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Link to Home - Jan's Illustrated Computer Literacy 101

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# or symbol


# or Symbol

The record has been deleted.
Calculation is trying to divide by zero. Check your expressions for calculations for the possibility of current AND future records resulting in division by zero.
Access cannot evaluate the expression. There are a number of reasons possible.
  • Circular reference: Using a control's name in an expression that defines values for the same control
  • Aggregate functions: Field name mis-spelled or there are not enough arguments given
  • Default value in a table or form: Wrong DataType or FieldSize for the field
  • Query: Result of calculation is larger than the FieldSize allows
Access keeps other users from editing records that you are editing. In addition, if you have multiple Access databases open at once on your computer, Access treats each one as a separate user. So you can only edit records from one database at a time. Also, Access locks out groups of records at a time, not just single records. How many at a time depends on the size of the records.
The name that you typed for a source is not valid.
  • Mis-spelled name of field
  • Omitted the equals sign (=) in an expression in a form or report
  • Source has been deleted
The value is too large to be stored in the field due to the DataType or FieldSize


In the Macro Builder, the Action column lists things like "Open Form", "Close", "Save", that you want to happen when the macro runs
The active cell in a datasheet or spreadsheet receives the action or keystrokes. In an Excel spreadsheet the active cell has a dark, wider border. In a datasheet the Row Selector will have an arrow in it and the cursor will be blinking in the active cell.
action query
A query which performs an action with the records/fields selected by the query. Action queries include Make-Table, Append, Delete, and Update queries.
aggregate function
A function which groups values together, such as a sum, average, count, maximum, or minimum.
Controls: To line up controls evenly, either horizontally or vertically.
Text in a control: To arrange text as centered or aligned to the left or right of a control.
Analyze It with Excel
A wizard for exporting data to Excel format
Append query
A query which add records to an existing table.
Function: Choices that must be made for a function to work. For example the IIF function requires 3 arguments: the condition to test for, what to show if the condition is true, and what to show if the condition is false.
Design dialog: A secondary choice that you must make, such as choosing Currency after choosing Number as the data type. Or in the Macro Builder, once you choose "Open Query" as the action, you must specify which query to open. The name of the query is an argument.
Auto Activate
For an OLE object, the property that determines what program will be used to open the object when it is double-clicked
Creates a one-column form immediately, using all of the fields in the selected table or query.
A combination of formatting choices that is saved as a style and can be applied through the AutoFormat dialog.
A field which automatically numbers a new record.
Data Access Page: AutoPageAutoPage
Creates a plain, white data access page putting all of the fields in the selected table or query into a single column on a white background.
Creates a report immediately putting all of the fields in the selected table or query into a single column.
A company which produces a number of commonly available types of labels and other office products.
A function which averages the values.
: Avg(expr) where expr stands for a string expression that identifies the field whose values you want to average. Avg adds all the values and divides by how many values there were. Avg ignores Null values.
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What appears behind/underneath the controls or text in a control on a form or report. A background can be colored or an image.
A copy of a file which is made in case damage occurs to the original.
Best Fit
A column that is sized automatically to show the widest item in the column.
A field which appears to have nothing in it. A blank field may be Null or contain a zero-length string.
bound column
The column in a Lookup list that has the value that is actually stored in the field.
bound control
A control on a form or report which shows the values from a particular field.
bound object frame
An OLE frame which holds an object that is a value for a particular field.

