- You may notice that, whenever you start Microsoft Access, you see the following screen. In this case, you can simply select "Blank Database".
If you already have Access open, you can go to the "File" menu and click on "New Database":
- Choose "Blank Database". (Skip this step if you already chose "Blank Database" at step one). You also have the ability to choose from a template, but we'll just use a blank database here:
- Choose a location to save the database:
Your New DatabaseOnce you've completed the above tasks, you should see a blank database, like this:
We know this database is blank because it doesn't have any tables. If it did, you would see these tables in the middle pane of the table tab. Now that we have our blank database, we can start adding some tables.
Design View"Design View" enables you to create your database tables and specify the columns and their data types etc. The following steps demonstrate how to switch to Design View and create a table.
- Ensuring you have your blank database open and you're on the following screen (with the "Tables" tab selected), click "New":
- Select "Design View" and click "OK":
- Fill out the details in the "Field Name" column and the "Data Type" column. Here, we are creating the column names and specifying the type of data that can be entered into them. Restricting the data type for each column is very important and helps maintain data integrity. For example, it can prevent us from accidentally entering an email address into a field for storing the current date. Other options for each column include restricting the length of data (under "Field Size"), setting a default value (this is used if someone leaves the field blank), specifying whether the data is required, and more. Leave these options with their default value for now.
- Click the "Save" icon, enter the table name ("Individual"), and click "OK":
- When prompted to set a primary key, click "Yes". (A primary key ensures that the data in this column is unique - no two values can be the same. This is important for when you need to select or reference data from this column):
Datasheet ViewYou have now created a database table called "Individual". You can now switch between "Design View" and "Datasheet View" as you wish. Datasheet View allows you to see any data that has been entered into the table.
- From the "View" dropdown icon, click "Datasheet View" (this changes the view from Design View, to Datasheet View):
- You should now see something like this: