Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Instead, Access 2003 uses the .mdb file format (which stands for Microsoft database)
which actually comes in three versions: the really, really old original format, a
retooled version that appeared with Access 2000, and the improved-yet-again version
that Microsoft introduced with Access 2002 and reused for Access 2003.
To save the current database using an older Access file format, you have to use
File ➝ Save & Publish, and then, under the File Types heading, click Save Database
As. The standard .accdb format is the best choice if you don’t need to worry about
compatibility, because it has the best performance and a few extra features. But if
you need to share databases with people running much older versions of Access, the
.mdb format is your only choice.
Keep in mind that once Access creates the new database file, that file is the one it
keeps using. In other words, when you create a table or edit some data, Access
updates the new file. (If you want to go back to the old file, you either need to open it in
Access, or need to use File ➝ Save Database As to save it again.)
You can also use the old-style .mdb format when you first create a database. Choose
File ➝ New and then click the folder icon next to the File Name box. Access opens
the File New Database dialog box (which you saw back in Figure 25-2). It includes
a “Save as type” box where you can choose the Access 2002-2003 file format or the
even older Access 2000 format. (If you’re set on going back any further, say the
Access 95 format, your best bet is a time machine.)
Once you’ve created a database, it’s easy to open it later. The standard approach is
to choose File ➝ Open, and then to browse for your database file, select it, and click
You can also open a database file from outside Access. For example, you can browse
to the folder that holds your database file using Windows Explorer and double-click
it. Or, just save the file on your desktop so it’s easy to find when you need it.
Designating a Database as Trusted
When you open a database for the first time, you’ll notice something a little bizarre.
Access pops up a message bar with a scary-sounding security warning (Figure 25-13).
If you’re opening your own recently created database, this security warning is a bit
confusing, because right now your database doesn’t even attempt to do anything
risky. However, if you ever start building databases using certain types of advanced
queries (online Appendix C), it’s a different story. In those situations, you need to
know if Access trusts your database and will allow it to run code and action queries.