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Fill in the box with the most important data for your core unit. Step Three: create more boxes for the other data in your database — the related and supporting data for your core unit. Draw lines to show how they are related see diagram. The point of this exercise is to separate and categorize all your data into logical boxes, which will later become tables. How do you know what boxes to put your data in? The rule of thumb is this: if your core unit has ONE of something, it goes in their box. However, students may participate in more than one program, so their program participation must go in a separate box.

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However, each program will have many participating host families, so the host families go in a different box. These relationships will determine how effective and efficient the database is. The dotted line represents this relationship. The next step will be to recreate your boxes as tables in your Access database. Follow these steps to create a blank database and build your tables. The new database you have created will appear with two things to look at: in the Navigation Pane, you will see a default table called Table1.

In the main viewing area, Table1 is displayed, and has a default ID column and a space to start adding new columns. The ID field is going to be the Primary Key for your table. That means that each core unit piece — each student — will be uniquely identified by a number. The ID is also an autonumber field, which means that as you start entering students, Access will automatically assign them a sequential number as their ID.

The second column will become the next field of data for each of your records. This will give you a drop-down list of the types of fields you may use in your table. Repeat the process to add other pieces of data identified from the pen-and-paper exercise in the main box table. A note about field names — names should be short and clear. You can always add, delete, and revise fields after saving. Select File from the Ribbon and choose Save. You will be asked to enter a name for your table.

Like field names, table names should be short and clear and avoid spaces and punctuation. This will distinguish them from queries and reports that might have similar names. Now that the table is built, we can refine the fields so they will be more effective for each type of data. To look at field types and make other changes to the table design, you will switch to Design View , which is like flipping up the hood of your car to look at the engine.

On the Ribbon, select the Home tab. Click on Design View in the upper left — the icon is a blue protractor and yellow pencil. This will take you to the Design View of your table. Here you will see that every field name that you created has lots of choices for settings, such as type, length, format, etc. Save the table by clicking the Save icon at the top left, or by keying Ctrl-S. It is also already designated as the Primary Key. Note: a table may only have one Primary Key.

This means that the database will always search and sort the data based on the Primary Key, unless told otherwise. It also means that there can never be a duplicate value in this field. While a table can only have one Primary Key, it may have several indexed sort fields. You want to allow duplicates because different people might have the same last name, i. In general, it is useful for tables to have a few indexed fields. It speeds up searching and it helps your data show up alphabetized or sorted properly by default.

However, having more than a few indexed fields is not helpful and will be cumbersome for the database. This will change the field type. In the Field Properties window, select a format from the Format drop-down list. In addition to Format, you can also change the Default Value of a field. This will mean that every time a new record is created, a field will automatically contain a certain value without the user having to perform data entry each time.

For example, many databases have tables that contain phone or email contact records for customers or clients who want to report problems or requests. As you can see, between the Data Type choices and the Field Properties you give to each field, there are a lot of customization options. Manual Data Entry vs. Appending from External Data. Save the table and switch back to Datasheet View.


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Your table is now ready to populate with data, and there are two main ways to accomplish this. Generally, it is easier to append existing data from an electronic file than to manually enter data. However, your existing data very rarely matches your new Access tables exactly, so you will probably need to do a lot of modifications and cleanup of your source file always make backup copies first! In particular, if your Access table is designed to hold unique records — no duplicates — then you need to clean up your Excel file so that there are absolutely no duplicate records. If duplicates exist, figure out why.

The most common reason is that there is a one-to-many relationship in the data, and the extra pieces of information need to go into a different table. Now that you have built one table, you need to continue to build your database system with related and supporting tables. Refer back to your pen-and-paper exercise and create all the tables you sketched out in your planning phase. In our database, we are going to build two more tables: tblPrograms and tblProgramParticipation.

The following screenshots will show you how the tables turned out, and what fields they contain. Take a look at the two screenshots together, and notice a couple of important things:. The Program Participation table might look perplexing at first glance, because it seems to contain only numbers and no useful information. Taking it column by column, we can interpret what these numbers are telling us.

First, go to the Database Tools tab of the Ribbon and click Relationships. The Relationships Window will open and be blank. The Show Table dialog box will appear. Highlight and add all of the tables shown. When you are done adding tables, click Close to close the Show Table box.

You will now see boxes in your Relationship Window that represent your tables. You can see that all the fields you built into your tables are listed in each box. You might want to use your mouse to reorganize the boxes drag them around and expand the borders so you can see everything more clearly. This is a drag-and-drop process. As soon as we click off the mouse, a new window will appear that displays the options for defining the relationship. Check the box to Enforce Referential Integrity this prevents problems down the line. Most Students will only do one study abroad trip, but some might do two or three, so this is the correct option.

