Access 2010 Working with Tables

Author: mety Nagm Labels::


Access 2010
While there are four types of database objects in Access 2010, tables are arguably the most important. Even when you're using forms, queries, and reports, you're still working with tables, since that's where all your data is stored. Tables are at the heart of any database, so it's important to understand how to use them.
In this lesson, you will learn how to open tables, create and edit records, andmodify the appearance of your table to make it easier to view and work with.

In this lesson, we will work with the tables in our sample database. If you would like to follow along, download example and use it to follow the procedures demonstrated in this lesson.

Table Basics

Launch video!Watch the video (3:51). Need help?
Watch the video to learn about tables in Access 2010.

To Open an Existing Table:

  1. Open your database and locate the Navigation Pane.
  2. In the Navigation Pane, locate the table you would like to open. Tables are marked with the  icon.
  3. Double-click the name of the table. It will open and appear as a tab in the Document Tabs bar.
    Opening a tableOpening a table

Understanding Tables

All tables are composed of horizontal rows and vertical columns, with small rectangles called cells in the places where rows and columns intersect. In Access, rows and columns are referred to as records and fields.
    Records, fields, and cells in an Access tableRecords, fields, and cells in an Access table
field is a way of organizing information by type. Think of the field name as a question, and every cell within that field as a response to that question.
    Fields and field namesFields and field names
record is one unit of information. Every cell on a given row is part of that row's record. Each record has its ownID number. Within a table, each ID number is unique to its record, and refers to all the information within that record. The ID number for a record cannot be changed.
    Records and record ID numbersRecords and record ID numbers
Each cell of data in your table is part of both a field and a record. For instance, if you had a table of names and contact information, each person would be represented by a record, and each piece of information about them-- their name, phone number, address, and so on-- would be contained within a distinct field on that record's row.

Navigating Within Tables

To navigate through records in a table, you can use the up and down arrow keysscroll up and down, or use the arrows in the record navigation bar located at the bottom of your table. You can also find any record in the currently open table by searching for it using the record search box. Simply place your cursor in the search box, type any word that appears in the record you would like to find, and press the enter key. To view additional records that match your search, press enter again.
    Using the record navigation barUsing the record navigation bar
To navigate between fields, you can use the left and right arrow keys or scroll left and right.

Adding Records and Entering Data

Entering data into tables in Access is very similar to entering data in Excel. To work with records, you'll have to enter data into cells. If you need help entering data into records, you might want to review our Excel 2010 Cell Basics lesson.

To Add a New Record:

There are three ways to add a new record to a table:
  • In the Records group on the Home tab, click the New command.
    Adding a new record from the RibbonAdding a new record from the Ribbon
  • On the Record Navigation bar at the bottom of the window, click the New Record button.
    Adding a new record from the record navigation barAdding a new record from the Record Navigation bar
  • Simply begin typing in the row below your last added record.
    Adding a new record by typing below the last recordAdding a new record by typing in the row under the last record
Occasionally when you enter information into a record, a window will pop up to tell you that the information you've entered is invalid. That means the field you're working with has a validation rule, which is a rule about the type of data that can appear in that field. Click OK, then follow the instructions in the pop-up windowto re-enter your data.
An example of a validation warningAn example of a validation warning

To Save a Record:

  1. Select the Home tab, and locate the Records group.
  2. Click the Save command.
    Saving a recordSaving a record
Be sure to save any unsaved records before closing a table. Access will not prompt you to save them when you close the table.

Editing Records

To quickly edit any record within a table, you can just click on it and type in your changes. However, Access also offers you the ability to find and replace a word within multiple records and to delete records entirely.

To Replace a Word within a Record:

You can edit multiple occurrences of the same word by using Find and Replace, which searches for a term and replaces it with another term.
  1. Select the Home tab and locate the Find group.
  2. Select the Replace command. The Find and Replace dialog box will appear.
    The Find commandThe Replace command
  3. Click the Find What: box and type the word you would like to find.
    Entering the term to findEntering the term to find
  4. Click the Replace With: box and type the word you would like to replace the original word.
    Entering the replacement textEntering the replacement text
  5. Click the Look In: drop-down arrow to select the area you would like to search.
    • Select Current Field to limit your search to the currently selected field.
    • Select Current Document to search within the entire table.
    Selecting where in the table to lookChoosing where in the table to look
  6. Click the Match: drop-down arrow to select how closely you'd like results to match your search.
    • Select Any Part of Field to search for your search term in any part of a cell.
    • Select Whole Field to search only for cells that match your search term exactly.
    • Select Beginning of Field to search only for cells that start with your search term.
    Choosing how closely the records should match your searchChoosing how closely the records should match your search
  7. Click Find Next to find the next occurrence of your search term.
    Clicking Find Next to view the next match for your searchClicking Find Next to view the next match for your search
  8. Click Replace to replace the original word with the new one.
    Replacing the original word with a new oneReplacing the original word with a new one
While you can use Replace All to replace every instance of a term, replacing them one at a time allows you to be absolutely certain that you edit only the data you want. Replacing data unintentionally can have a negative impact on your database.
    The unintended consequences of choosing Replace AllThe unintended consequences of choosing Replace All

To Delete a Record:

  1. Select the entire record by clicking the gray border at the left side of the record.
    Selecting a recordSelecting a record
  2. Select the Home tab and locate the Records group.
  3. Click the Delete command. The record will be permanently deleted.
    The Delete CommandThe Delete Command
The ID numbers assigned to records stay the same even after you delete a record. For example, if you delete the 34th record in a table, the sequence of record ID numbers will read "...32, 33, 35, 36...", rather than "...32, 33, 34, 35, 36...".
    A missing ID number after a record has been deletedA missing ID number after a record has been deleted

    Modifying Table Appearance

    Launch video!Watch the video (2:09). Need help?
    Access 2010 offers a number of ways to modify the appearance of tables. These changes aren't just about making your table look "pretty"-- they can make the table easier to read, too.
    Watch the video to learn more about modifying the appearance of tables in Access 2010.

    Resizing Fields and Rows

    If your fields and rows are too small or large for the data contained with them, you can always resize them so that all the text is displayed.

    To Resize a Field:

    1. Place your cursor over the right gridline in the field title. Your mouse will become a double arrow Double-arrow.
      Resizing a fieldResizing a field
    2. Click and drag the gridline to the right to increase the field width or to the left to decrease the field width.
    3. Release the mouse. The field width will be changed.
      The resized field, now with all the text fully displayingThe resized field, now with all the text fully displaying

    To Resize a Row:

    1. Place your cursor over the bottom gridline in the gray area to the left of the row. Your mouse will become adouble arrow Double-arrow.
      Resizing a rowResizing a row
    2. Click and drag the gridline downward to increase the row height or upward to decrease the row height.
    3. Release the mouse. The row height will be changed.
      The resized row, now with all the text fully displayingThe resized row, now with all the text fully displaying

    Hiding Fields

    If you have a field that you don't plan on editing or don't want other people to edit, you can hide it. A hidden field is invisible but is still part of your database. Data within a hidden field can still be accessed from forms, queries, reports, and any related tables.

    To Hide a Field:

    1. Right-click the field title.
    2. From the drop-down menu, select Hide Fields.
      Hiding a fieldHiding a field
    3. The field will be hidden.
    If you decide you would like the field to be visible again, you can unhide it. Simply right-click any field title, then select Unhide Fields. In the dialog box, click the checkboxes of any fields you would like to be visible again, then click OK.
    Unhiding a hidden fieldUnhiding a hidden field



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