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How to create a table in Access 2010

Learn how to create a table and add fields to it in Access 2010.

Here is how to create a table in access 2010. If you don't have a database yet, create one by going to the File menu and double clicking Blank database.

Create a blank database in Access 2010

Creating a blank database in Access 2010.

When you have created your blank database Access 2010 will automatically create the first table for you. This table is named Table1. Access encourages you to start adding fields to your table right away, using the Click to Add option, but hold on one moment.

first access table

After creating your database your first, empty table is already there.

Design view

You can start adding fields to your table right away by using the Click to Add option, but is is better to create your table in design view, because design view offers a better overview and more options.

Go to design view by right-clicking the table name, Table1, and choosing Design View.

Access 2010 will ask you to name and save your table before you go to design view. I chose the name Customer, because I will be creating a table for a customer database.

go-to-design-view

The design view will now open and you will have the chance to add fields to your table and configure them. As you can see, Access 2010 has already created an ID primary key field for you. A primary key is a field that has a unique value for each record in your table.

Create a table in design view

Access 2010 automatically creates an AutoNumber primary key field for you when you create a new table.

Primary key

You can recognize the primary key field by the little golden key that is in front of it. The primary key is needed to identify records and to link records in your table to records from other tables. The primary key field that Access 2010 creates is an AutoNumber field. This means that every new record in the table will automatically get a unique number. It is good practice to use an AutoNumber primary key field.

Adding more fields

You can add more fields by typing in names in the Field Name column and selecting a data type in the Data Type column. Let's look at some of the often used data types that are available.

field data types

Data types for table fields in Access 2010

Text datatype

The text datatype won't need much explanation. You use it when you want to store text, like names, passwords, street addresses, etc. The text datatype has a maximum length of 255 characters.

Memo datatype

The memo datatype is also used to store texts, but it doesn't have a 255 character limit like the text datatype, so memo is used for longer pieces of tex, like news articles.

Yes/No datatype

The yes/no datatype is used to record yes/no situations. A user might register for an account and have to choose if he/she wants to receive your monthly newsletter or not. This would be a good case for a yes/no field.

Number datatype

The number datatype is, well... a number datatype. Use it for any piece of information that is expressed in numbers, like weights, distances, prices, etc.

Date/Time datatype

Use the Date/Time datatype to store a date/time combination. You can use this to store someone's birthdate, the date someone registered to your site or the deadline of a project.

A customer table

Below is an example of what a customer table might look like in design view.

customer table in design view

And here is the table after it has been created and filled with some sample data.

Access 2010 table with data

 

 Good luck with creating your own tables!