Create a Database
By Richard Rost 6 months ago
How to Create a Database in Microsoft Access
In this Microsoft Access tutorial I'm going to teach you how to create a new database. We will also create our first table, set field names, enter data, and save the table. We also learn about the security warning when you open a new database.
Why This Video?
Some of you may be wondering why I'm taking the time to make simple beginner videos like this one when I've already covered the concepts in my other lessons. Honestly, my goal is to show up in YouTube, Google, Bing, and other web search results where I don't currently have a video appear. So if you are finding yourself searching for anything Microsoft Access related and one of my videos doesn't show up in the top few results then definitely please let me know about it. Thanks.
To create a new database in Microsoft Access, start by opening Access up. Now if you've previously opened databases on this machine before, you'll see them listed down here under recent. You'll also notice some templates up here and these are other databases built by other people and this is fine if you want to work with someone else's databases. But if you want to build your own database, click on this blank database right here. You will be asked for a file name for your database. The default is database1. Not very descriptive, so let's click in here and let's type in customers.
This file is going to be saved in your documents folder, whatever your user documents folder is. If you want to change that, you can click this button here to browse and put it somewhere else. I'm going to click create and a blank new, brand new database will be created for me. Now in a Microsoft database, all of the data is stored in one or more tables. You can kind of think of tables like Excel spreadsheets. Access starts you off with your first table called table 1. We're going to rename it in just a second. But unlike a spreadsheet, you can't just type anything you want wherever.
In Access, you want to define your fields or columns and give them good names. For example, right here where it says Click to Add, click on that, and it wants to know what type of data you want to store in this particular field. Short text, number, currency, date and time, lots of different options. For now, just pick short text and Now it says field one give it a name. I'm gonna type in first name No spaces Take it from me. This is just one of my tips as having done this for almost 30 years now Don't put spaces in your field names. All right, so this first field is going to be first name capital F capital N first name Then press enter or tab.
That will move you to the next column. Again, pick short text and type in last name, no space, capital L, capital N. Press enter. And that's good for now. We've got two fields. Actually, we have three fields. Access started us off with an ID field. What's an ID field? Well, basically that's a way of giving each record, each row a unique identifier like a customer ID, a product ID and so on. And Access will keep track of that for you using something called an auto number. For now though, let's just click down here and we're going to enter in some data into our table.
I'll type in my name, Rick, tab, Rost and at this point it's just like Excel, tab, right notice the ID 1 went in right next to my name. If I tab again, I could put in Jim Kirk, he's customer 2 and so on, right? John Luke Picard and I can keep typing in customers. If you want to add more fields, you can come over here, pick the data type and type in a name. If you want to add more records, you come right down here and type in more people. Again, just like a spreadsheet with columns that are called fields and rows that are called records. Now, I'm done with this customer table, so I'm going to close it.
And Access says, hey, do you want to save changes to the design of table one? We made some changes, right? We added first name and last name. So I'm going to say yes, and let's give this table a good name. Table one doesn't really tell me what's in that table. So I'm going to type in customer T. Now again, this is my personal naming convention. I've been using this for many years. I like to end all of my tables with the letter T, all of my queries with Q, my forms with F, my reports with R and so on.
You don't have to do that if you don't want to. A lot of people just call it customers. Don't put spaces in here also. Again, very important. Sometimes in books you'll see TBL customer, that's fine too. Lots of different naming conventions, just pick one and try to stay consistent. I like customer T. Now I'll hit okay. My customer table is saved right there. If I want to open up that customer table again and see the people in it, I can double click on it and that opens up the table. I can close it here. If you want to create another table, just go to Create, and then Table Design.
And I've got a whole separate lesson on how to create tables. At this point, I'm going to close my database. And now the next time I open up Microsoft Access, you should see it right here on the Recent list. If not, you can browse to it by clicking on Open over here and then again here's the recent list or click on Browse and browse to wherever you put your database file. Open it up and there you go. Now, the security warning is going to appear the first time you open any database. This is just Microsoft's way of keeping your computer safe from viruses. All you have to do since you created this database is click on Enable Content. Don't do this for databases that you got from anybody else including downloading off the web, unless they're mine of course. I'll click on Enable Content and that will go away. And you shouldn't see that any other time you open this database in the future. And that's it. Now of course we just scratched the surface with Microsoft Access. If you want to learn more about building Microsoft Access databases, tables, queries, forms, reports, that kind of stuff, I have a free Microsoft Access beginner level one course. It's over four hours long and it covers everything you need to know to get up and running with a complete Microsoft Access database.
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