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calculated control
A control that shows a value that is calculated using field values or values from other calculated controls. The values may be text or numbers.
calculated field
A field that is not in one of the original fields but is calculated using values from existing table or query fields. The result can be text or numerical.
Example with text data:       
   = [LastName]&", "&[FirstName]  produces a combined name like,  Hatler, James
Example with number data: 
   = ([AverageTests]+[AverageHomework])/2  produces a single number like, 93.5
Example including fixed text:
   ="Your score was "&[Score]&"."  produces text like,  Your score was 88.
Can Grow Property
A property of a control or section of a form or report which allows it to enlarge if the value to display does not fit.
Can Shrink Property
A property of a control or section of a form or report which allows it to reduce in size if the value to display does not need all of the space allowed in Design View.
Caption Property
A property of a field which defines what will show in the table's column heading for this field, and also in the label on a form or report.
Dialog: Edit Relationshipscascade delete
Occurs when a record is deleted and all related records in other tables are automatically deleted also. The tables must have a relationship that requires Referential Integrity to be enforced AND that allows cascading deletions. These choices are in the Edit Relationships dialog.
cascade update
Occurs when a record's field value is updated and all related records in other tables are automatically updated also. The tables must have a relationship that requires Referential Integrity to be enforced AND that allows cascading updates. These choices are in the Edit Relationships dialog.
The intersection of a row and a column
Character MapCharacter Map
A program that comes with Windows which displays all of the characters available in the selected font. The window also shows the keyboard code to use for the character.
Check boxescheck box
An box shape which is either clear or checked, by clicking on it. Used to offer several choices on a form. Only one choice may be chosen, which is different from the way check boxes behave on web forms.
A subform/subreport is the Child in relationship to the main form/report, which is the Parent.
circular reference
An expression which refers to the control or query column that the expression itself is in creates a circular reference error.
A value for the Size Mode property of an image, which results in showing only the part of the image that fits in the control, starting from the upper left.
Datasheet: A vertical set of cells, running from the top of the datasheet all the way to the bottom of the datasheet.
Report: A listing of records in two or more separate sets on one page. Records can run down the column and then across to the top of the next column, or they can go across in a row and then drop down to the next row.
column heading
A button which shows the letter name of the column
column width
The horizontal size of a columns of cells.
combo list
Combo Box controlA control which opens a drop list to choices. It may show several fields but only stores the value from one field.
To remove wasted space from a file, resulting in a smaller file size.
When a program is compiled, it is turned into machine code (1's and 0's). This protects the program from being changed by unauthorized people and keeps secret the methods used by the program .
Combining text and/or values into one text string.  For example, you might combine the separate fields for a name (firstname, middlename, lastname) into a single calculated field called Name, which could produce names that are easier to read in reports, like:  Johnson, Ronald Ferguson or Ronald Ferguson Johnson.
A value that remains the same. Numeric constants include fixed mathematical values like pi (p). System-defined constants include True, False, Null.
continuous forms
 Displaying database forms one after the other instead of as separate pages.
Controls on a formcontrol
An object that displays data on a form, report, or data access page.
Control Source property
A property of a control on a form or report that specifies where the value comes from. It is a value from one of the fields in the source for the form or report, or else is calculated using those values.
Count function
An Access function which counts the number of records that have a value in the selected field.
Syntax: Count(expr)
where expr is a string expression which identifies the field whose values you want to count or does a calculation using data from that field. You can "count" text fields as well as number fields.
Count does not count Null fields unless expr is an asterisk, *.
An Access function which counts all of the records, including nulls.
The rules for the values that must be matched in a filter. For example, Price >  $25 or LastName starts with G.
Singular form of criteria. (Just one rule)
To cut off part of the value in a control. This can happen unintentionally when there was not enough space allowed in the control or enough space on the form or report.
Crosstab query- labeledCrosstab query
A crosstab query calculates one of the aggregate functions based on several fields. One or more fields have their values at the left of the datasheet as row headings and the values from one field across the top as column headings. The cells in the middle are the "total", which can be a Sum, Avg, Count, or one of the other aggregate functions.
CSV format text fileCSV format (Comma Separated Values).
This text database format puts a comma between each field, like the example at the right. The file may use csv as the file extension, like mydata.csv
custom dialog
A dialog which you create yourself to receive choices for a parameter query, usually as part of opening a form or report that is based on the query.
customize toolbar
Add or remove items from a toolbar.

