Every ounce of information is important. For example, imagine you have a database that lists the products that a mail-order origami company has for sale. 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 refer to past product records.
This hang-onto-everything rule applies to any kind of database. You need them all and you probably need to keep them indefinitely. You can then ignore those products when you build an order-placement form. 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 may have a bit of trouble editing a value. When you start typing, Access erases any existing content.
Features and Commands (Part) in Microsoft Access Menus and Toolbars
Instead, you get to change or add to it. To switch out of Edit mode, you press F2 again. Edit mode also affects how the arrow keys work. In Edit mode, the arrow keys move through the current field.
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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. Moves the cursor one field to the right, or down when you reach the edge of the table. Moves the cursor one field to the left, or up when you reach the edge of the table. This key also turns off Edit mode. Moves the cursor one field to the right in Normal mode , or down when you reach the edge of the table.
In Edit mode, this key moves the cursor through the text in the current field. Moves the cursor one field to the left in Normal mode , or up when you reach the edge of the table. Moves the cursor to the first field in the current row. Moves the cursor to the last field in the current row. Moves the cursor to the first field in the first row. Moves the cursor to the last field in the last row. This key works only if you use it in Edit mode. Once you move to the next cell, the change is applied. For additional cancellation control, try the Undo feature, described next.
Reverses the last edit. This trick is handy when you need to enter a batch of records with similar information.
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Access, like virtually every Windows program, lets you cut and paste bits of information from one spot to another. However, Access has a little-known ability that lets you copy an entire record. To pull it off, follow these steps:. This selects the record. Presto—an exact duplicate. Access updates the ID column for your pasted record, giving it a new number. It automatically saves any edits you make to the records in a table. This automatic-saving process takes place every time you change a record, and it happens almost instantaneously.
The rules are a bit different for database objects Understanding Access Databases. When you add or edit a database object, Access waits until you finish and close the object, at which point it prompts you to save or discard your changes.
Remember, when you click File, you enter Backstage view, which provides a narrow strip of commands on the left and a page with options for the currently selected command on the right. You use Backstage view to open, save, and convert database files—see The Quick Access Toolbar if you need a quick review about how it works. The automatic save feature can pose a problem if you make a change mistakenly. You can perform these tasks with Windows Explorer, but Access gives you an even easier option.
I see an extra file with the extension. What gives? Access creates a. Access uses the. Access makes this job easy. Access opens a Save As window, where you can browse to a different folder on your hard drive and type a new file name. Keep in mind that once Access creates the new database file, that file is the one it keeps using. In other words, if you create another table or edit some of your data, Access updates the new file. If you want to go back to the old file, you need to open it in Access again.
Alternatively, you can use the backup feature described in the previous section.
Access 2013: The Missing Manual by Matthew MacDonald
When you create a new database, Access uses its modern. Microsoft introduced the. That makes it the go-to choice for new databases. However, there may be times when you need to share your data with people who are using truly ancient copies of Access. Versions before Access use a different database format, called. The standard. But if you need to share databases with people running much older versions of Access, the.
Older database formats are less reliable and may not support all of the Access features you want to use. The best approach is to stick with the. However, if possible, keep using the modern. You can also use the old-style. Instead, Access is more concerned with getting information in and out of the database as quickly as it can. If you want to trim your database back to size, you can use a feature called compacting.
Access then closes your database, compacts it, and opens it again. If you compact a brand-new database, Access shows a harmless security warning when the database is reopened. The only problem with the database-compacting feature is that you need to remember to use it. If you want to keep your databases as small as possible at all times, you can switch on a setting that tells Access to compact the current database every time you close it. Open the database that you want to automatically compact. To open one, just click it. Do you want to hide your recent work? Or, just click the big Browse button underneath to hunt around in the current folder.
When you find the file you want, double-click it. Finally, as always, you can open a database file from outside Access by simply double-clicking it in Windows Explorer or on your desktop. In those situations, you need to know if Access trusts your database and will allow it to run code and action queries. You have two options:. Click the X at the right side of the message bar to banish it. Click Enable Content to tell Access that it can trust this database.