To work with Access, the first thing you'll need to know is the terminology used in the menus and commands. We'll cover various bits of terminology as we go through this guide, but here's some good starting points:
Access has various ways of opening and viewing the objects you need, and navigating between objects in your database.
When you open an Access database file, you may see a Security Warning banner in yellow, telling you that some active content has been disabled. You may need to choose Enable Content to ensure all features of the database work, but only do this if you trust the database and its creator.
The datasheet view for a table displays all the fields (columns) and the records (rows) in that table. New records are added in the empty bottom row or by using the New (blank) record button at the bottom next to the navigation controls.
Key things to bear in mind when working with tables in datasheet view:
An Access file, typically with a .accdb file extension, is usually referred to as an Access database, and contains all the tables, queries and any other objects that form that database.
You save the overall Access database file with a suitable name and then save the individual tables, queries, forms, and reports with other sensible names. For example, you might have a database called Training.accdb and then within it, tables called Sessions, Students, Marks, and Trainers. There also might be queries called qrySessionTrainers and qryStudentMarks, as typically query names start with qry. Often report names start with rpt and form names start with frm. You'll notice that these examples don't have spaces in them - this helps to prevent errors in Access so it is best practice to use camelCase, i.e. start each letter of a new word with a capital letter, when naming things in Access.
Always keep backups of your Access database. The files can corrupt so regular backups are best so you don't lose any recent updates if you need to revert to a backup copy.
A newly-created Access database file takes a portion of disk space in which to store and manage the tables and other objects, and extends as needed. However, if anything is deleted within the file, Access does not release this space back, meaning that the file size of an Access database can get very big.
There is a feature built into Access to keep your database at a reasonable file size, called Compact and Repair. Running this periodically helps to keep your file manageable. To do this, go to Database Tools > Tools > Compact and Repair Database. Any open objects will be closed and the database re-opened.
It is also possible to set a database to compact each time it closes, by going to File > Options > Current Database and then in the Application Options tick Compact on Close.