Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Editing a Table
Getting Started with
Your First Database
• Deleting a record. You have several ways to remove a record, but the easiest is
to right-click the margin immediately to the left of the record, and then choose
Delete Record. Access asks you to confirm that you really want to remove the
selected record, because you can’t reverse the change later on.
Word to the Wise
When in Doubt, Don’t Delete
Most seasoned database designers rarely delete records from
their databases. Every ounce of information is important.
finished, you can’t just delete the class record. You might
need it to find out if a student has the right prerequisites
for another course, what teachers she’s had in the past,
and so on.
For example, imagine you have a database that lists the
products that a mail-order origami company has for sale.
You might think it makes sense to delete products once
they’ve been discontinued and can’t be ordered anymore.
But it turns out that it makes sense to keep these old
product records around. For example, you might want to find
out what product categories were the best sellers over the
previous year. Or maybe a manufacturer issues a recall of
asbestos-laced paper, and you need to track down
everyone who ordered it. To perform either of these tasks, you
need to keep your product records.
The same is true for employees who retire, sales
promotions that end, items that you used to own but you’ve sold,
and so on. You need them all (and you probably need to
keep them indefinitely).
In many cases, you’ll add extra fields to your table to help
you separate old data from the new. For example, you
can create a Discontinued field in the Products table that
identifies products that aren’t available anymore. You can
then ignore those products when you build an
This hang-onto-everything rule applies to any kind of
database. For example, imagine you’re tracking student
enrollment at a top-flight culinary academy. When a class is
You’ll probably spend a lot of time working with the datasheet. So settle in. To make
your life easier, it helps to understand a few details.
As you already know, you can use the arrow keys to move from field to field or row to
row. However, you might have a bit of trouble editing a value. When you start typing,
Access erases any existing content. To change this behavior, you need to switch into
Edit mode by pressing the F2 key; in Edit mode, your typing doesn’t delete the stuff
that’s already in that field. Instead, you get to change or add to it. To switch out of
Edit mode, press F2 again. Figure 25-9 shows a closeup look at the difference.
Edit mode also affects how the arrow keys work. In Edit mode, the arrow keys move
through the current field. For example, to move to the next cell, you need to move
all the way to the end of the current text, and then press the right arrow key again.
But in Normal mode, pressing the arrow keys always moves you from cell to cell.