Access 2000: Adding Table Records

Lesson 5: Adding Table Records



By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

  • Open and navigate a table in an existing database
  • Enter data and add table records to an existing database
  • Resize table columns
  • Save a table record

Opening an existing table

In the previous lesson, you downloaded and opened the Great Lake Elementary School database, a pre-existing database.

In this lesson, you will learn how to open an existing table and add table records.

A table is a database object.

To open an existing table:

  • Open the Great Lake Elementary School database window.
  • In the database window's Objects palette, select Tables.
  • Select a table and click the Open button Open button in database window in the database window, double-click a table, or right-click it and choose Open from the shortcut menu.
  • The table opens in Datasheet view.

Great Lake Elementary table in Datasheet View

Important pointDatasheet view looks a lot like a spreadsheet. Don't be too intimidated. If you are comfortable with Excel, you'll soon be comfortable with Datasheet view.

Navigating the table

When you open the table in Datasheet view, the status area in the lower-left of the window indicates how many records there are in the table.

status area

To navigate the table using the status area:

  • Click the arrows in the status area to move through table records.

status area in detail

Using the keyboard to navigate table records

Key:Selects the:
TabNext field to the right
Shift+TabNext field to the left
EndLast field of the record
HomeFirst field of the record
Down ArrowSame field in the next record
Up ArrowSame field in the previous record
Ctrl+EndLast field of the last record in the table
Ctrl+HomeFirst field of the first record in the table

Entering and adding table records in Datasheet view

Each record in a table is represented by a row. Field names are represented as columns in the table. To add a new record, navigate to the last row in the table—it's a blank row—or click the new record button in the status area. Then input the requested information into each field in the new record. In this lesson, you will add a new record to the Contacts table.

To enter or add a table record in Datasheet view:

  • The table should be open.
  • If you are not in Datasheet view, click the Datasheet view button. Datasheet View button
  • Click the New Record button on the toolbar. New Record button
  • Begin typing the information for the first field. Press Tab to move to the next field.
  • Continue entering data and pressing Tab until you reach the end of the record.
  • Press Tab again to start another record, or click the New Record button again.

Entering information into a table

The Record Selector

When entering data, attention to the smallest details is important.

Therefore, attention to spelling and grammar is critical. Sloppy data- entry work can be a disaster. For example, if a customer's last name is Smithson, do not carelessly type Smithsson.

When you begin entering data, Access makes a few changes to the actual datasheet. Most significant is the addition of the Record Selector, a small gray box located to the left of the record.

Record Selector

The Record Selector can display the following symbols:

  • Record Selector - arrow indicates the current record. The record has been saved as it is displayed.
  • Record Selector - pencil indicates you have added or edited data that has not yet been saved.
  • Record Selector - asterisk indicates a new record you can enter information into.

status area in detail

Important pointEach table contains a blank record at the end of the table. You must add new records here.

Working with records

When entering records, you may need to resize columns. To resize columns, place the mouse pointer between the column headings. When the pointer changes to a resizing tool resizing tool, click and drag to manually resize the column, or double-click to use the autofit feature.

lesson arrow Saving your work: After adding a new record in the last field in Datasheet view, use the mouse or an arrow key, press Tab, or press Enter to move the focus off of a record. When you do so, Access saves the data automatically.

lesson arrowIf you want to save data without moving the focus, choose Recordslesson actionSave Record. For example, if you are entering a long record and want to save the data while you work, choose this option.


Add a new table record.

  • Open the Great Lake Elementary School database.
  • Open the Teacher table. Using the status area and Record Selector, practice navigating the table.
  • Practice resizing the columns.
  • Under Teacher ID, type 6. Under Last Name, type Gibbs. Under First Name, type Regina.
  • Close the table. Do not save changes to table layout.
  • Reopen the Teacher table. Observe your entry as it was saved.
  • Close the Teacher table.