Intro to Access - Microsoft Access Basics for Beginners | Steve McDonald | Skillshare

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Intro to Access - Microsoft Access Basics for Beginners

teacher avatar Steve McDonald, Excel and Photoshop Geek

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
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Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.

      Introduction to Microsoft Access Basics


    • 2.

      Opening and Starting an Access Database


    • 3.

      Take a Tour of the Access Ribbon and Dashboard


    • 4.

      Create Your First Access TABLE from Scratch


    • 5.

      Create Your First Access FORM


    • 6.

      Create Your First Access QUERY


    • 7.

      Create Your First Access REPORT


    • 8.

      Access Basics Course Conclusion


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About This Class

When you think about learning Microsoft Access do you feel overwhelmed or intimidated?

If so, you're in the right place. 

Microsoft Access Basics for Beginners is designed to get you started in Access by creating a very simple database from scratch. 

This is a very hands-on course where I'll walk you through it step-by-step. The lessons are short and easy to follow, and all of the steps are explained in plain English.

With this course, anyone can get started learning Access. It isn't going to make you pro, but after you finish this short course, if your boss starts talking about Queries, Forms or Reports, you'll know exactly what they're talking about. And you'll understand how to create one.

Click on into the course. I promise it'll be easier than you thought.

Meet Your Teacher

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Steve McDonald

Excel and Photoshop Geek


Learning is easier if you are given the right tools and instruction. In every one of my courses I take you step-by-step through the tools and knowledge you need to accomplish your goals. 

