Use the Contacts Access Database template

Use the Access Contacts Database template to keep track of names, addresses, telephone numbers, and other information. This new version of a popular Access template also lets you categorize each contact, send e-mail messages, and create maps of addresses.

Want to watch a video about using this template? See this article, Use the Contacts Database Template.

Note: The Contacts database template has been updated over the last few years. These instructions refer to the latest version of the template available for download. If the steps below don't match what you're seeing, you're probably using an older version of the template.

Getting Started

In this article, we cover the basic steps of using the Contacts Database template.

Prepare the database for use

  • When you first open the database, Access displays the Welcome form. To prevent this form from displaying the next time you open the database, clear the Show Welcome when this database is opened check box.

    Close the Welcome form to begin using the database.

  • To make sure all the database content is enabled, in the Message Bar, click Enable this content.

    For more information about enabling database content, see the article Decide whether to trust a database.

Add contacts from Microsoft Outlook

If you use Microsoft Outlook, you can add contacts from that program without having to re-type the information.

  1. On the Contact List form, click Add From Outlook.

  2. In the Select Names to Add dialog box, select the names that you want to add to the database.

  3. Click Add, and then click OK.

Search for a contact

The Quick Search box lets you quickly find a contact on the Contact List form.

  • On the Contact List form, in the Quick Search box, type the text you want to search for and then press ENTER.

    Access filters the list to show only those records that contain the text you searched for. To return to the full list, click Clear the current search. (It's the X inside the search box.)

Show or hide columns

On the Contact List form, some fields (columns) are hidden by default. To change which fields are displayed:

  1. Click Show/Hide Fields.

  2. In the Unhide Columns dialog box, select the check box beside each column that you want to show. Clear the check box to hide the column.

Display contact details

The Contact Details form lets you see and enter more information about each contact. To display the Contact Details form:

  • On the Contact List form, click Open next to the contact that you want to see.

Add a picture

On the Contact Details form, you can add a picture for the contact.

  1. Under the picture frame, click Edit Picture.

  2. In the Attachments dialog box, click Add.

  3. In the Choose File dialog box, browse to the folder that contains the file.

  4. Select the file you want to add, and then click Open.

  5. In the Attachments dialog box, click OK.

Note: You can attach multiple files to each contact, including different file types such as documents or spreadsheets.

Display a map of a contact's address

On the Contact Details form, if you have entered a street address for the contact, you can display a map of that location:

  • Click Click to Map.

Display reports

The Contacts Database includes two reports: Directory and Phone Book. To display a report:

  • In the Navigation Pane, under Reports, double-click the report you want to display.

You can create your own custom reports. For more information, see the article Create a simple report.

Modify the Contacts database

You can customize the Contacts database by adding a new field to the Contacts table, and then adding that field to the Contact List form and the Contact Details form.

Add a field to the Contacts table

  1. Close all open tabs.

  2. In the Navigation Pane, double-click the Contacts table.

  3. Scroll to the right until you see the column named Add New Field. Double-click the column heading, and type in the field name.

The first time you enter data in the column, Access sets the data type for you.

Add a field to a form

Once a field has been added to a table, you can then add it to a form.

  1. Right-click the form in the Navigation Pane and then click Layout View.

  2. On the Design tab, in the Tools group, click Add Existing Fields.

  3. Drag the field you want from the Field List to the form.

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