Access Basics:
Access Objects

Title: Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101
Did you want: Working with Databases: Access 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016

An Access database is made up of objects, all saved in one file. In this project you will create a simple database that contains just a few objects: a table, a query, a form, and a report.  You will also create a data access page, which is saved outside the database itself.

Any database must have at least one table. The power of relational databases like Microsoft Access comes with using several tables and queries to produce forms and reports that enable you to organize your data.

You will start by creating a simple database and get more complex later!

Naming Things in Access

The same rules apply to an object like a table, form, or report, to a control in the Design view of a form, report, or data access page, or to a field in a table.

A name can have up to 64 characters. It can contain letters, numbers, and symbols except for a period (.), an exclamation point (!), an accent grave (`), brackets ([ ]), and double quote mark ("). You cannot start a name with space(s). You can use a space inside a name.

TipAvoid using reserved words: Do not use as a name a word that Access uses for its own work. For example the word "Average" is a function that calculates an average. So you don't want use Average as the name a field also. You just need to get a little creative. AverageScore or AvgScore would work just fine. There is a partial list of the reserved words in the Microsoft Knowledge BaseIcon: Offsite

Where you are:
JegsWorks > Lessons > Databases

Before you start...

Project 1: Intro

Project 2: Access Basics Arrow: subtopic open
    InterfaceTo subtopics
    Getting StartedTo subtopics  
    Access Objects Arrow: subtopic open
    Icon: StepTable: Design View
    Icon: StepTable: Datasheet View
    Icon: StepManage a Table
    Icon: StepSort & Filter a Table
    Icon: StepQuery Wizard
    Icon: StepAutoForm
    Icon: StepAutoReport
    Icon: StepData Access Page
        About Printing
    Icon: StepPrint Objects
    RelationshipsTo subtopics
    ExercisesTo subtopics

Project 3: Tables & Queries

Project 4: Forms & Reports


Programming-Friendly Names

Database programmers like to use names that include a clue as to what kind of thing it is. This helps them avoid certain kinds of problems in their programs.


  • Table:   tblCategories
  • Query:  qryItems-alphabetical
  • Form:   frmStarWarsCollectibles
  • Report: rptStarWarsCollectibles
  • Field:    txtItemName when the field is a Text type
  • Field:    dtAcquired when the field is a Date/Time field
  • Field:    pk_intItemID when the field is the primary key and an integer.
  • Field:    bolGift when the field is a Yes/No field. The "bol" comes from "Boolean" which is the proper term for this kind of field.

These kinds of names may be programming-friendly, but they are not user-friendly!

There is a trend away from this kind of naming, but it is good know what such ugly names mean.

TipProgrammers avoid spaces in names: Spaces can cause problems if you use a Visual Basic program to control how the database behaves.


With Access 2002, Microsoft introduced the ability to undo and redo multiple actions, up to 20. That is better than just 1, but it is not a lot of actions when you start formatting forms and reports.

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Last updated: 30 Apr 2012