These lessons are part of a set of tutorials in Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101. The tutorials cover Computer Basics, Windows, word processing, spreadsheets, the web, presentations and databases (which is the section you are in now).
The whole course is designed for people who are new to computers, but even old pros need a refresher from time to time. You might even learn something new, or at least be reminded of tips and tricks that you have forgotten.
Clearly, if you are reading this page in a browser, you already have some computer skills, or else you have a handy helper or instructor close by.
The Working with Databases lessons will discuss the types of databases and what they are used for. You will see examples of text and flat file databases. Then you will use Microsoft Access to learn how to work with, edit, and create a relational database.
The lessons do build on one another, so if you skip one, you may get confused later. Documents you create may be used in later lessons. Fair warning!
Each lesson has:
You must actually follow the directions while at the computer!!
You cannot just read about a technique and expect to be able to do it yourself later. It is different when you are doing it yourself!
Printing directions: You might want to print the steps out if your monitor or resolution is small. It can be hard to read directions on the screen while you are trying to follow the directions!
Print selection: You may can print just the parts you want. Select the part to print and either right click or go to the File menu and then the Print... command. There may be a choice in the dialog to print just the "Selection", depending on which browser and operating system you are using. This choice might be buried in Advanced settings.
Switching between windows: If you want to work with directions on the screen, you can switch between the directions in the browser and the application window where you are working by clicking on the Taskbar icon or with the ALT + TAB key combo. Also, in Windows 10, you can use the Windows key + TAB combo, which opens Task View. Or if you are using a high resolution, perhaps you can size your windows so that you can see both at the same time.
What you actually see on your computer may vary from what is shown and described here. Things change quickly in the world of computers. Don't let it fluster you!
The Step-by-Step sections will explain how to set the features that will
affect how your computer responds to the directions. If your computer
still does not behave as you expected, look in the Help for the program
or ask your instructor or network administrator (or a even more
experienced friend). That's why they are there!
[Note: You may not be allowed to change some settings on classroom or network computers.]
The directions and images for this unit were prepared primarily from Access 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. The basic skills and approach are the same, even when the details change a lot. There are lessons for older versions in the Archives section of the main menu.
If you don't find something that the directions refer to, it may not have been installed. Clip art may not have been copied to the hard drive. In that case, you must have the installation CD in the CD-ROM drive in order to access the clip art. You can rerun the installation program to add features that were overlooked before.
The templates and wizards will not be the same in a different brand of database and often change between versions of the same program. There may not be anything even close for some wizards. But the techniques of how to work with a template or a wizard are the same.
You may need to stop before finishing all of the directions in a Step-by-Step section. Pay attention to what lesson page you are on when you quit. If you are sharing a computer, write down the page's address from the browser's address bar. If you are on your own computer, you can bookmark the page in the browser. Bookmarks on a classroom computer may not be there when you get back to it!
The Step-by-Step exercises have a Start with: line that tells you what the situation should be when you start the exercise. This can help when you had to stop before finishing the document. The steps build on one another to complete a document, so don't try to skip steps even if you know how to do the skill being illustrated. Perhaps you'll learn a different way to accomplish a task!
If you were creating a document, don't forget to save it, or you will have lots to redo when you return to the computer!
The amount of detail in the directions and illustrations will decrease as you gain more experience.