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How to Create a Database in OpenOffice 3.0

written by: JMendes•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 1/29/2009

Learn how to create an OpenOffice database with this easy step-by-step tutorial.

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    OpenOffice Base is the integrated database application in the free, opensource OpenOffice 3.0 suite, a cross-platform application system that is available for users running Windows, Mac, Linux and other operating systems. Base is similar to Microsoft's Access; its layout and tools are comparable and the program can open some types of Access tables.

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    Creating a Database

    Double-click the OpenOffice icon on your desktop and choose OpenOffice Base or access the program through the Start menu, Start > All Programs > OpenOffice > OpenOffice Base. This will open the Database Wizard.

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    OpenOffice Database Wizard
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    The wizard will give will next give you the option to register the database with OpenOffice.

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    Registering the database
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    Registering the database allows you to access the database when you are using other OpenOffice applications. For instance, if you wish to access the database information while working in a Writer document, you can press the F4 key and open the database from the drop down menu. The database will open in a split screen over the document with a hierarchal information tree on the left.

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    Example of split screen
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    Choose whether or not you wish to register the database for future use and click “Next.”

    Choose the option to open the database for editing after it is created. Click “Finish.” A dialog box will open, title the database and chose a destination for the file. Click “Save.”

    Choose the type of database object that you wish to create. The options are located in the left-hand panel and include Tables, Queries, Forms and Reports. After highlighting the type of database object, a set of options will appear in the Tasks Panel.

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    Database options
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    Depending on the database object chosen, you will have the option to either access a creation wizard or create the database manually in Design View. The database creation wizard will walk you through the placement of the database elements. In Design View, a dialog box will allow you to add or delete database features.

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    Example of table creation wizard
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    Example of Design View
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    After the database elements have been added, you can begin adding the data. When you are finished, save the database through the File menu located on the tool bar.

    To download OpenOffice 3.0 and find more information on the Base application, visit