Microsoft Access 2007, 2010 and 2013 Tutorial

1 Introduction to the MS Access 2007/2010/2013 Tutorial

Welcome to the MS Access tutorial. This tutorial is designed to get the user up and running with MS Access (henceforth simply “Access”) in a rapid fashion. The four basic modules of Access are demonstrated: Tables, Forms, Reports and Queries. A business example is discussed first which provides a background for developing a simple database.

It is assumed that users of this tutorial are proficient in working with Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/Win7 and with MS Excel. This includes the use of the keyboard and mouse. The tutorial is based on Microsoft Access which is part of the Microsoft Office Professional suite that also includes MS Excel, MS Word and MS Powerpoint.

This tutorial covers MS Access 2007, 2010 and 2013 which have a common interface (the “ribbon bar” across the top) that is different from earlier versions. If you are interested in working with MS Access ’97 or 2000, please visit the Microsoft Access Tutorial – Covering MS Access ’97 and 2000 web page.

The tutorial begins with a brief overview of Relational Databases. The majority of database management systems in use today are based on what is called the relational database model. Access is a relational database management system. We then describe a business example and give an outline for the database and applications we wish to develop. In the sections that follow, we give step-by-step instructions for creating the tables, data entry forms, reports and queries for the application.

1.1 Intended Audience

This tutorial is intended for students just getting started with the MS Access database management system.

1.2 Pre-Requisite Knowledge

This tutorial assumes the student is familiar with the basic operation of a personal computer and Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista or Windows 7. Specific skills required for this tutorial are:

  • Use of the mouse and keyboard
  • Opening and saving files on the hard disk and on USB memory stick (thumb drive) for example
  • Managing files in general including the difference between drive letters, hard disk, etc.
  • Running programs from the Windows Start menu
  • Minimizing, maximizing and resizing windows

The student should have a USB memory stick (thumb drive) or other portable memory device available to store their files that will be created during this tutorial.

1.3 Running Microsoft Access on a Apple Mac

One issue that may face some students is the fact that MS Access only runs under the Windows operating system (such as Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7). If you have a MacBook, iMac or other Apple system running MacOS that uses an Intel CPU, there are a few possible alternatives you can try. Many modern Apple computers that use Intel CPU can run the Windows operating system. Note that you will need a legally licensed copy of Windows operating system to do this. There are two main ways to accomplish this:

  • You can set up your Mac to “Dual Boot” both MacOS X and Windows. One product that can enable this is Apple BootCamp software.
  • You can run Windows OS “side by side” with Mac OS X using a “virtual” computer such as VirtualBox

Table of Contents

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17 Responses to “Microsoft Access 2007, 2010 and 2013 Tutorial”

  1. Hi,
    I am pretty much know the basic MS Access, my number one goal is how to kearn its property applications in filed and customs.
    See what I want to compose is a simple Q/A tables, wher you can click on the tab button and it will show you either the answer is “right” or “wrong”

    How much apple?
    A) 1
    B) 2
    C) 3
    D) 4
    “RightAnswer” (“1”)
    So when I click A it will give me “RightAnswer” then I can go to the next question and so on, now if I click the others also should shows “WrongAnswer” or try Again.
    I can be able to connect for all the wronganswer but having problem to connect the right value field or text for all the rightanswer, I hope you guys can I advice me and I am willing to attend training for it.

    Thank you,

    October 9, 2013 at 8:49 pm
    • Hi
      I think it is important to get the right table structure for this. Assuming you did this all in one table:
      – The question number
      – The question text
      – Answer A
      – Answer B
      – Answer C
      – Answer D
      – CorrectAnswer

      So you would show the user the first 6 items (the CorrectAnswer would be on the form but hidden). Then when they indicate an answer, compare what they put in with the value in the CorrectAnswer field. If they match then you can move to the next question (which should be your next record in your questions table). If they do not match then you can pop up a window or show a message asking them to try again.

      Rich H.

      October 10, 2013 at 7:18 am
  2. AC #

    I am trying to build a database for a grading system. Some “units” will have to fill in a form answering Yes/No questions. I have around 25 units and the grading system comprises around 50 criteria, or questions.
    I have troubles conceptualizing my database. I built 2 tables: one for the units, another one for the criteria. I think of building a form based on the criteria table to be filled in for the evaluation of the units. But having 50 fields [columns] in the criteria table looks somehow weird and heavy.
    Is there any other way to build this database?
    Also, regarding the primary key and ID fields: can I use the name of the units instead of a number to uniquely identify my units, or is it going to cause problems in the future? My end users would find easier to fill in the forms with info they know, such as the units’ names.
    Thanks for your help!

    January 26, 2015 at 3:57 am
    • Sounds like you can create a “Master/Detail” form where the “Unit” would be the master table. Then you would have the “Criteria” table as the details. Then you can have as many details as you like and they can appear in a column format.

      February 2, 2015 at 2:32 pm
  3. ryan #

    Can you provide additional tutorials on how to share a ms access database across a network and restrict access to certain objects with a password or something like that? I need to do it in our office database where some workers should only be able to access certain parts of the database. Thanks in advance.

    July 10, 2015 at 3:56 am
    • I’ll see what I can do – lots of other things on my plate just now…

      July 15, 2015 at 8:29 am
      • sberdeaux #

        First, THANK YOU for your website. I have learned a lot. I, too, need additional tutorials on sharing across a network, like ryan. I’ll keep coming back to see if you have had time.

        August 4, 2015 at 12:34 pm
        • sberdeaux #

          My co-worker, Cody, and I may have found solutions for our project.

          We have created a database that will have many staff (different levels) entering data into the database.

          We created a form (called it opening form) that lists 6 different forms to choose from – all of which are data entry forms. We dragged the opening form to a folder that is accessible by all staff, creating a shortcut to the database, which opens the opening form.

          The first of the six forms they can choose from will be used by line staff to enter data into a table, and when completed (either by tabbing or by exiting) will close the database.

          The other 5 forms will be used by Director level staff and when using the tab key, will cycle back to an empty form so that Directors can enter multiple records. When done, a Director can exit (X) and the database will close.

          Neither line staff nor Directors will have access to any other parts of the database.

          The form used by line staff is set to “quit Access” after update. The forms used by Directors are set to “quit Access” on close.

          August 7, 2015 at 10:44 pm
  4. dtmurray3 #

    Great tuttorials on MS Access…. But for the life of me, I can´t find where to find how you are updating the account balances from the transactions…

    Same comment was posted sometime in the past, but there was no answer.

    Again, many thanks for your contribution..

    Kind regards.

    April 15, 2016 at 2:51 pm
    • Hmm – was this in the intro tutorial or the advanced tutorial? Can you post a link or tell me the page #?

      April 15, 2016 at 2:58 pm


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