Click Create to finish. Now our Relationships Window looks like this:. The black line represents the link or join that we just created. We could do the exact same thing we just did — drag and drop to create the link between the two ProgramID fields. You might recall that we want to be able to look up the Program Names from tblPrograms to store in the participation records.

Also, if you click into that field with your cursor, you will now have a drop-down arrow to give you a list of Program Names to choose from. How is it doing this? The real value in that field is still an integer like 1, 2, or 3. But, we have told it to use that number to look up the Program Name for our convenience in viewing and editing. Now, close the table. Go back to your Relationships Window. You will see that our Lookup Wizard created the link we needed between tblProgramParticipation and tblPrograms.

Now that your tables and relationships are done, you are ready to develop forms for data entry. Forms data entry screens or menus are designed to help users enter and navigate their data. On any form, you can create text boxes that are tied to the fields in tables to allow you to add or edit data to those fields.

You can also create buttons that execute procedures, like moving back and forth between records or creating a new record. To continue our demonstration, we will create a form that allows us to enter and view our students and their study abroad trips. There are several different ways to create forms, including starting from scratch with a completely blank form.

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As a beginner, you will probably find using the Form Wizard the best way to get started. Like tables, forms also have a Design View where you can change settings and options. Click the View button from the Home tab on the Ribbon to switch views. In Design View, you can see the grid of the form and how the fields are laid out visually. These fields are called textboxes , and their captions or names are called labels. Labels and textboxes are types of controls and every form is made up of a variety of controls.

The first thing on our to-do list is to change the title in the header of the form. This just changes what the user sees at the top of the form during data entry. You can use the Format tab on the Ribbon to change the font color, font size, font, and alignment of this label. Next, we want to reduce the height of all our fields. The boxes take up space, and we have more information we want to add later. Again, you can use the Format tab on the Ribbon to change font, color, backgrounds, size, etc. We will not go into detail on format properties in this tutorial, but you can experiment with various custom options as you go.

Save and switch to Form View to see your changes. Now that our main Students form is set up, we want to incorporate the information from tblProgramParticipation. We will do this by creating a subform. The Subform Wizard inserts a new form at the bottom of your main form. This subform will allow the user to enter participation data for each student in tblStudents.

Save and switch to Form View to see the changes. There are a few revisions that will make this subform more user-friendly. Switch to Design View of frmStudents. This does not affect the functionality of the subform. Once you have hit Delete, save and switch back to Form View to see the changes. Now the form is ready for data entry. For any student, the user may edit any field other than the ID field in the upper portion of the form.

Users may also add or edit participation records in the lower portion of the form. To add a new study abroad trip, the user can select one from the drop-down list in the ProgramID column. This is the lookup field that we created earlier. One last thing to note when using subforms: at the bottom of the main form, you see the Navigation Bar with the total number of students in the table But now, you can also see a Navigation Bar for the subform we created.

The subform in the screenshot above shows 2 records for the current student one that already existed, and a new one that we are adding. Add command buttons such as find, move, delete, print. Typically, forms will have several command buttons that can move back and forth between records, search records, create new records, and delete records. Other command buttons can run procedures that update fields with calculations or default values. Now that we have introduced the process for creating command buttons, we can demonstrate how to build a Navigation Form main menu, startup form, or dashboard for your database.

A startup form is the first screen that the user sees when he or she opens the database. Typically, the startup form consists of command buttons that take the user to other forms and reports that are part of the database. This clear road map is more user-friendly than hunting for the form or report you want from the Navigation Pane.


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  • Here is an example of a startup form. It consists of command buttons that open other objects in the system. Users can also add colors, logos, and help text to the form. This is the foundation for a typical startup screen. Continue to create all the buttons you need for your database. Note: this is a fairly simple and straightforward way to create a navigation form, but there are a variety of approaches that are used for different purposes.

    However, if you are creating a web database, this method will not apply. Web databases have a unique method for creating a navigation screen. The last step in creating a startup screen is to tell the system to automatically open the screen when a user starts the database. Next to Display Form, select the form you want to open at startup, and click OK. The next time the database starts, your startup form will open automatically.

    Now that you have tables full of data, and forms to allow data entry, you will need some way to view your data in various combinations. A query is a template, or structure, of a question. It allows you to pick and choose from your tables exactly what you need to see. Every time you open the query, you get a view of the most current data, so if you save a query you can go back to it over and over again for the most up-to-date information. In the top row of the grid area you see the field names you have selected. In the second row, you see the name of the table the field came from.

