Video: Select and use an Access Template

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Access 2010 includes a number of templates you can use to quickly get started building a new database. A template creates a database that contains all the tables, forms, reports, and other objects you need to start working. Each template is set up to track a specific kind of data, such as contacts, projects, issues, or tasks.

In the video

Find the template you need

Create the database

Use and modify the database

Find the template you need

When you first start Access, templates are available on the “New” page. If you already have a database open, click File and then click New.

Do one of the following to find the best template for your data:

  • Under Office.com Templates, click one of the template categories, and then select the template you want.

  • Search for templates by typing keywords in the Search Office.com for templates box and then pressing ENTER.

  • To see the templates that are included with Access 2010, click Sample Templates.

  • If you have created any templates of your own, click My templates to see them.

In general, the names of the templates give you a good indication of what kind of information you can track when you create the database. Also, any template that includes the words “Web Database” in its title can be published to a SharePoint server that is running Access Services. But, you can use a Web database template any time, even if you don’t plan to publish it.

For more information about the Publish to Access Services feature, see the article Build an Access database to share on the Web.

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Create the database

Once you have found a template that you want to use, follow this procedure to create the database:

  1. Click the template to select it.

  2. On the right side of the New page, if you want to change the file name of the database, type the new name in the File Name box.

  3. If you want to save the new database in a different location than the one indicated under the File Name box, click the folder icon just to the right of the File Name box, and then browse to the new location.

  4. Click Create or Download.

Access creates the database, and then opens it. Depending on the template, you may be asked to enter a new user before you can get started. Other templates open right up to a form where you can begin entering data.

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Use and modify the database

Depending on your needs, a template database might provide all the functionality you need to track your data. If you have specific needs that are not met by the template, you can make design changes to the database, such as adding new tables and fields, or creating new forms or reports. Of course, you can edit or delete any of the existing objects as well.

Important:  To avoid data loss, always make a backup copy of your database before making changes.

The first step in modifying a database is to familiarize yourself with the objects it contains. Here are some steps to get started:

  1. If the Navigation Pane is not displayed, press F11 to display it.

  2. Click the bar at the top of the Navigation Pane to set display options. Selecting Object Type and All Access Objects is a good way to display all the tables, queries, forms, reports, and macros at once.

  3. To open an object so that you can make changes, right-click it and then click Layout View or Design View.

  4. To open or close the Property Sheet task pane while an object is open in Layout view or Design view, press F4.

From this point, the changes you make depend on your specific needs. There are many resources on Office.com and other Web sites that will help you accomplish the task you want to perform. Many books about Access are also available. Exploring a template is a great way to learn about Access, so we recommend creating a few others to see different ways of using Access.

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