Access basics: free tutorial

        6 votes: *****     14,794 views      No comments
by Crystal Long, 18 January 2008    (for ALL VERSIONS of Access)

Access Basics (Feb 20, 2008)
By Crystal

MVP logo

2009 update: Videos by Crystal:


Access Basics is designed for those of you with a thirst to understand the fundamentals of Access with programming in mind ... whether you realize it or not.
If you are not a programmer, you will become one because that is where the deepest power of Access gets unleashed.
If you have a logical mind and a desire to learn, all you need is a good foundation
... and here it is.

The accuracy and thoroughness of this document would not have been possible without lots of help. In addition to those listed in the introductory comments, I wish to give a BIG thank you to my fellow Microsoft MVP, Tom Wickerath. bowing face
Tom, your never-ending patience, great technical knowledge, and true friendship are blessings in my life ... words cannot express my gratitude ...

I also wish to give a special thanks to Allen Browne for hosting this document on his fantastic website that has brightened many a dark corner.

In the 15 or so years that I have been using and teaching Access, this document is the result of what I feel is most important to know. Check back every now and then to see if a new version has been posted.

For those of you who are new to this information, don't be discouraged if there are things that don't make sense. dazed face
Nothing with the power of Access is easy, so just take one step at a time ... you will get there smiling face
      Each time you read this document, you will learn something new. If you have taken classes in Access, you will find that this document probably goes well beyond what you have been taught. No time is wasted, and no extra words are used. These 100 pages are packed with information and, since "a picture is worth 1,000 words", there are also lots of screen shots.

above all, enjoy!
      Print out a chapter of Access Basics
      get a highlighter and a pencil,
      make some coffee or tea,
      get cozy in your favorite chair
      ... and open your mind ...

Summary of Contents for Access Basics
   (click on the Chapter you want to read)

  • Table of Contents and List of Figures (PDF 60KB)
    Each chapter and section title is summarized in the Table of Contents, along with its page number. Every figure is numbered and is in the List of Figures
  1. Types of Applications (PDF 50KB)
    What are the principal applications for computers? Put Access into perspective with other applications.
  2. Database Objects (PDF 1.2MB)
    Learn about the basic Access objects: Tables, Queries, Forms, Reports, Macros, and Modules
    Also explains Properties and Methods, VBA, and Reference Libraries
  3. Normalizing Data (PDF 90kb)
    Now that you understand what a table is ... how do you design them? Just be simple ... but the simple way is not often easy to see! Tips to get you looking at your data from a different angle.
  4. Relationships, Referential Integrity, Indexes (PDF 140kb)
    How does all the various information relate? What can you do to while you are designing your database to get an overall view?
  5. Form and Report Design (PDF 480kb)
    Now that the basic structure is in place, how do you make it easy for the users to enter data? How do you create reports?
  6. SQL Syntax (PDF 110kb)
    What is SQL? Structured Query Language. Is it hard to learn? ... No!
  7. Delimiters (PDF 50kb)
    How is text information distinguished from numbers or dates? How do you indicate a field in a table or a control on a form?
  8. Where to Get More Help (PDF 50kb)
    Are there places on the Internet where you can ask questions and folks will help? Yes
    Are there good books for learning Access? Yes
    Are there web pages you can go to for valuable information? Yes
    Are there sites devoted to Access 2007? Yes

All these questions and more will be answered and explained ...

Why am I giving you this document instead of publishing a book and making you pay money to get it?

good question ...
If I were to write a book, many of you would not buy it. Some of you can't afford it and I want to help you; I have been there.
Others of you will weigh my book against the rest and mine is small! ... only 100 pages compared to great references boasting 1500 pages but the only good books are the ones you read. I am more interested in exposing you to the power of Access than I am in selling a book. For those of you who wish to go beyond these pages... if you do not find the help you seek in the links I have given you, my business is personal training and programming.

I love hearing your comments and suggestions!

Copyright 2008 Crystal Long.  All rights reserved.
Last Updated:  Feb. 20, 2008
Home Index of Tips Top

Rate this article:  Your rating: PoorYour rating: Not so goodYour rating: AverageYour rating: GoodYour rating: Excellent

This is a cached tutorial, reproduced with permission.

Have your say - comment on this article.

What did you think of 'Access basics: free tutorial'?

No comments yet.

Why not be the first to comment on this article?!

Have your say...

E-mail (e-mail address will be kept private)

Comments require approval before being displayed on this page (allow 24 hours).