How To Use Microsoft Access 2003

Sometimes it takes a little practice and outside support to go about figuring out how to use Microsoft Access 2003. In some cases, programs can have an extensive arsenal of features making learning the program an overwhelming experience for a beginner. Luckily, getting to know Microsoft Access 2003 and learning how to set up a basic database will be a great way to begin learning how to use Microsoft Access 2003.

Microsoft Access 2003 is a database management system. You can keep track of records, financial information, and more. You can also create reports, forms and queries using the program as well. There are lots of things to do in Microsoft Access 2003 to make managing a database as simple and secure as possible. While learning to use Microsoft Access 2003, we’re going to just create a simple database with a table. This article is designed for learning to use Microsoft Access 2003, so working with that version will produce the best results while following these instructions.

  1. Start Microsoft Access 2003 from the Start menu or desktop. You’ll notice when Access opens that there is no database opened, and you are presented with a blank screen. On the right, you’ll be shown links for “Getting Started” and recent files that have been worked with in Microsoft Office 2003.
  2. Click “File” and “New…” This will present you with a pane on the right hand side of the screen that allows you to select a few different options. You are going to want to click “New Database…” and type in a file name for your new database. Take note of where the database is being saved to so you do not potentially lose it.
  3. Now that you have your new database, click, “New.” This is where you will be able to simply start creating your fields (titles of columns), data types and descriptions. First of all, tables hold data that can be linked to other tables by primary and queried keys. They are the basis of storing information in your database. The screen you are looking at now is an easy way to begin setting your table up. If you are logging customer information for your business, you might want to create different field names like “Customer Name,” “Address,” “City,” “State,” and  “ZIP”. There really is no purpose to the Description box besides describing what you meant when you created a particular field.
  4. Always try to create an ID field as your first field. Creating an ID field is beneficial if you plan on wanting to search for the information by query instead of having to comb through the gigantic database. The ID field is also helpful in linking another table to that specific information. Every record (entry of data or row) will get a unique ID if you choose to do this, making it a lot easier in the long run on your part. You can name this field, simply, “ID” if you’d like. You’ll want to set its Data Type to “AutoNumber.”
  5. Add another field to the table such as “Customer Name.” You will want to enter the “Customer Name” with a Data Type of Text.
  6. Select “OK.” Now you can “Save” your table (by clicking File and Save), and you can enter any name for it that you want. Type “Customer” for now.
  7. Close out the table by clicking the “X” button in the top right corner of it. Make sure that you’re not closing out of Microsoft Access 2003 completely. Just close the table. After closing the table, you’ll see your new table in the Database! Exciting!
  8. Double-click the table, and begin adding data. You can add some phony names and IDs if you’d like. The basic idea is to just get a feel for how Microsoft Access 2003 works.

Congratulations! You’ve learned the basics of entering data into and using your first database! There is certainly tons more to Access, but take what you’ve learned now  and read up in Microsoft’s extensive Help base for more support on all of the amazing features in Access.



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