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Lesson 2 Getting In and out of an Access database
Objective Open and close an Access database

Opening closing Access Database

Windows provides many ways to complete task

Windows nearly always provides more than one way to complete a task. For instance, you can open a program
  1. by using the Programs option on the Start menu,
  2. by using the Documents option on the Start menu,
  3. by opening a file in My Computer or Windows Explorer, or
  4. by opening the application exe file.
In addition, you may open an application by clicking a hyperlink in your web browser or in an e-mail message. And it is not only in opening programs that Windows gives you choices – you have choices about how to give menu commands, change dialog box options, and change the way individual windows appear on your screen. In this course I will cover the method I like best, and I will often throw in another method for good measure. But do not be surprised if your favorite is not the one I coverand do not worry as long as you get the job done, it does not matter how you do it.

Common Transformation Tasks

Besides duplicate records, you will fi nd that many of the unpolished datasets that come to you will require other types of transformation actions. This section covers some of the more common transformation tasks you will have to perform.
Often, you will have fields that contain empty values. These values are considered null, a value of nothing. Nulls are not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, if used properly, they can be an important part of a well-designed relational database. That said, you may find that you need to fill in blank fields with some logical code that indicates a missing value. Filling in the null fields in your dataset is as simple as running an update query.

If you have used Windows for any length of time you are probably already familiar with how to open and close a program. There is more than one way to open an Access database, and the method you use will be determined by your personal preference.

Other ways to open Access

As I said, Windows applications often give you more than one way to complete a task and opening a database is no exception. These are some other ways to open a database:
  1. Once you start the Access application you can open a database by choosing it from the Open dialog box. Display the Open dialog box by using the File>>Open option on the menu or by clicking the Open button on the toolbar.
  2. If you have opened the database recently, you can select the database name from the list at the bottom of the File menu.
  3. If you open an Access database when Access is not open, Windows will automatically open Access in order to open the database. You can do this by choosing an Access database from the Documents menu (if you have saved a database recently, it should appear in the Documents menu), or by opening the database file in My Computer or Windows Explorer.

The Access Welcome Screen

If you open Access 2016 via Windows (Start . All Programs . Microsoft Office 2016 . Access 2016), you will see the default welcome screen shown in Figure 2.1. The welcome screen gives you several options for opening an existing Access database or creating a new database.

Access welcome screen provides a number of ways to start working with Access.
Figure 2.1: The Access welcome screen provides a number of ways to start working with Access.

Starting Access and Opening Database

The Start menu is a popular way to open Access. When you click the Start button and choose Programs>>Microsoft Access you see the Welcome dialog box. Place your mouse over the red highlighted boxes in the image below to learn more about the options available in the Welcome dialog box. As with any dialog box, you can select the option you want by clicking it, then clicking the OK button to perform the action.

Blank Access database option allows you to name and create a new, blank database
  1. The Blank Access database option allows you to name and create a new, blank database.
  2. This option allows you to choose from Access’s templates to create a new database.
  3. Select this option to open an existing database. If the database you want to open is listed, select it. Otherwise select More Files to display the Open dialog box, where you can navigate to an existing database file and open it.
The Blank Access database option allows you to name and create a new, blank database

Access Welcome Dialog Box

Open Access File
Open Access Files

The Open an Existing Database option is the default option in the Welcome dialog box, to open an existing database select the database name (do not forget you can use the scroll bar to see more names). If the database you want to open is not listed, select More Files. When the Open dialog box is displayed, select the database you want to open and click the Open button (you may need to navigate to a different folder to find the database you need). View the image below to see an example of the Open dialog box.

Open Dialog Box in Microsoft Access
Open Dialog Box in Microsoft Access

Only one database at a time can be open in Access, so when you open a new database any open database is automatically closed.

Closing Database and closing Access

To close a database, click the Close button on the Database window within the Access window. The Access application will remain open; you can open a new database, or close the application. To close Access, choose Exit from the Access File menu, or click the Close button in the upper right hand of the Access window.
The Close button Graphic
Close button Graphic

In the next lesson learn to identify the elements of the Access window.

Consulting Database - Exercise

Click the Exercise link below to practice opening Access and the Consulting database.
Consulting Database - Exercise