranged on an installment basis. Turnaround time can be from two to five working days. Rush jobs may incur an additional charge. The balance is due when the job is complete and ready to send to you (normally by email attachment). We accept company checks and all major credit cards.

We work with you to arrange conversions so that
you do not experience any system down time.

For a site unseen ballpark estimate. . .
For each database, tell us which version of Q&A it is, how many fields are in it, how many of those fields are memo or notes fields that might contain more than 250 characters, the number of records in the database, the number of reports, if you use Q&A macros with your system, and whether you have experienced any problems with the database, such as Q&A error messages appearing when you try to use the database. Also, describe any additional features you want in the converted database, such as additional fields, special field formatting, field validation, initial values, reports, programming, lookups, and the like. Our conversion estimates do not include reports unless you explicitly ask for them.

For advanced conversion jobs that might include re-creating the Q&A programming, field restrictions, reports and the like, we must evaluate the Q&A database before giving you a firm quote. If the database is highly complex, there may be a pre-conversion evaluation charge. If you then have us perform the work, the evaluation charge will be deducted from our overall conversion charges.


Q&A Documents
We have the know-how and tools to convert your Q&A for DOS Write documents to Microsoft Word for Windows (.doc) or Rich Text Format (.rtf) documents.

Our conversions retain the general formatting of your original Q&A Write documents and preserve the following document elements:

  • All textConverting Q&A DOS documents to Microsoft Word for Windows
  • Paragraphing
  • Relative Linespacing*
  • Relative Font Sizes*
  • Enhancements such as bold, italics, underline
  • Page Margins
  • Page Numbering (Q&A's "#" page number symbol is converted to page number)
  • Justification (full, left, center, or right)
  • Headers / Footers (plus alignment and page number, if used)
  • Temporary Margins

* For Q&A DOS documents, fonts, font sizes, and linespacing are relative. Fonts used in DOS programs and fonts used in Windows programs are not cross-compatible. (Windows does not recognize DOS fonts.) Conversion can't convert fonts in your Q&A documents to "equivalent" Windows fonts because there are no equivalents. If your Q&A document contains several font sizes and/or font enhancements, however, conversion preserves those sizes and enhancements. For an additional charge (see below) we can apply fonts and font sizes to converted documents so they closely match the output you get when printing them in Q&A for DOS. In this case, though, you must supply us with a printed example of each document since we may not have the same fonts that have been applied to your Q&A documents.

Document elements that appear in the converted document as plain text:

  • Document Programming statements (Q&A 4.0 and 5.0)
  • Document *JOIN* and *QUEUE* commands
  • Embedded printer control codes
  • Other "exotic" embedded elements

Line Draw (graphic lines and boxes) will not convert as these are comprised of DOS ASCII extended graphics characters that aren't supported in Windows word processors. They normally appear in the converted document as "foreign accented" characters. (However, if you have us convert to RTF — Rich Text Format — which is compatible with today's major word processors, including Microsoft Word, Open Office and WordPerfect, chances are that most of your line draw can be preserved.) We can remove any line draw from your pre-converted Q&A documents (or convert lines to a line of dashes or asterisks) for an additional charge, though we prefer that you do this.

The Q&A for DOS word processor is a monospace screen (as opposed to WYSIWYG/proportional in Windows word processors). Columns, boxes and the like that were aligned by "hand-spacing" when the document was created will lose that alignment when converted and viewed in your Windows word processor. You can correct for this by applying a monospace font such as Courier New to those documents (after receiving them back from us) to get the columns to properly align once more.

Hand-spacing in the Q&A documents may also cause irregular line wrapping in the converted documents. This cannot be fixed except by manually editing the converted documents. We can do this for you for an additional charge. Again, however, this is normally fixed by opening the document in your Windows word processor and applying a monospace font to it.

Conversion does not convert Q&A merge fields to valid merge fields for the target word processor because the merge field codes are unique to the word processor you'll be using. Windows word processors require you to specify a valid data source before you can place merge fields in a document.

* * *

"Many thanks for your help and the speedy service [Q&A document conversions to MS Word for Windows]. We were not looking forward to having to rekey this whole job! If I get further Q&A files I'll certainly contact you again."
--Ann Joshua, Joshua Associates, Typesetters anne@joshuatype.com

* * *

For an additional charge (see below), we can replace Q&A merge field codes with text placeholders (field names inside brackets) for the data source you'll be using in the converted document's word processor. This will make it easier for you to turn the document into a merge document in the word processor you'll be using..

For conversions to Microsoft Word for Windows, the converted documents are compatible with all versions of Word for Windows from version 6.0 on, including Word 95, 97, 2000 and later versions (as of this writing). For conversions to WordPerfect for Windows, we convert to WordPerfect for Windows 6.0 format.

The optimum conversion format is Rich Text Format (RTF). RTF does the best job of retaining  document characteristics.

We cannot guarantee perfect conversion of Q&A documents in terms of look, pagination and layout. Some converted documents may require some manual editing to make them print out looking exactly like the original Q&A documents. By having us perform the conversion, you understand and agree to this.

How It Works
We understand the importance of your documents to your business or profession and that they contain private, proprietary, and sensitive information. We use a "blind" conversion process. We do not open or otherwise view your documents at all. The only time we might need to open a document is to troubleshoot a conversion problem. Should such a problem occur, we will contact you for instructions.

We will be happy to convert a representative* Q&A Write document for you at no charge so you can see the results. You can email it to us (as a file attachment) at office@quickanswer.com after requesting and receiving our okay to send them.

*Sample documents for free conversion must be of the same type and approximate length as the documents you plan on having converted. This is the only way we can quote you an estimated conversion price for the job.

The easiest way to get your documents to us is to zip them into one or more zip files, then send the file(s) to us by zipped file via email attachment (if under 10MB). If you want a new blanket filename extension assigned to the converted documents (such as .NEW or .DOC), that extension must be the same for all converted documents.

Q&A Write document files for conversion must conform to the DOS "8.3" file naming convention. File names cannot exceed 8 characters not counting the file extension. (The file extension is optional.) All file names must be unique through the first 8 or fewer characters unless the files are provided in separate directories.

For example, if you have a file named ccminv.001, you cannot also have a file named ccminv.002 because in this case the file names are not unique. Conversion replaces the file extension with the target program's file extension — .doc or .rtf — so the file names must be unique up through the period. File names that do not meet the unique criterion must be renamed beforehand so that they are unique, or provided in separate directories.

When we've finished converting your documents, we'll zip them into one or more files and send them to you by whatever means you prefer. Turnaround time is normally just a few days. Your original documents are permanently deleted from our computers after 30 days unless you specify otherwise.

$80 minimum charge. Document conversion jobs are usually quoted at a flat rate once we know the approximate average length and number of documents involved. Turnaround time is normally three to five working days. Rush work may incur additional charges. 50% of the estimated amount is required in advance of beginning work. The balance is due when the job is complete and ready to send to you. We accept company checks and all major credit cards.

For document conversion jobs that include multiple directories of documents, there is an additional $5.00 per directory charge.

For a "site unseen" estimate. . .
Q&A Documents -- tell us how many documents you have, about how many pages they are on average, what they contain (general correspondence, plain text, merge fields, aligned columns of text or data, if they contain lots of box or line draw, etc.). For large conversion jobs (50 or more documents), we will gladly convert several of your representative documents in advance at no charge so you can see the result.

Email office@quickanswer.com
Phone -  949-722-9127 / Fax - 949-722-9127
Marble Publications, 1927A Harbor Blvd., Costa Mesa, California 92627
Last modified: July 07, 2014