My talent is taking complex subjects (like Exce... See full profile

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1. Introduction to Microsoft Access Basics: hello and welcome to the access basics for beginners. Course, I'm really excited that you're here, and I'm really excited to help you to get started. Learning access access is a gigantic program, and at first viewing it can seem very overwhelming. Very intimidating has a lot of different pieces in parts. And so my goal with this short course is to get you familiar with all of the different moving parts and get you some riel hands on experience so that you can create a simple database and see some of the different pieces and parts like forms and reports and queries , and actually create some of them on your own to help you get past that sense of overwhelmed and intimidation that can come from looking at access. So we're going to jump right in and get started. 2. Opening and Starting an Access Database: the first screen that you see when you open up access is this screen here? This is where you can open a new item. You can open an existing spreadsheet you can save, you can print, you can close access, and you can get into other options here. But we're gonna open up a new database. Can you do that by going to blank database clicking on it and that you name your database? This is something that's different between, say, access and excel. Where excel, you create it and then you name it in access. You actually name it when you create it. So let's just call this practice and feel free to follow along with me while we're doing this. In fact, I highly encourage that because that's gonna get you some really good hands on practice. And if you need to pause or rewind a little bit of any point, go for it again. Remember, this course is really designed just to get you some hands on experience. There's so much that you can learn, and I'm not going to stop to explain everything that I go past. But I will explain the important key points so that you understand enough to create the things that I'm gonna show you how to create. So anyway, we named this practice, and we're gonna go to create here. You can see it's saving this in my documents folder. You can create your own location if you like, by browsing here, but we're just gonna leave it in. The documents were gonna go create that's gonna bring us right into access, and it actually created our first table for us. 3. Take a Tour of the Access Ribbon and Dashboard: Now, before I get into creating tables and the other objects in your database, I want to give you a tour of the access ribbon and some of the tools. So this area here is what's known as the Axis Ribbon. This is where all your tools are, and you have tabs along the top here that allow you to work with the different ribbons. So because I've created a table, it's created a special ribbon called table Tools, which allows me to do some ad. It's for the table so you can see this allows me to edit fields. This allows me to edit the table itself, and we'll get into that later. But just so you know that whenever you're in a table or object within access, it's going to give you these specific tools that are only available when you have something open. So we'll go back to home so I can show you the more general tools that you'll find. So you'll probably recognize some of these from Microsoft Word. These are just formatting tools you have find options so you can search and find things within your table. The's Air tools for working with your records, which is essentially working with your data entry, these air sorts and filters. This is your clipboard copy, cut, format, painter and paste. And then this is your view, and the view is something that you will use a lot. You can either do the drop down here, and right now we're in what's called data sheet view. This is a data sheet, but the other one is designed viewing. If you click on design view, its first going to ask you to save it was to call this practice table click. OK, and now we're in what's called design view and again, I'll get into this more as we go and build our first table. But just know that if you either use the drop down here or just click on this, you'll switch back and forth from design view to table view, and you'll go back and forth between the two of those as your editing and modifying and creating tables. OK, so that's our home tab. The file tab is what's going to actually take you back to where you can open new documents , open existing documents, save your documents, print your documents, close access, get into your personal account, leave feedback for Microsoft and explore different options and settings within access. So to get back to the main screen, just click this back button and that puts you back in your database. So we're on the home tab. Let's look at the create tab. This is where you're going to actually create different objects in your database. So I already showed you how to go to create and table, and that's how we created this table. But we can go to weaken, create queries here. We can create forms here in this section. We can create reports here in this section, and then you can do macros and visual basic in this section. Then there's external data, for instance. I mean, the most common would be importing a spreadsheet from Excel that you want to turn into a database. Then you could go to here and you can import an Excel spreadsheet using this link. So this section here is for importing, and then this section here is for exporting as various things, and you can see you can export it to excel. You can export as a PdF and obviously much, many more options then we get into our database tools, but you have compact and repair database. You have your macros and visual basics. This offers an alternative way to create relationships, but you can actually create them right within your tables As you're creating them. You can analyze your database, you could move data, or you can go and grab additional Adan's to bring into access. So I already covered the table tools and whatever object you're in they have opened here will pop up a different tool. Then finally, this is the Tell me what you want to do. It's essentially like a help function, although it's a little more effective, so you could just type in what you want to do in access, and it will often bring you right to the operation. Or it will bring you to a help screen that will help