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A method of keeping records which are made up of fields. A database can be written by hand, kept in a ledger or address book, or use software.
database programmer
A person who designs databases and writes code to create and control them. A programmer may use computer languages like C or COBOL or special purpose languages.
Database windowDatabase Window
The initial window in Access that shows the objects in the database
A view of database records that looks like a spreadsheet, with rows and columns
Table Datasheet
data type
What kind of data is allowed in a field, like text, numbers, currency, date/time, OLE object, or hyperlink.
DateAdd function
An Access function which adds a certain number of intervals to a date. The intervals can be years, months, days, hours, minutes, seconds, quarters, weeks, or weekdays.
Syntax: DateAdd(interval, number, date)
where interval is a string expression that picks what kind of intervals you want to use. For example, "m" would be months, "d" would be days. number is how many intervals you want to add. A negative number would subtract, of course. date is the date to which you want to add.
DateAdd("yyyy",5,[PurchaseDate]) returns a date that is 5 years later than [PurchaseDate].
DateDiff function
An Access function that calculates the difference between two dates.
Syntax: DateDiff(interval, date1, date2)
where interval is how you want the difference reported - in years, months, days, etc.
should be earlier than date2 to get a positive answer.
DateDiff("d","3/4/1995", Now()) returns the number of days since Mar. 4, 1995. The answer will be different every day as time marches on!
  DateDiff("yyyy",[BirthDate],[DeathDate]) returns the number of years from birth to death.
DatePart function
An Access function that picks out a particular part of the Date/Time, such as the year or the hour or the day of the week.
Syntax: DatePart(interval, date)
where interval is a string expression that tells Access which part you want to see. For example, "yyyy" would be the year. "h" would be the hour. date is the date or a string expression that identifies the value.
DatePart("yyyy","January, 1, 2004") returns the value 2004.
  DatePart("m",[DateHired]) returns the month portion of the value in the field DateHired.
default data
Chart: Data that shows instead of data from actual records in Design View. Access cannot pull the records while in Design View.
default value
The value that a field will have if you do not enter a different value.
Delete query
An action query that deletes the selected records from a single table. Whole records are deleted even when only one field from the table is actually in the query.
A character used to separate records or fields in a text database. Commonly, records are separated by a new line character, which does not show in the text document. Fields are usually separated by a comma (,), semi-colon(;), tab, space, or pipe character(|).
detailed report
A report which shows records, from the Detail section of the report's design.
divider line
A straight line which separates the sections or records of a form or report.
A feature of Access that creates a report for a database object that describes all of its properties.

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edit data
To change existing data.
ellipsis button
A button with three dots Button: Ellipsis (3 dots) which appears when you click in a Property text box in the Properties dialog. Clicking the button opens a window for creating a query or macro or expression or mode segment.
To insert an object into a form or report, such as an image or subform or subreport or spreadsheet.
embedded object
A document or part of a document from one program that appears inside a document from another program. The embedded object does not show changes in the source document unless you manually update it.
enter data
Type data directly into a database table or in a form that will update the table.
An action that Access can identify and respond to, such as a mouse click, opening or closing a form or report, entering new data, the focus leaving a control.
Sending a copy of Access data or objects to another program or saving the data as a separate file.
A set of characters, used to identify an object in the database or to perform a calculation. Expressions can be used in many places, such as default values for field, validation rules, query criteria, calculated fields and controls.
Address2: [City] & " " & [Region] & " " & [PostalCode] concatenates text to form a new text field in a query.
  OrderAmount: [Quantity] * [UnitPrice] does an arithmetic calculation for a new field.
  Like "S*" in the criteria cell in a query will match with values starting with S.
Expression BuilderExpression Builder
A feature of Access that helps you create expressions by providing a list of available objects and functions. The syntax of the functions is particularly helpful.
external data
Data that is not in the current database.

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A single item of data in a database. In a spreadsheet database, the value in a single cell.
Field List
A list of the fields in the source for a form or report. You can drag these fields and drop them on the Design View.
field size
The number of characters (text fields) or bytes (number fields) that a field is allowed.
file size
How much space a file takes up on the storage media. Usually measured in kilobytes (KB) or megbytes(MB).
When a filter is applied, only records which match the criteria in the filter will be seen.
Filter By Form 
Button: Filter By Form A method for creating a filter which shows a single row datasheet. What you enter in the cells acts as criteria. Applying the filter hides records that do not match the criteria.
Filter By Selection
Button: Filter By Selection A quick method for creating a simple filter. The current field value is the criteria for the filter so only records that share that value will show in the datasheet.
flat file database
A database which puts all the data into a single table
Form Footer: An area that shows on every form
Report Footer: An area that shows at the end of the report, after the last record
Page Footer: An area that shows at the bottom of each page of a report
foreign key
A field in a table in a relational database which matches the primary key in a related table.
A display of the fields in a record, usually showing all of the fields in one window. When more space is needed, a form should be designed to avoid horizontal scrolling by using subforms, tabbed pages, or vertical scrolling.
Form Header/Footer
Sections of a form. The Form Header appears at the top of the form. If the forms are displayed as continuous forms, the header appears only once, before any form. The Form Footer appears below the form in Single Form view and after all records in Continuous Forms view. When printed, the Form Header appears before the Page Header. The Form Footer appears before the Page Footer.

