Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Getting Started with Your First Database
Getting Started with
Your First Database
Note: Designing a database is the process of adding and configuring database objects. For those keeping
score, an Access database can hold up to 32,768 separate objects.
In this chapter, you’ll consider only the most fundamental type of database object:
tables. But first, you need to create a blank database you can work with.
Getting Started with Your First Database
When you start Access, you begin in backstage view, with the New command
already selected. From there, you’re just a few clicks away from generating a database
of your very own.
In this chapter, you’ll slap together a fairly straightforward database. The example is
designed to store a list of prized bobblehead dolls. (For those not in the know, a
bobblehead doll is a toy figure with an oversized head on a spring, hence the signature
“bobbling” motion. Bobblehead dolls usually resemble a famous celebrity, politician,
athlete, or fictional character.)
Here’s how to create a blank new database:
1. Ifyou’recurrentlyworkingwithadatabase,chooseFile New.Ifyou’vejust
startedAccess,you’retherealready.
The Access window now has three columns (Figure 25-1). At left is a narrow
strip of backstage commands. In the middle section, you choose the type of
database you want. At far right is an optional picture that previews your choice,
a text box for you to pick the file name, and the all-important Create button.
2. Atthefarright,intheFileNamebox,typeafilenameforthedatabaseyou’re
abouttocreate.
Access stores all the information for a database in a single file with the
extension .accdb (which stands for “Access database”). Don’t stick with the name
Access picks automatically (like “Database1.accdb”). Instead, pick something
more suitable. In this example, Bobblehead.accdb does the trick.
As with any other file, Access files can contain a combination of letters, spaces,
numbers, parentheses, hyphens (-), and underscores (_). It’s generally safest to
stay away from other special characters, some of which aren’t allowed.
Note: Depending on your computer settings, Windows may hide file extensions. Instead of seeing the
Access database file MyScandalousWedding.accdb in file-browsing tools like Windows Explorer, you may
just see the name MyScandalousWedding (without the .accdb part on the end). In this case, you can still
tell the file type by looking at the icon. If you see a small Access icon (which looks like a key) next to the
file name, that’s your signal that you’re looking at an Access database.
 
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