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Microsoft Access Tutorial


Tutorial Menu Getting Started Screen Layout
A Few Terms

These words are used often in Access so you will want to become familiar with them before using the program and this tutorial.

  • A database is a collection of related information.
  • An object is a competition in the database such as a table, query, form, or macro.
  • A table is a grouping of related data organized in fields (columns) and records (rows) on a datasheet. By using a common field in two tables, the data can be combined. Many tables can be stored in a single database.
  • A field is a column on a datasheet and defines a data type for a set of values in a table. For a mailing list table might include fields for first name, last name, address, city, state, zip code, and telephone number.
  • A record in a row on a datasheet and is a set of values defined by fields. In a mailing list table, each record would contain the data for one person as specified by the intersecting fields.
  • Design View provides the tools for creating fields in a table.
  • Datasheet View allows you to update, edit, and delete in formation from a table.

Getting Started

After opening Access, you will be presented with the window shown below. Select one of the first two options if you are creating a new database, or the third if you want to edit an existing database. All three choices are explained in detail below.

[Access startup window]

Blank Access Database

Unlike Word documents, Excel worksheets, and Power Point presentations, you must save an Access database before you start working on it. After selecting "Blank Access database", you will first be prompted to specify a location and name for the database.

[File New Database]

  1. Find the folder where the database should reside in the Save in drop-down menu.
  2. Type the name of the database in the File name line and click the Create button.

Access database wizards, pages, and projects

Access' wizards and layout are existing database structures that only need data input. Select a database type and click OK. Name the database on the next screen.

[New Database window]

Open an existing database

If the database was opened recently on the computer, it will be listed on the main window. Highlight the database name and click OK. Otherwise, highlight "More Files..." in the list and click OK. From the subsequent window, click the "Look In:" drop-down menu to find the folder where the database is located, highlight the database name in the listing and click OK.

Converting to newer Access

Before opening an existing file that was created in a previous version of Access, it must first be converted to the newer format. Convert a database by following these steps:

  1. Open Access and select Tools|Database Utilities|Convert Database|To Current Access Database Version from the menu bar.
  2. Select the database that should be converted and click the Convert button.
  3. The new version will be a completely separate database and the old one will remain intact so you must then name the new version of the database.

Table of Contents

Screen Layout