Form Print Preview: page 1 showing form header, page header, page footer Form Print Preview: last page, showing page header, form footer, page footer

First and last pages of printed form records

Form Wizard
A sequence of dialogs which help you create a basic form quickly.
An expression that calculates something, usually based on the values in fields.
Format Painter
Button: Format Painter Clicking the Format Painter button changes the pointer to the Format Painter shapePointer: Format Painter. The formatting of the current control is copied. When you click on another control, the copied formatting is applies. Only certain aspects of the formatting is copied.
Format function
The Format function is used to change the default formatting of an expression. It is often used to manage the display of dates and times.
Syntax: Format(expression, format)
where expression identifies what you want to format and format is either the name of a standard format or defines how you want the value formatted.
   Format([Birthdate], "Short Date") returns a value like 4/5/1967.
   Format(MyTime, "h:m:s")  returns a value like 18:13:05.
   Format(6547.4, "##,##0.00") returns  a value with a comma separator and 2 decimal places like 6547.40.
   Format("Final Value", ">") returns FINAL VALUE.
Format Property
A property of a field which defines how to display the values in that field. You can use pre-defined formats or create one of your own using formatting symbols.
A mathematical expression used in calculations, like SUM or COUNT or AVERAGE, or a logical expression, such as IIF.

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The dots and lines in Design View which help you position the controls.
A set of records that share a value or whose values fall within a certain range.
Group By
A query will group the values of fields with Group By in the Total row and then calculate the "total".
Group Header/Footer
The header for a group in a report appears just before the records for the group. The group footer appears after the last record in the group. (See Report Header/Footer for illustration)

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Squares that appear when a control is selected. Dragging a handle will move or resize the control.
Form Header: Area that is shown at the top of every form
Report Header: Area that is shown at the beginning of a report
Page Header: Area that is shown at the top of each page of a report.
Hide Duplicates property
A property for controls on a report that hides repetition of values. The records must be in a sequence.
HTML format
File format for web pages
hyperlink field
A data type for hyperlinks.

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icon link
A small icon that links to another document. Used in a document instead of embedding or linking
The part of an expression that refers to an object's value or property. Depending on where and how you are using the expression, the identifier may need parts.
[Price]+[Shipping]  uses the simple identifiers [Price] and [Shipping] to refer to a field in the current table.
  Scores.AssignmentID > 67 uses the full identifier for the AssignmentID field that is in the Scores table.
  Reports![Grades]![StudentName].Visible is the full identifier for the Visible property of the control StudentName that is in the report named Grades.
IIf function
The Immediate IF function is an conditional function, providing two different values, depending on whether an expression is True or False.
Syntax: IIf(expr, truepart, falsepart)
where expr is an expression that can be said to be either True or False, truepart is the value you want to see when the expression is true, falsepart is what you want to see when the expression is false.
Both the truepart and falsepart are evaluated. Be careful that they won't generate an error, like trying to divide by zero.
   IIf([Balance] > 0, "You owe "& [Balance], "Paid")
Image control
A control on a form or report that contains an image. This is different from inserting an image as an OLE object in an unbound OLE frame.
Bringing data or objects into a database from outside the database.
A feature of a database that puts the key fields in a table into order. Sorting and filtering can be much faster using an index, rather than having to work with the original table and all its other data.
Input Mask Property
A field in a table has this property. An Input Mask controls what you see as you enter and edit data in the field. It is a different property from the Format property, which controls how values are display after they are saved.
Examples and syntax

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A join defines the relationship between two tables in a relational database. A join can be One-to-One, One-to-Many, or Many-to-Many.

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Controls on a formlabel
Text that identifies what the data in a control represents.
Label Wizard
A sequence of dialogs that helps you create a mailing label report for a specific layout of labels on pre-cut, peel-off label stock. You need to know the manufacturer of the labels and the product number.
The arrangement of parts for a datasheet, form or report.
Like operator
The Like operator is used to match data to a pattern. You can use a specific value or wildcard characters.
 Like "Tennessee" would match only the exact word Tennessee.
    Like "T*" would match any word that starts with T.
    Like "*ten*" would match any string that contains 'ten' anywhere in it, including the words Tennyson and attend and often.
Web page: Text or an image that when clicked opens a new web page or performs an action.
Access Table: Access can connect to a table in another Access database or to data in a another program. The outside table is "linked" to the database.
linked object
An object that will be updated if the original object changes. The source must be available, however, for this to happen. Databases may have links to tables in other databases. These tables will not be available if either of the databases has moved. Linked objects that are part of records, such as photos, are included in the database. They will update if the original photos changes. Linking to photos does not reduce the size of the database.
Linked Table Manager
A tool in Access for managing the links to tables outside of Access. If the links are broken, you must use the Linked Table Manager to relink.
A range in an Excel spreadsheet that is treated as a database by Excel. Once defined as a list, the columns in the range have drop-lists, there is a blue border around the range, a row for a new record is marked with a blue asterisk, the List toolbar appears with commands for managing the list.
list box
A control on a form which shows a list of choices in a fixed-size box. If the list is longer than can be displayed in the box, scrollbars appear.
log file
A text file that contains information about actions, such as errors or web server accesses or program updates.
Lookup list
 A list that provides choices for the value to put in a field. The Table Design View allows you to make a field into a Lookup field.
Lookup Wizard
A series of dialogs that guides you through the steps to create a Lookup list.