    As you can see, the five fields we picked in our query appear in the order that we put them in the grid. You will notice that Lisa Smith appears twice. This is because the query is showing a combination of records between both tblStudents and tblProgramParticipation. Because Lisa has two participation records, she appears once for each record. You can also see that only four students are listed — not all 15 that we know are in tblStudents.

    This is again because of the combination with the participation table. We are using the two tables linked together, so the only results we will see will be students who have records in the second table. Last, you might notice that the students are appearing in order of their Primary Key number not shown. When we run the query again using the red exclamation point , the data will be sorted on LastName instead of StudentID. The final row in the query grid is the Criteria row. This is where you further refine the results you want to see.

    At this point, we are seeing all the students who have participated in study abroad. As always, when you save the query, you should give it a descriptive name, and use a prefix to distinguish it as a query.

    We will name ours qryStudents, and it will appear in the Navigation Pane so we can go back to it any time. While you can do most of your sorting and filtering using criteria in the Design View of queries, you can also sort and filter in Datasheet View. Much like in Excel, there are sort and filter options available on the Ribbon. In the screenshot below, you can see that we have sorted ascending on StartDate, and so we see the records reorganized in that order.

    Another useful function in the Datasheet View is using a field to filter the records. If you place your cursor into any field and right-click, you will see some filtering options. For example, if we right-click in the ProgramID field, we can refine the list to show us the fields from only one Program. It pulls up data for viewing or editing when you run it using the red exclamation point icon. These queries perform an action — or change — on the data you have selected.

    A few things to keep in mind about queries:. Reports are the final output of all your data entry and database organization. To create a report, you build a formatted template that you can open again and again with up-to-date data each time. When building a report, you combine elements such as data from tables and queries and static content such as titles, headers, and logos, You also make decisions about how to group and sort the data so that it appears the way you want it to. Undetected country. NO YES. Access Forms and Reports For Dummies. Description About the Author Permissions Table of contents.

    Selected type: Paperback. Added to Your Shopping Cart. We'll work with controls and layout and design views, as well as explore Access's extensive property sheets, where we can fine-tune their behavior, appearance and interactivity. Reports use many of the same tools and techniques as forms, and are great for preparing data for the printed page.

    With reports, we'll look at grouping data into categories while leveraging header and footer sections to organize your report's structure and make them easy to read. We'll build reports from scratch that are tied to query record sources for increased flexibility, and we'll hook them all back together into a form-based navigation system, to help your end users move around your database, and accomplish tasks, without having to know anything about its inner structure.

    So thank you for joining me, now let's dig into Access Forms and Reports in Depth. Are you sure you want to mark all the videos in this course as unwatched? This will not affect your course history, your reports, or your certificates of completion for this course. Type in the entry box, then click Enter to save your note.

    Start My Free Month. You started this assessment previously and didn't complete it. You can pick up where you left off, or start over. Develop in-demand skills with access to thousands of expert-led courses on business, tech and creative topics. Video: Welcome. You are now leaving Lynda. To access Lynda. Visit our help center. Preview This Course. Access expert Adam Wilbert starts with the basics of form design and leveraging controls such as buttons, links, and macros.

    He combines these ideas in a chapter that shows how to build an application-like framework for getting around an Access database. Then the course dives into reports: creating efficient and readable layouts, grouping data into categories, tying reports to queries, and using conditional formatting rules to highlight key takeaways from the data.

    Finally, Adam demonstrates how to link forms and reports and print your results, and introduces unique ways to save time filling out paperwork and generating form letters.

    Access Forms & Reports for Dummies

    Topics include: Creating forms with the Form Wizard Formatting and aligning form objects Combining text boxes Adding a header and labels Controlling input Adding attachments and images Linking form controls Creating menus and data entry forms for the database Building reports Creating calculation fields Linking forms and reports Printing and exporting reports Creating a form letter. Skill Level Intermediate. Show More Show Less. Resume Transcript Auto-Scroll. Related Courses. Preview course. Access Essential Training with Adam Wilbert. Access Queries with Adam Wilbert.

    Search This Course Clear Search. Welcome 1m. Use the exercise files 36s. Add exercise files to a trusted location 1m 36s. Challenges explained 29s. Introduction to Forms. The benefit of well designed forms 3m 55s. Design for the end user 42s. Create a form with the form wizard 7m 58s. Refine the form design in Layout view 8m 26s.