you to find the answers that you need . So that's the ribbon. And then we also have the quick start menu here, which allows you to quickly save, undo, redo. And then here you can actually customize the quick access to a bar, and all you have to do is click on any of these things, and you can add them to this toolbar appear. So if you want to have a quick print on here, you just click that and see it adds the icon for quick print, and it makes it quicker to use. You can also go down here to find more commands that you can add to the quick access to a bar. And this is something you do after you've been using access for a while, and you start to get a sense of things that you will use frequently and you want rapid access to. So those that's the options there. I'm gonna get rid of the quick print, and then the last thing I haven't showed you here is the navigation pane to the left of your table here, and you can actually close the navigation pane. If you just want to work within your table, you click that again to open it. But this will show all of the objects in your database, and you can organize these in a number of ways. But generally you'll have, like tables, queries, forms, reports and then you'll have all of the tables that you have listed of all the reports all of the queries, all the forms, and it'll all be here, so you can just quickly click into these and bring them up on your main screen. And you can use this button here to sort your navigation pane so that best suits the project and allows you to find things more easily. So that's a quick tour of the access interface and the ribbon and tool bars. 4. Create Your First Access TABLE from Scratch: and you can work with this table to get started. I like to just close that one out, so I'm working with a blank slate and then let's go create our own just so I can show you how to do that. So you click create, and you'll see all these tools up here. You have your table tools, your query tools, your form tools, your report tools and then macros and coat. So if we go to the tables, Tool will just click on the blank table. And there we are again with are just empty blank table and you can see it's already put an I D in here for us and we could start adding Mawr fields going this way. But I prefer to work in what's called design view. They're two different views for this. This is called data sheet view, and you can see it looks like a sheet of data, kind of like an Excel spreadsheet. The other one is called design View, and design view is oriented differently, and it allows you to create things more easily. The way to get into desire in view is just to right. Click on here and click design view. Or you can also go up here to the corner and just click that icon and that'll get us going now again, just like we had to save our entire database. Before we actually create it, access is gonna ask us to save our table before we create it. So we're also gonna call this one practice and I'm gonna click, OK? And now it's actually created. And you could see its name to practice now and it's showing us the field name that access already gave us called I D. But what we're gonna do in this very simple database that I'm gonna teach you how to create is we're just going to make a contact list. So I don't really need a special i d for my contacts. I'm just going to start with their name. So actually gonna go in here, right? Click this and delete this and it asked me if I wanted to leave it. I'm going to say yes. So now I'm back to blank slate, and now I can start to name the fields. And these were gonna be the column headings that go across the top in our data sheet view, So just follow along with me, and then I'll show you what it's gonna look like in just a minute. So first we need our first name for our contact. Gonna hit tab or enter. It will take us to the next cell. It's gonna automatically say short text. And that's great. Short Texas good for a first name as a data type. So this is the basically the type of data that is gonna go into this field. So if you're putting numbers in here, you can do a drop down and you can pick from numbers. If you're putting paragraphs of text, you can put long text. But for most things, we're gonna do short text. You know, if you have a date or money, things like that, we can put different options. But for the most part, you're gonna do short text. So then we're gonna keep going to hit Tab. A description is if you have a kind of complicated field name here that whoever's entering data into it needs Teoh kind of have more guidance than you'd put some information in there . It's pretty obvious that if it says first name, we want their first name. So they just type in Steve, right? So click tab and keep going. Now we want last name. Okay, Tab, it automatically says short text. That's great. We'll keep going. Let's say address short. Texas Good City, Good state. Good and phone. Let's just call it phone number like that so we don't take up too much space. And even for a phone number, we're going to call that short text because we're not doing any math on it, so we don't need to call it a number. So we have a couple more times to get down there, and that is are completed. Table those air, all of our fields. So now we're gonna go back to design view. Remember, we do that by right. Clicking, hear clicking on design view. Or you can go up there too. We'll just click here this time. Oops. I didn't click it. Oh, we're in design view. Sorry. We're going to data. She view. You can see it's highlighted on desire view, data sheet view. It's gonna ask us to save it because we made changes to our table and we'll click. Yes, and now we're back into our data sheet view, which again are days You kind of looks like an Excel spreadsheet. And in design view, we created these different fields. So we have a first name, last name, address, city, state and phone number. So that's our table. And if we wanted to put information into this table, we can just type Steve Donald 123 fourth Street wherever you want, live in New York City here in New York, right? We probably put a zip code in there, too, if you want to mail things to your contact list, but we don't need to do, that's fine. This is just for an example. And then we have a phone number, something like that enter. And now that is officially in our database. And we could add as many as we want just going down the rows here. So let's just add one more and that will