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A set of actions saved together that you can execute at an event. For example you could attach to a form button a macro that opens a particular report when the button is clicked.
Macro Builder
A dialog in which you can pick actions to create a macro.
mailing labels
A sheet of peel-off labels on which you print names with addresses. There are many different sizes of labels available.
main form
A form which contains a subform. Also called the Parent.
main report
A report which contains a subreport or subform. Also called the Parent.
Make-Table query
A query which creates a new table from the datasheet.
The white space around the outside of what is displayed or printed. The Page Setup dialog controls the top, bottom, left and right margins of a page for printing.
Max function
A function which picks out the largest value in a particular field in a query. For text values, Max picks the first value in alphabetical order.
Syntax: Max (expr)
where expr is an expression that identifies the field or is an expression that does a calculation on that field
   Max([Price]) returns the largest number in the Price field.
   Max ([FullName]) returns the last name alphabetically in the field FullName.
memo field
A text data type that allows for long text entries, up to 65,535 characters.
A database about other databases or that contains records of other databases.
Microsoft Graph
A program which comes with Microsoft Office for creating and editing embedded charts. This program cannot open on its own, but only when called from inside an MS Office program.
Min function
A function which picks out the smallest value in a particular field in a query. For text values, Min picks the first value in the alphabetical order.
Syntax: Min (expr)
where expr is an expression that identifies the field or is an expression that does a calculation on that field
Min[Price]) returns the smallest number in the Price field.
    Min([FullName]) returns the first name alphabetically in the field FullName.
A modal form or window requires the user to make choices or perform an action or else close the window before the user can switch to another window or form.
Not modal.
To move objects in design view of a form or report
multiple columns
A report which arranges its records in two or columns on a page. Records may go down the column and then across to the next column, or they may go across the row and then drop down to the next row.

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navigation bar
Navigation barToolbar with buttons for navigating records. Datasheets, forms, and records use the same bar. Data access pages use a bar with buttons for editing records.
Navigation Bar for data access pages
One inside the other.
Expressions: One function can be nested inside another function.
     Example of IIf inside another IIf:
Forms/Reports: A main form or report contains a subform/subreport which itself contains another. Access allows up to 7 levels of nesting.
A database that meets certain design criteria is called normalized to a certain Form number. These criteria are intended to help keep the database speedy, logically organizes, and without errors. Normal Form
A field that has no value is said to be null. It has never been touched. This is different from a field that contains an empty string. Both kinds of fields look the same in all views.
number field
A field that can contain some kind of number. There are several variations:
  • Number TypesNumber - A general number comes in several number field sizes including: Byte, Integer, and Long Integer.
  • Date/Time - A date is actually a number based on the number of days from December 30, 1899. Earlier dates are negative numbers. To calculate with dates it is important to use this format and not text.
  • Currency - Use for high accuracy and for money. Avoids rounding. Can hold 15 digits to the left and 4 digits to the right of the decimal point.
  • AutoNumber - Automatically assigns a unique number to each record. Great to use for an primary key.

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File View: Listobject
An Access database is made up of objects, including tables, queries, forms, data access pages, macros, modules, sections, and controls. Basically, an object is something that has a name that you can use in a Visual Basic program. We primarily talk about the top level of objects as the items listed in the Database Window.
Object Dependencies
Object DependenciesIcon: Access 2003 A task pane shows a tree of dependencies for the selected object.
object frame
A control on a form or report which contains an OLE object.

OLE object
OLE = Object Linking and Embedding. An OLE object can be any external object or document, such as an image, a Word document, or an Excel spreadsheet. The program that created the object must support object linking/embedding. The program controls the display of the object and is required to edit the object, so the program must be installed on the same computer as the database.
A symbol or phrase that indicates what operation to perform. Arithmetic operators include + for adding, - for subtracting, * for multiplying, / for dividing and ^ for raising to a power . Logical operators include AND, OR, NOT.  Access has other operators such as BETWEEN... AND...
Option buttonsoption button
A control for choosing one of several choices on a form. Also called radio button, from the old style car radios which allowed you to jump to pre-selected radio stations by pushing a round button.

