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Microsoft Access Tutorial


Creating Tables Datasheet Records Table Relationships
Adding Records

Add new records to the table in datasheet view by typing in the record beside the asterisk (*) that marks the new record. You can also click the new record button at the bottom of the datasheet to skip to the last empty record.

[Datasheet View]

Editing Records

To edit records, simply place the cursor in the record that is to be edited and make the necessary changes. Use the arrow keys to move through the record grid. The previous, next, first, and last record buttons at the bottom of the datasheet are helpful in maneuvering through the datasheet.

Deleting Records

Delete a record on a datasheet by placing the cursor in any field of the record row and select Edit|Delete Record from the menu bar or click the Delete Record button on the datasheet toolbar.

Adding and Deleting Columns

Although it is best to add new fields (displayed as columns in the datasheet) in design view because more options are available, they can also be quickly added in datasheet view. Highlight the column that the new column should appear to the left of by clicking its label at the top of the datasheet and select Insert|Column from the menu bar.

Entire columns can be deleted by placing the cursor in the column and selecting Edit|Delete Column from the menu bar.

Resizing Rows and Columns

The height of rows on a datasheet can be changed by dragging the gray sizing line between row labels up and down with the mouse. By changing the height on one row, the height of all rows in the datasheet will be changed to the new value.

Column width can be changed in a similar way by dragging the sizing line between columns. Double click on the line to have the column automatically fit to the longest value of the column. Unlike rows, columns on a datasheet can be different widths. More exact values can be assigned by selecting Format|Row Height or Format|Column Width from the menu bar.

Freezing Columns

Similar to freezing panes in Excel, columns on an Access table can be frozen. This is helpful if the datasheet has many columns and relevant data would otherwise not appear on the screen at the same time. Freeze a column by placing the cursor in any record in the column and select Format|Freeze Columns from the menu bar. Select the same option to unfreeze a single column or select Format|Unfreeze All Columns.

[Freeze Columns example]

Hiding Columns

Columns can also be hidden from view on the datasheet although they will not be deleted from the database. To hide a column, place the cursor in any record in the column or highlight multiple adjacent columns by clicking and dragging the mouse along the column headers, and select Format|Hide Columns from the menu bar.

To show columns that have been hidden, select Format|Unhide Columns from the menu bar. A window displaying all of the fields in the table will be listed with check boxes beside each field name. Check the boxes beside all fields that should be visible on the data table and click the Close button.

[Unhide Columns window]

Finding Data in a Table

Data in a datasheet can be quickly located by using the Find command.

  1. Open the table in datasheet view.
  2. Place the cursor in any record in the field that you want to search and select Edit|Find... from the menu bar.
  3. Enter the value criteria in the Find What: box.
  4. From the Look In: drop-down menu, define the area of the search by selecting the entire table or just the field in the table you placed your cursor in during step 2.
  5. Select the matching criteria from Match: to and click the More >> button for additional search parameters.
  6. When all of the search criteria is set, click the Find Next button. If more than one record meets the criteria, keep clicking Find Next until you reach the correct record.
[Find and Replace window]


The replace function allows you to quickly replace a single occurrence of data with a new value or to replace all occurrences in the entire table.

  1. Select Edit|Replace... from the menu bar (or click the Replace tab if the Find window is already open).
  2. Follow the steps described in the Find procedure for searching for the data that should be replaced and type the new value of the data in the Replace With: box.
  3. Click the Find Next button to step through occurrences of the data in the table and click the Replace button to make single replacements. Click Replace All to change all occurrences of the data in one step.

[Find and Replace window]

Check Spelling and AutoCorrect

The spell checker can be used to flag spelling errors in text and menu fields in a datasheet. Select Tools|Spelling from the menu bar to activate the spell checker and make corrections just as you would using Word or Excel. The AutoCorrect feature can automatically correct common spelling errors such as two INitial CApitals, capitalizing the first letter of the first word of a sentence, and anything you define. Select Tools|AutoCorrect to set these features.

Print a Datasheet

Datasheets can be printed by clicking the Print button on the toolbar or select File|Print to set more printing options.

Creating Tables Datasheet Records Table Relationships