at least give us enough that when I show you how to create a report and a query, it'll actually look like we have something in there. So let's put him Fred Roads and he lives at 234 fifth Street, and hopefully these aren't real addresses if they are, Please don't go there. Okay, Okay. Let's do one more. Good thing I'm not administrative assistant. My boss a p one. Thrilled. Okay, there we go. So we have three entries in there, and when we start to create queries and stuff, it'll kind of make more sense. So if in fact you know what? Let's just say that he's from Seattle, Washington, and you could abbreviate thes like W A. You know, that would actually save space in your database. But since we have a tiny one, we're just gonna do it spelled out. Okay, so so and notice. It's still showing this little pencil over here. That means this one hasn't been entered in yet or saved where that least the edits haven't been saved. So going to go ahead and arrow down, and then now it's in there. OK, so that's our first table, and you'll see it over here in our objects. This is kind of our navigation pane that just holds everything that's in our database. Yes, we have a table. Let's close that now, and you can just right click here and click close, and it's still over there, but it's not active. And so we're not working on. Okay, now let's go create something else. 5. Create Your First Access FORM: Okay, Now let's go create something else called a query. Actually, no. Sorry. Let's jump ahead to a form because of form allows us to enter information in to our table, so we'll just go to actually, let's go to form design. Actually, no, I don't do that. Okay, check this out. So if I go to create and this isn't highlighted its because I haven't selected a form or I haven't selected a table to build a form from. I can go and use, like, the form wizard or blank form and just assign it to something. But I'm gonna go to click on Miss Practice table. And now, look, it gives us the option to select that, and it's basically gonna use the information from this to create our form. So I'm gonna click that, and, presto, it brings up a complete form that has everything in our table. So that's super simple. And this one has a design view as well. And it also has were in layup few, but as design view and has form view for go to form view. That's kind of the official area where you'd actually use the form so you can see, it's got our first record here, but I can navigate using this little button to the next record. There's Fred Roads and then navigate again to our next record. That's Bob Barker, Okay, and then if I want to do a new record, I just click on this button and it brings us to a new record. So now I can put in someone else and let's put her in Portland. Orga foregone. Okay? And noticed them here says four of four. So we're in the fourth record of four total, which also means I haven't entered this in to the database yet until I collect on new blank record. And now you'll see it says five of five, which means it's in the database so I could go back here and I can click on No, Actually, it's gonna make me save it. Let's click Save and we have to name Let's just call this practice form. Let's do it like this practice form. Okay, now, if I go to let's close this for a second. So we're not getting confused. Let me show you what happened in our table real quick there. See? Now Elizabeth shoe is in our do you know this? And let's say I wanted to change. I spelled out road. I just wanted to leave it as an abbreviation. We could go back to our form, you know, close this again. Double click on the form. Go to the last record by clicking here. You know, that's her. And then I go in here and edit it road and go to the next blank record and we'll go back and look. And there it is. It changed. So you can see our form is basically it, like an access portal to enter information into our table. So let's close down our table and you can do a lot of edits to this form. You could go and lips drop down, go to design for you, and we can, like, highlight all of these and we can shrink up the fields and weaken, shrink up the entire form, and we can make these so they make more sense, like space them out. You know, it's making a little more appealing. We could change this to say, contact details and listen. We could change the just changed phone number, the phone. So these are not the field names anymore. They're just the way it appears in the form. So we say that again. And then we can go back to home and go to the four of you again, and you can see that it cleans it up nicely. Okay, so let's close that and let's create a query. 6. Create Your First Access QUERY: Let's create a query. Now Query is basically just a question that we ask of the information in our table. So let's say we want to know all of our friends who live in Seattle, for instance. So we got to create, we got a query and we'll just go to the query wizard because that's kind of a quick way to create a query. And we're gonna do a simple query. And now it gives us this wizard and the wizard asks this first, Which table do you want to use? Well, practice because that's the only table we have, you see. And now it says, Where do you want a list in here? Well, let's list the first name in the last name and then we're gonna go by state. We're sitting right. We want Seattle. So we want to know the names of the people that live in C out. So we're selecting those fields to search in in the practice table. Click Next. What do we want to name it? Practice query is fine, but I like to do it without spaces because that can cause programmers trouble later on down the line. If you put spaces in there. And then let's see, that's all the query. That's all the wizard needs. Do you want to modify the quarries design? I think for now, we're not going to do that because we don't really need to. So we're gonna open the query to see how it looks. Okay. Now, this is brought back our first names, last names and the city that they live in. But that's not what we want. It is it. We wanted to know just the people who lived in Seattle, so we need to be more specific in this query, which means we need to do some design to it. So we got to go home. We're gonna go to design view. Notice how all of these different objects have designed to weaken do design, view and tables. We could do design, view, enquiries, weaken, do design of you informs that's where the real work