Pin Me

Access Tips & Tricks

written by: C.D. Crowder•edited by: Christian Cawley•updated: 5/19/2011

Microsoft Access is an extremely powerful database creation tool. To get the most out of your database, take a look at some Access tips for users of all levels.

  • slide 1 of 4

    Getting Started

    Creating a Microsoft Access database requires at least a few basic steps to get started, such as creating tables and queries. To add a little pizzazz and a user interface for your Access database, forms and reports also need to be created.

    Microsoft Access tables are the heart and soul of Access databases. A detailed tutorial is available on Brighthub for creating tables. This tutorial also takes you step by step through creating tables and forms.

    Access queries help you organize, add, edit and manipulate data in your Access database tables. Queries can be as simple or complex as needed. To get started creating queries in your database see these Access tips for query creation.

    After you’ve created a few tables and queries, consider creating forms for your users. Forms allow your users to access your database through an easy to understand graphical user interface. Users can run reports, add data, view existing data or even edit data from a form. In an Access database, you can create forms either manually or through a wizard.

    Forms and reports both can have sub-sections. In a form, this is called a subform. Subforms allow you to create a form within a form. This allows you to show data from multiple, related tables in a single main form.

    The final main element of a great Access database is the report. At any point in time, a user can run a report to gather a set of data from your database. This data set is based upon criteria such as dates, ranges, names and even locations. Reports can be organized and sorted based upon any data listed in the report.

  • slide 2 of 4

    Various Advanced Access Tips

    Now that you’ve created a basic database and learned how these elements work together, it’s time we looked at some more advanced Access tips. Advanced Access tips help to make your database even more powerful and user friendly.

    Advanced Microsoft Access Tips provides easy to use instructions for using the AutoNumber function, deleting duplicate records, use Office documents in Access, creating a blinking textbox label and optimizing table fields.

    If you find yourself with Excel spreadsheets you want to convert into Access tables, this Access tip will step you through importing your Excel spreadsheet into Access. You can import spreadsheets as new tables, linked tables or add the data to an existing table. In addition to adding Excel spreadsheet data, you can also use existing Excel charts within Access databases. You can also create a chart in Access without using an existing Excel.

    As Microsoft releases new versions of Access, you may find yourself with older databases you need to convert. Converting your databases will allow you to take advantage of the new features Microsoft releases in newer versions of Access. This tutorial steps you through converting Access databases as early as Access 97 through Access 2007.

  • slide 3 of 4

    Advanced Table and Query Tips

    Your Access database tables aren’t limited to just text. You can also add images and photos to your tables by using the Object Linking and Embedding component available in Microsoft Access.

    Get more from your Access tables by creating relationships between your tables. Relationships allow you to create more advanced queries, forms and reports by linking multiple tables together based upon one or more related fields.

    If you want to make data validation or data input easier, consider using lookup fields in a table. Lookup fields can then be used on multiple input screens. Microsoft Access provides a lookup field wizard to make creating the fields quick and easy.

    Outside of the typical queries, you can create crosstab queries in Access databases. Crosstab queries allow you to describe one numerical field based upon two other fields. These queries are perfect for quickly comparing and analyzing data between two or more tables.

  • slide 4 of 4

    Other Helpful Tips and Tricks

    If you’re looking for an Access tip or trick not covered in the above sections, never fear. In this section, we’ll look at other tips and tricks available here on Brighthub and external sites.

    Bruce Tyson’s article provides tips on where to find free help for Access databases. His article includes using the help section within Microsoft Access and Microsoft Technet. For more Microsoft Access tips and tricks on Brighthub, visit Brighthub’s Microsoft Access User Guides and Help section. New articles are added frequently and cover most aspects of Microsoft Access databases.

    Sometimes you have a question that seems like no one can answer. This is where forums come into play. Access Monster is an Access forum where you can search for answers to specific questions, especially if you are using Visual Basic for Applications or SQL in your queries, forms, reports and macros. This site is free to use, but you must create a user login in order to ask questions.

    MS Access Tips and Tricks provides advanced tips such as using combo boxes, using email in Access, managing menus and toolbars and much more. View available tutorials by pressing the Tips and Tricks link on the menu bar of their site.

    Microsoft provides detail how-tos and tutorials for multiple versions of Access, including 2003, 2007 and 2010. Training articles are constantly updated as Access changes and grows.