Creating a Database

Learning Outcomes

  • Create a blank database

You can open Access from the Start menu (or the Applications folder on a Mac) by clicking on the Access icon. The Access icon comes in a variety of forms depending on your OS and version of Access, but it always features the color red or maroon and the letter A.

Microsoft access logo         Microsoft access logo

New Database

There are two easy ways to create a blank database in Access. One way is to click the Blank Database option in the welcome screen (Figure 1).

Microsoft Access Welcome Screen with "Blank desktop database" button circled.

Figure 1.

The second way to create a new database is to use the File New option from the menu bar (Figure 2).

Microsoft Access datasheet with cursor hovering over the "File" tab in the upper left corner. Microsoft Access File tab open with the cursor hovering over the "New" button.
  1. On the File tab, click New, and then click Blank Database.
  2. Type a file name in the File Namebox. To change the location of the file from the default, click Browse for a location to put your database   (next to the File Name box), browse to the new location, and then click OK.
  3. Click Create.

Access creates the database with an empty table named Table1, and then opens Table1 in Datasheet view. The cursor is placed in the first empty cell in the Click to Add column. Once you have a new database open, you save it the same way you would a Word or an Excel file. The default file type is .accdb (Access Database). Refer to the Word lesson if you need a refresher.

  1. Begin typing to add data, or you can paste data from another source, as described in the section.

Entering data in Datasheet view is designed to be very similar to working in an Excel worksheet. The table structure is created while you enter data. When you add a new column to the datasheet, a new field is defined in the table. Access automatically sets each field’s data type, based on the data that you enter.

Practice Question