MS Access is a Database Management System. It handles data management tasks the same way as MS Word handles document management and MS Excel handles statistics.

A database is a collection of objects that allow you to store data, organize it and retrieve it in any way you want.

What this means is that, with MS Access you create structures called tables that allow you to organize the data so that it’s easy to find later.

You create forms that let you input the data into the tables and then you create reports that print selected information from the tables.

For example, if you run a store, you would create a Customers table, a Products table and an Invoices table.

Then, when you open an account for a new customer you would have a Customer form to input a customer’s data into the Customers table and an Order form to input the purchase information.

Later, you could print any number of Sales reports, grouping and arranging the information from the Invoices, Customers and Products tables to analyze daily or weekly or monthly sales in all kinds of combinations.

Creating Microsoft Access Tables

Before you start to create tables in Microsoft Office Access 2007, there are a few differences from earlier versions of Access that you should keep in mind.

§  Table and field templates have replaced the Table Wizard. In earlier versions of Access, you used the Table Wizard to create a table quickly by answering a few questions. In Office Access 2007, the Table Wizard has been replaced by table and field templates.

§  In Office Access 2007, you can create and modify tables and fields while working in Datasheet view.

Create a new table in a new database

§  Click the Microsoft Office Button Office button image, and then click New.

§  In the File Name box, type a file name for the new database.

§  To browse to a different location to save the database, click the folder icon.

§  Click Create.

The new database opens, and a new table named Table1 is created and opens in Datasheet view.

Create a new table in an existing database

§  Click the Microsoft Office Button Office button image, and then click Open.

§  In the Open dialog box, select the database that you want to open, and then click Open.

§  On the Create tab, in the Tables group, click Table.

Understanding Tables

§  A table is a set of columns and rows.

§  Each column is called a field. Within a table, each field must be given a name and no two fields can have the same name.

§  Each value in a field represents a single category of data.

§  For example, a table might have three fields: Last Name, First Name, and Phone Number.

§  The table consists of three columns: one for last name, one for first name, and one for phone number.

§  In every row of the table, the Last Name field contains the last name, the First Name field contains the first name, and the Phone Number field contains the phone number.

§  Each row in a table is called a record.

To add fields to a table:

§  Click the Add New Field column label.

§  Activate the Datasheet tab.

§  Click Rename in the Fields & Columns group.

§  Type the field name.

§  Press Enter. Access creates the field.

§  Type the next field name. Access creates the field. Continue until you have created all of the fields in your table.

§  Press Enter without entering a field name to end your entries.


§  Right-click the Add New Field column label. A menu appears.

§  Click Rename Column.

§  Type the field name.

§  Press Enter. Access creates the field.

§  Type the next field name. Access creates the field. Continue until you have created all of the fields in your table.

Name and Save a Table

After you create a table, you must name and save it.

§  Click the Save button on the Quick Access toolbar. The Save As dialog box appears.

§  Type the name you want to give your table.

§  Click OK. Access names your table.

Understanding Data Types

In Access, you use data types to specify the type of data each field can capture. A field with a data type of text can store alphabetic characters and numbers.

Generally speaking, you cannot perform mathematical calculations by using a text field. For example, you can use a text field to store a street address.

Some data types are described as follows:

§  Text: Use for text and for numbers that are not used in mathematical calculations. Use for names, addresses, and other relatively short pieces of text. Can store up to 255 characters.

§  Memo: Long text. Use for long pieces of text, such as notes and long descriptions. Can store up to 64,000 characters.

§  Number: Numeric data. Use for numbers you want to use in mathematical calculations.

§  Date/Time: Use for dates and times.

§  Currency: Use for currency. Prevents rounding during calculation.

§  AutoNumber: Unique sequential numbers or random numbers automatically inserted when you create a record. Use to create a primary key.

§  Yes/No: Logical data. Use when only one of two values is valid. Yes/No, True/False, etc.

§  Hyperlink: Use to store hyperlinks.


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