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Creating a Database Using Access

Databases are a method to organize lists of data.  Access is a powerful database that allows organization of data into tables and then for relationships to be made between the tables.  Access is a relational database.

  1. Open Microsoft Access and click the Blank Database option then OK.  This will bring up the File New Database Window.

  1. You must name and save the database before you start creating it.  Type a name for your database in the File name box.  Next, click create.
  2. In the next window (shown below), you will see tabs with a variety of options.  It is usually a good idea to start with a table.

Creating a Table

  1. In the Database Window, Table is already selected.  Click on New to begin
  2. In the New Table box, it is best to select Design View to allow you to design to meet your specific needs.  Click OK.

  1. Start creating your fields.  Be sure to select the appropriate data type by clicking the down arrow in the Data Type column and making a selection.

  1. It is not necessary to type a description for each field, but it is usually a good idea to do so.
  2. When you have finished creating the fields, click on the View Button (top left corner) to go to the datasheet view to enter your data.
  3. Access will tell you that you need to save the table first.  Click on yes.
  4. Next, you will be asked if you wish to create a primary key.  In most cases, however, it is best to say No.
  5. Start entering your data in datasheet view.  Use the tab key to move to each field.

Entering Data Using a Form

  1. After you have designed a table, you can easily swith to Form View and enter data into a form.  In some cases, this makes data easier to enter.  Begin by clicking on the New Object button and select AutoForm.
  2. Enter the infomration for each field by pressing Tab after each entry.  When you have completed a record, press Tab or Enter to move to a new record.  You could also use the buttons on the bottom left of the screen to move easily through the different fields.
Entering data is easier in this view
Navigation located at the bottom of the form
  1. You can click on the View button to go back to Datasheet View.  When you do so, the table appears with the information that you entered.  You can very easily toggle back to Form View and continue entering data.
  2. You can exit the form by clicking the Close button in the form window.  You do not need to worry about saving the form, because each record was saved as you entered it.
  3. Afterwards, the table that you started is now visible.  You will not see the records that you added in Form View.  You will have to update your table.
  4. Click on Records and choose the Remove Filter/Sort command.  This will display all your records.

Sorting Records

  1. In Datasheet View, decide which field you would like to sort.  Click on the column heading to select the field.
  2. Next, select on the Sort Ascending or Sort Descending button.

Filtering Records

You can use a filter to display specific records that you would like to see.  Two ways to apply are the Filter by Selection and the Filter by Form.

Filter by Selection

  1. Choose a field (column) and select the criteria for your filter (see below).

  1. Next, click the Filter by Selection button.

Filter by Selection Apply/Remove Filter
Filter by Form

Depending on what is selected, only the records that have that selected field will appear.

To show all records, click on the Apply/Remove Filter button.

Filter by Form

This lets you set up a filter with more than one criteria.

  1. Click on the Filter by Form button.  You will see the field names (column headings).  You can click inside any of these columns and a down arrow will appear.
  2. Click on the down arrow and choose your criteria.

In the above example, Home was selected.  This will show all the records that listed home in the Location field.  You can click in any other columns and set other specifications.

Using a Query

In Access, you can use a Query to pull complete or partial records from you database.  Using a query, you can specify the type of infomration that you want.

  1. Click the down arrow next to the New Object button.  Choose Query from the menu that appears.
  2. In the New Query dialog box, select Design View and click OK.  This will allow you to design a query to meet your needs.

  1. You can decide which field you want to include in your query by clicking inside a column and using the down arrow to select the field that you want to show.  In the above example only the school name, school number, and principal will show for the records when the query is applied.
  2. When you have established your criteria, click on the Run button to apply the query.

Creating Reports

Using Access, you can create a report on your data very easily.  You can print a report on a table or query.  It is a good idea to use AutoReport or the Report Wizard.


Click on the down arrow next to the New Objects button and choose AutoReport.  This will create a very simple report for you using the data displayed.

Report Wizard

  1. Click on the down arrow next to the New Object button and choose Report.
  2. Choose Report Wizard.  Make sure that the name of the table or query that you want to create a report from is in the box where you see "school" in this example.  If it is not there, click the down arrow and select it.

  1. Click OK and a series of windows will come up allowing you to make decisions about your report.  When you are ready to see your report, click Finish.


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This page was updated on:  04/10/02