happens. That's where you, uh, do the modifications to your objects that make them do awesome things. So we down here, we have the different criteria for our query. So you can see we have first name taken from the practice table. We have last name taken from the practice table with City taken from the practice stable. But what we really want is for the city to say Seattle. So we're gonna type in Seattle here. I'm gonna hit, enter and notice how access automatically put some quotes around that. That's because it knows that the word Seattle is text. So the quotes just tell us that it's text. And in our query, we wanted to display the names of the people who live in Seattle. But it doesn't necessarily need to have the word Seattle sitting next to their name. So we would click this little button, and that's gonna hide this from the results. It's still going to use this as part of the query as part of the question, and it's gonna sort by only the places only the cities that are named Seattle. But it just won't show the word Seattle. So let's go ahead and run this and see what happens. We click Ron, and now you see, it came back with Bob Barker, who is our only person living in Seattle. And so if we go to our practice table and we verify that we go to Bob Barker and sure enough, he lives in Seattle, so that query works. And obviously that is a very simple query. But you can at least see how it works so that if you had a gigantic list of you know, thousands or maybe you have a 1,000,000 entries here and you really do need to, uh, access all the people who live in Seattle because let's say you have their email address. So this is like email context list, and you need to send an email to all of the people who live in Seattle because you're doing a particular promotion with your business or something. So with that query right there, even if you had a 1,000,000 people in the state of the issue could quickly pull out a list of names and you say it looks OK. So say we don't want to call them and not email them because we already have that phone number. Let's just week this, and I'll show you how to throw their phone number in there. So we go to design view, and we're gonna grab the phone number field. Let me just double click it and see it drops it in there and now we click. Ron. So now we have all of our people that live in Seattle and the phone number so you can start your, you know, whatever your telephone campaign. Okay. So those air tables, queries and forms. Now let's create a report. 7. Create Your First Access REPORT: now let's create a report and a report would just be the way to pull up the information that you've done in a query. Or you could do it report based on a table if you wanted to. But a lot of the time you do it from a query because it's already asking a question that you want answers to. So let's go ahead and close these guys. Yes, we want to save the changes. Was that high and we'll go to create. And finally, we're moving over to the right here and we have the report wizard. Well, actually, let's do this. Let's do our query and let's just click report. Okay, so what that did was it read our query and decided what we needed in the report based on that query and there it ISS. So if we go look at the well here, we have more views with this to again. There's your design view. Layout view is just a quicker way to do layout changes without getting into all the details . And then you have a print preview and report view just shows you what it's gonna look like . So we'll do. The report view. So that's what our report would look like. Lips. I was trying to click away from that. They're so you can see it's got our page numbers, but as a sub total, which is kind of you could get rid of that. But it's got her date in time, and it's got our people from Seattle. Obviously, we want to go read, name this and we call it customers are we call it probably Seattle customers, something like that. And then we can go even look at the print previews he would look. It was printed. So now we have a nicer header that identifies what we have here and again. If we had a 1,000,000 different people and 100,000 of them lived in Seattle, then this would be a gigantic report that you could give to your boss and make them really proud of you for not spending seven days trying to come up with that information. So let's close out of print preview, and then let's close this report that's gonna ask us to save it. Notice it's not over here yet until we've saved. So I click. Yes, we have to name it, of course, and we'll call it practice report and there it ISS 8. Access Basics Course Conclusion: so look at that. You have just created an entire access database granted a very simple one, but it is still a complete database with a table and data. We have field names, We have records of customer names or contact names. Whatever you want to call them. We have a query which searches for the people who live in Seattle. We have a four by which we can enter information into our table, and we have a report which allows us to present the information in our table in a more professional manner. So I hope you followed along with that and created that yourself as well, so that you just kind of know where to click on things to find what you're looking for. And if you didn't, I highly recommend going back and doing and just following along with me because that only took us a few minutes a handful of minutes. And that will really get a lot of the basics down for you so that this process just doesn't seem so bad. So I hope you enjoy that. I hope you learned something from it. I hope that makes access a little less intimidating when you know, dive in and it's starting out. And if it did help you feel better about your ability to learn access than I would encourage you to go find it. Comprehensive course at this point. So you that you can really get into the nuts and bolts and learn how to create table relationships, which is multiple tables that relate to each other and how to do more advanced queries that could pull up more information, learn how to customize your forms a little bit more, and then create reports that and be able to customize them in the design view so that you can fancy him up and arranged in the way you want to so you can get information to your boss in a way that they will love and make life easier. Thanks so much for watching. I hope you have a great day and I'll see you in another course.