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Page Setup
A dialog in MS Access which has tabs for managing the printing: Page, Margins. For a report the dialog also has a tab for Columns
Page Header/Footer
In a form or report, the page header prints at the top of every page, except at the beginning of a report, where it prints below the Report Header. The page footer prints at the bottom of every page.
A basic graphics program that comes with Windows.
A parameter is a measurement or value that something else depends on. For example, the volume of a box depends on the parameters length, height, and depth.  When the value of any of the parameters changes, the volume changes.
Query Design: ParameterParameter query
A query that asks for your input to set criteria before the query runs. You make the query ask by entering text between square brackets into the criteria row of the query design grid. When the query runs, a message box shows the criteria text and a text box for you to enter a value.
A form or report which contains a subform or subreport, which is called a Child.
Paste Errors
A table that is automatically created for data that failed to paste properly.
List of nested directories/folders that lead to a particular file.
Example:  E:\Docs\Computer Classes-RSCC\mylist.txt where the drive is E which has a folder named Docs which contains a folder named Computer Classes-RSCC which contains a file named mylist.txt.
A window or dialog which appears on top of all other open windows. Popup ads are a notorious mis-use of this useful feature.
primary key
A field which contains a value which is unique for each record in a table in a database.
Dialog: PrintPrint dialog
A dialog with which you can manage the actual printing process: choose a printer, access printer options, choose which pages to print, choose how many copies to print
Print Preview
A view that shows how the table, form, or report will look when printed.
propagating nulls
If nulls are propagated, then whenever a part of a calculated value is Null, the whole expressions is Null.
Example:  Using + to concatenate values...  [MyScore]:"The score is "+[Score] will be Null whenever the field Score is null, even though there is fixed text included. On the other hand, using the & in the calculation, like [MyScore]:"The score is "&[Score], will show the fixed text portion without a score, like "The score is ", when the field value is null.
Properties dialog
A dialog which lists the properties of the selected object - a whole form or report, a section, a control. The dialog contains several tabs, including an All tab which shows all available properties. Different objects have different properties.
An aspect of an object that you can change in its Property dialog.
Example: A control has properties like Name, Source, Height, Width, Back Color, Border Color, and many more.
A typical example or basis for constructing new instances.
Label Wizard: an example label with placeholders for the parts of an address. It does not show any particular address.
Publish It with Word
A tool for exporting data to a Word document.

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A method of selecting or organizing records in a database. A simple query might sort records into alphabetic or numeric order based on one or more fields. Another simple query filters the records to show only those that match certain criteria, like LastName = Smith or NumberSold > 25. The Design View shows a grid with columns for each field in the query results. The Datasheet View is shows records in rows. Only the chosen fields for the records that match the query's criteria appear in the datasheet.
Query Design View Query Datasheet View
Query Builder
A design window for queries that opens from the Record Source property in the Properties dialog for a form or report. The query constructed can be saved as a new query or just saved as an SQL statement with the form or report.

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Able to display but cannot be changed.
Forms: A form that is read-only will not allow the user to add records or edit records.
A set of fields which belong together, like a complete name and address or a complete sales order.
record selector
Area at the left of a datasheet or form that, when clicked, selects the whole record.
Record Source
A property of a form or report which tells where the records are coming from.
referential integrity
Making sure that records are not deleted or changed that are referred to by other records and that every object and field that is referred to, does actually exist.
Regional Settings
An icon on the Control Panel opens a dialog which lets you choose a language and country for your regional settings. This affects what Windows and Windows programs use as a unit of measure for distances and currency and also how dates and times are displayed.
A relationship defines how two tables are connected. Tables must share at least one field. A relationship can be One-to-One, One-to-Many, or Many-to-Many.
relational database
A database which uses several tables that are related by sharing a common field.
Relationships windowRelationships window
Displays related tables. Join lines show which fields are matched between the tables.
A print-out which formats the records in a table or the results of a query in a way that is easier to use than just printing the datasheet. Reports can also group data for calculations like counts and totals.
Report Header/Footer
A section of a report. The Report Header appears before anything else in the report. The Report Footer follows the last record and above the Page Footer.

