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Lesson 3 Navigating a datasheet
Objective Move around within a datasheet.

Navigating Access Datasheet

Question: Which navigational features of Microsoft datasheet allow you to move between rows of a table?
The Microsoft datasheet, typically associated with programs like Microsoft Access or Excel, provides several navigational features that allow you to move between rows of a table:
  1. Arrow Keys: The simplest way to navigate is by using the arrow keys. The "down" arrow key will move you to the next row down, and the "up" arrow key will move you to the previous row up. You can move left and right within a row using the "left" and "right" arrow keys.
  2. Tab Key: The tab key allows you to move from one field to the next in a row. Once you reach the end of a row and press "Tab" again, you will move to the next row.
  3. Enter Key: Similarly to the "Tab" key, pressing "Enter" after editing a cell will bring you to the next row in the same column.
  4. Page Up/Down: The "Page Up" and "Page Down" keys will let you navigate up or down by one screenful at a time. It is a fast way to navigate through large datasheets.
  5. Home/End Keys: "Home" and "End" keys take you to the first and last cells of the current row respectively. When combined with the "Ctrl" key (Ctrl+Home, Ctrl+End), they will take you to the first row or the last row of the datasheet.
  6. Scroll Bar: On the right side of the datasheet, there's a vertical scroll bar. Clicking and dragging the scroll box, or clicking on the scroll arrows at either end of the scroll bar, lets you move through the rows.
  7. Go To: This function, typically found in the "Edit" menu or accessible via the F5 key, lets you jump to a specific cell reference, thereby allowing you to navigate to a particular row.
  8. Find and Replace: This tool (usually Ctrl+F or in the 'Home' tab under 'Find & Select') allows you to search for specific data. Once the data is found, you will be taken to the specific row containing the information.
  9. Filter and Sort: This feature, found under the "Data" tab, allows you to filter and sort your data based on certain criteria. It can change the order of the rows and can be used as a form of navigation to group specific rows together.

Remember, for all these functions to work, the datasheet must be in the "Datasheet View." In other views, like Form View or Design View, not all these navigational features will be available or will function differently. The aforementioned features can significantly enhance your navigation efficiency when dealing with large datasets.

Ready to enter Data

Once you have created your table, either with the Table Wizard or using Datasheet view-, you are ready to enter data. First, let us take a look at the navigational features of a datasheet. To move to a new record you can either click the mouse where you want to enter data (the row marked with the asterisk), or you can click one of the new record buttons. There is a new record button at the bottom of the datasheet that looks like this
New Record Button
New Record Button

and one on the toolbar that looks like this
Access New
Access New

Key Features of an Access Datasheet

The following diagram points out many of the key features of a datasheet, including the Record button.
Columns consisting of ID, Client, Project, Start Date, Estimated Cost
Columns consisting of ID, Client, Project, Start Date, Estimated Cost

  1. Active record indicator: Indicates the record the cursor is in.
  2. New record indicator: Indicates a new record where you can enter data.
  3. The first record button goes to and highlights the first record in the table.
  4. The Previous record button goes to and highlights the record above (before) the current record.
  5. Specific record number entry field: You can enter a record number here to make that record the active record.
  6. This active record number indicates the current, active record.
  7. The Next record button goes to and highlights the record below (after) the current record.
  8. The Last record button goes to and highlights the last record in the table.
  9. Use the New record button to go to the new record at the bottom of the table.

Ad Access Database
Key Where it puts the cursor
PgUp Up one screen
PgDn Down one screen
Ctrl-PgUp Left one screen
Ctrl-PgDn Right one screen
Tab Next field
Shift-Tab Previous field
Home First field of the active record
End Last field of the active record
Up arrow Previous record

You can move around the datasheet using the mouse or the keyboard. Click the View Table button to view a quick reference table of the keyboard shortcuts In the next lesson you will learn about entering and editing data in a datasheet.

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