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Microsoft Office 2010: Working With Access

Getting Started

Every time you launch Access, the screen in the File tab appears with options for:

  • Creating a new database
  • Downloading a new template
  • Opening an existing database



If you’ve ever entered data into an Excel spreadsheet, you’ll really appreciate Access forms. Forms allow you to enter your data into the database using an easy to use screen rather than typing into cells (like Excel).

Access “must-know” definitions:

Tables: most important object in your database, they are used for data entry and editing

Records: Each entry in a database table is known as a record. Each record is in a separate column and divided into Fields. So, if you are working in, for example, a Patient Records Database, you may have fields to include Patient First Name, Patient Last Name, Street Address, City, Zip, and Phone. The total of those fields would be one patient record and would populate one column in your table.

Queries: use queries to locate specific records within your tables.

Primary key: Identify a primary key – or a unique identifier for each individual record. It could be as simple as letting the software auto-number each individual record.

The data in your database will be stored in tables. Relationships between tables are key to developing a database. Data between tables can be linked.