Sections of a report - first page Sections of a report: last page

Report Wizard
A sequence of dialog pages that lead you through the process of creating a report.
A set of cells that runs across the page to the last column.
row height
The height of the cells in the row. All cells in the same row must have the same height.
row source
The table, list, or query that is the source for the choices in a Lookup list.
RTF format
Rich Text Format. A document format for word processing documents which retains a lot of the formatting of the document. Formatting that is specific to a particular word processing program will be lost but such things as font, font size, color, indentions are kept.
You run a query to display the datasheet of records that the query picks out. When an action query runs, the action is actually performed.
running sum
An accumulation of values from record to record. Each record adds its value to the sum of the values in the previous records.

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screen capture, screen shot
An image of what was showing on the computer screen. Pressing the Print Screen key sends a image of the whole screen to the Windows Clipboard. Holding the ALT key down while pressing Print Screen key captures an image of the active window. You must paste the captured image into a graphics program or another program that can display graphics in order to see it.
A separate part of a form or report. Sections include header, footer, detail. Pages, reports, forms, and groups all have a header and a footer, though some sections may not be shown.
The object that will receive the actions of keys and commands, such as a field in a datasheet or a text box on a form.
Snapshot Report
A special format for exporting a report from Access to someone who does not have Access. By using the free download Snapshot Viewer, the user can see the report exactly as it displays in Access.
Snapshot Viewer
A program for viewing Snapshot Reports. It is a free downloadIcon: Off site from Microsoft.
SNP format
The file format for a Snapshot Report. The file name ends in .snp, like MyReport.snp
To rearrange rows of data in an order without separating the fields in a record. The order can be alphabetical, numerical, or based on a custom list.
Sorting and Grouping
A dialog where you can select which fields to use to group your records and how to sort them.
Sort Ascending
Button: Sort Ascending (2003) A button which will sort selected cells in a column into alphabetical or numerical order. If multiple cells are selected in each row or whole rows are selected, the sorting is based on the first cell in each row of the selection. 
Sort Descending
Button: Sort Descending (2003) A button which will sort selected cells in a column into reverse alphabetical or numerical order. If multiple cells are selected in each row or whole rows are selected, the sorting is based on the first cell in each row of the selection. 
Sort dialog
A dialog which offers more choices than the Sort buttons. You can sort on 3 different columns. For each one you can choose to sort ascending, descending, or use a custom list.
The table and/or queries that the data comes from for a form, report, or data access page.
Sheet or worksheet- formed of rows and columns.
spreadsheet database
A range in a spreadsheet that can be treated as a database, having each record in its own row.
Structured Query Language is a language used to select and organize records in a database. For example, when the parts of a student's name are in separate fields in the table named Students, a query can put the parts together, group the records by class, and alphabetize them with the following in SQL:
SELECT Students.StudentID, Students.LastName, Students.FirstName, Students.Class, [LastName] & ", " & [FirstName] AS Name
FROM Students
ORDER BY Students.Class, [LastName] & ", " & [FirstName];
SQL statement
A query shown in SQL instead of in a design grid. For example, the following SQL statement is the same as the query design below it:
SELECT Students.*, [Create NameFull].NameFull FROM [Create NameFull] INNER JOIN Students ON [Create NameFull].StudentID = Students.StudentID ORDER BY Students.StudentID, [Create NameFull].NameFull;

square brackets
[ is a left square bracket. ] is a right square bracket.
standard height
The standard, or default, height for a row in a datasheet is 12.75 points, which 1 point is 1/72 of an inch.
standard width
The standard, or default, width for a column in a datasheet is 1 inch, measured on a printed copy.
To enlarge an image to fit the size of its control, without trying to keep the proportions the same as the original image.
string, or text string
A set of text characters, as opposed to a number. The formatting of strings may be different from the formatting of a number with the same characters. For example, as a text string, 49.56 is aligned to the left, but as a number it would be aligned to the right.
Form or Report: An AutoFormat style is a saved collection of formatting choices for the sections of a form or report and the controls and labels. An AutoFormat style can be applied to a different form or report with the AutoFormat command on the Format menu.
Datasheet with subdatasheetsA datasheet inside a datasheet. When two tables have a One-to-Many relationship, the datasheet of records in the table on the One side can open a subdatasheet that shows the related records.
A form which is itself a control on another form or report.
A report which is itself a control on another report. A subreport cannot be put onto a form.
Sum function
Adds all of the values in a field or the calculations based on a field or fields.
Syntax: Sum(expr)
where expr is a field name or expression.
Example: Sum([Score]) would add all of the scores together.
Summary report
A report which contains summary information but no detail records. Such a report might contain only a chart or only totals.
A form which allows you to click buttons to perform actions or open selected forms and reports. A switchboard can have multiple pages, which look like separate forms.
Switchboard Manager
A tool in Access for creating and managing a switchboard form and its pages. Only one switchboard form can exist in a database. You can create the same effect yourself by creating custom dialogs.
switchboard pages
A switchboard form can include buttons that open other pages of the form. For example on the main switchboard page a button called Forms could open another page that has buttons for the most commonly used forms in the database.
To coordinate. In particular, a subform or subreport synchronizes with the main form or main report to show only the records that match the current record.
The rules or pattern for constructing an expression or function.
Example: A calculated value in a query has the general form: NewFieldName:expression
Example: The IIF function has the general form:
   IIF(<statement that is either true or false>, <value if true>, <value if false>)

