Default: none

Specifies that the import is a table-mode import and lists the table names and partition and subpartition names to import. Table-mode import lets you import entire partitioned or nonpartitioned tables. The TABLES parameter restricts the import to the specified tables and their associated objects, as listed in Table 23-3. You can specify the following values for the TABLES parameter:

  • tablename specifies the name of the table or tables to be imported. If a table in the list is partitioned and you do not specify a partition name, then all its partitions and subpartitions are imported. To import all the exported tables, specify an asterisk (*) as the only table name parameter.

    tablename can contain any number of '%' pattern matching characters, which can each match zero or more characters in the table names in the export file. All the tables whose names match all the specified patterns of a specific table name in the list are selected for import. A table name in the list that consists of all pattern matching characters and no partition name results in all exported tables being imported.

  • partition_name and subpartition_name let you restrict the import to one or more specified partitions or subpartitions within a partitioned table.

The syntax you use to specify the preceding is in the form:



If you use tablename:partition_name, then the specified table must be partitioned, and partition_name must be the name of one of its partitions or subpartitions. If the specified table is not partitioned, then the partition_name is ignored and the entire table is imported.

The number of tables that can be specified at the same time is dependent on command-line limits.

As the export file is processed, each table name in the export file is compared against each table name in the list, in the order in which the table names were specified in the parameter. To avoid ambiguity and excessive processing time, specific table names should appear at the beginning of the list, and more general table names (those with patterns) should appear at the end of the list.

Although you can qualify table names with schema names (as in scott.emp) when exporting, you cannot do so when importing. In the following example, the TABLES parameter is specified incorrectly:

imp TABLES=(jones.accts, scott.emp, scott.dept)

The valid specification to import these tables is as follows:

imp FROMUSER=jones TABLES=(accts)
imp FROMUSER=scott TABLES=(emp,dept)

For a more detailed example, see "Example Import Using Pattern Matching to Import Various Tables".


Some operating systems, such as UNIX, require that you use escape characters before special characters, such as a parenthesis, so that the character is not treated as a special character. On UNIX, use a backslash (\) as the escape character, as shown in the following example:


Table Name Restrictions

The following restrictions apply to table names:

  • By default, table names in a database are stored as uppercase. If you have a table name in mixed-case or lowercase, and you want to preserve case-sensitivity for the table name, then you must enclose the name in quotation marks. The name must exactly match the table name stored in the database.

    Some operating systems require that quotation marks on the command line be preceded by an escape character. The following are examples of how case-sensitivity can be preserved in the different Import modes.

    • In command-line mode:

    • In interactive mode:

      Table(T) to be exported: "Exp"
    • In parameter file mode:

  • Table names specified on the command line cannot include a pound (#) sign, unless the table name is enclosed in quotation marks. Similarly, in the parameter file, if a table name includes a pound (#) sign, then the Import utility interprets the rest of the line as a comment, unless the table name is enclosed in quotation marks.

    For example, if the parameter file contains the following line, then Import interprets everything on the line after emp# as a comment and does not import the tables dept and mydata:

    TABLES=(emp#, dept, mydata)

    However, given the following line, the Import utility imports all three tables because emp# is enclosed in quotation marks:

    TABLES=("emp#", dept, mydata)


    Some operating systems require single quotation marks rather than double quotation marks, or the reverse; see your Oracle operating system-specific documentation. Different operating systems also have other restrictions on table naming.

    For example, the UNIX C shell attaches a special meaning to a dollar sign ($) or pound sign (#) (or certain other special characters). You must use escape characters to get such characters in the name past the shell and into Import.