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
- 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.
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.
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.
- Find the folder where the database should reside in the Save in
- 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.
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 Access 2000
Before opening an existing file that was created in a previous version
of Access, it must first be converted to Access 2000 format. Convert a
database by following these steps:
- Open Access and select Tools|Database Utilities|Convert Database|To
Current Access Database Version from the menu bar.
- Select the database that should be converted and click the Convert
- 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