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tab control
A control on a form which shows two or more tab pages.
tab page
Each tab displays a different page in a tab control.
Table datasheettable
A set of records in rows and columns
Table Wizard
A dialog that walks you through the steps to create a table based on a sample table. Useful for tables that are similar to common tables like mailing lists, customers, students, orders.
text field
A field that can contain text, either with a limited number of characters or as a Memo field, which can contain up to 65,535 characters.
An image that is tiled across the background, usually creating the impression of a single surface.  The effect may be of wood, steel, water, stucco, fabric or just a design.
Dialog: Themetheme
A set of fonts, font colors, bullets, lines, and backgrounds for a data access page.
Repeating a small image across the screen and then dropping down to repeat across the screen again.
toggle button
An option button which switches a value on or off. In Access forms, these behave the same as option buttons or checkboxes, which is not true in web pages for similar-looking buttons.
Toolbox bar
Toolbar: Toolbox - floatingA toolbar which has buttons to create the various kind of controls for a form, report, or data access page. It is usually docked at the left edge of the window, but it can be docked at another edge or float as a palette.
Toolbar: Toolbox- docked


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unbound control
A control that does not have the Control Source set. These are used in custom dialogs to receive input from the user.
unbound object frame
An object frame which is not tied to an object that will change for each record. The contents of the frame will be the same for all records.
Update query
A query which updates values in selected fields.

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To confirm as acceptable, appropriate, or correct.
Validation Rule
A property set in the Table Design view-
Table: The validation rule for a table applies to the table's records. A record will not be saved unless it satisfies the validation rule. Such a rule may involve several different fields in a comparison or calculation.
Field: The validation rule for a field is applied when the field's value is saved. An entry will not be saved unless it satisfies the rule.
Validation Text
A property set in the Table Design view -
When a validation rule is violated, a message box displays the Validation Text, which should explain what kinds of values are acceptable.
View: Datasheet
A view where you see the records as a set of rows and columns.
View: Design
A view where you can add, delete, move and otherwise edit a form, report, or data access page.
View: Form
A view where you can see a form with data displayed.
View: Layout Preview
A view of a report which uses sample data. Records may not actually be in the groupings shown. It is for the purpose of seeing how the sections are laid out.
View: Page
A view where you can see a data access page with data displayed.
View: Print Preview
A view that shows the whole document, page by page, as it will be printed.
View: Report
A view where you can see a print preview of a report with all its data.

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A background image on a form or report that stays in one place rather than tiling across the whole background.
wild-card character
A character/symbol which is a placeholder in an expression. See Wildcard Characters for uses and choices.
A set of dialogs that walks you through the choices to make to create something, such as a form, report, or data access page.

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The file extension used for Excel spreadsheets.
XLS format
File format used for Excel spreadsheets
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zero-length string
A character string without characters, indicated by two double-quotes with nothing between them, "". A field would have such a value when you KNOW that the record has no value for this field. This is different from a NULL value, which has never been set and means more like "I don't know whether or not this field should have a value."
Print Preview: Control: ZoomTo enlarge or reduce the size of the print preview of a report. The Zoom button Button: Zoom toggles between enlarging and reducing. On the toolbar, the Zoom control has a drop list of percentages and the choice Fit, which makes the report fit into the window as a whole page.
Properties dialog: A choice for Size Mode for an image which sizes the image to fit the control but keeps the original proportions of the image.
Zoom window
Zoom windowA handy popup window with blank space where you can compose an expression for a calculated field in a query. It has much more visible space that the Query Design grid.
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Lessons Working with Databases Appendix

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