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Essential Access: a Practical Guide


Essential Access: a Practical Guide

Microsoft Access is an application for creating relational databases to store, query, and edit data. In this guide, we'll look at how to use the key features of Access to design databases and create and use tables, queries, reports, and forms.


Navigation panel, table views, window or tabbed view

Query creation, table and field display, sorting and criteria, conditions, ranges and wildcards

Field names, data types, field properties

Primary keys, Foreign keys, Composite keys

Importing data, linked data (inc. ODBC)

Make table, Append, Update, Delete

Grouped and ungrouped reports, controls, group & total, section properties, calculated fields

Single vs continous records, controls and field properties, subforms, lookup fields, action buttons


How to use this guide

To use this guide as a course, follow the entire guide through, starting with the Introduction to databases section from the top menu. There are exercises on each page to test your knowledge, in a similar box with a pencil icon.

You will need to download the exercise files to do the exercises on the pages of this guide:

You can find all the exercises in the exercise document. This is a long document so use the contents or links on each page to find the section you need.

Accessing Access

Microsoft Access is available as part of the Microsoft Office suite of applications, on Windows devices only.

On University PCs, Microsoft Office should already be installed so you should be able to access Access from the Start menu.

Members of the University of York can use the University subscription to Microsoft Office 365 to download the Microsoft Office suite on unmanaged devices.