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Understanding Access 2013 Databases

Copying and pasting from a datasheet

Access provides great support for the Microsoft Office Clipboard operations. Copy and paste can be used to make copies of tables (with or without data) and copies of forms and reports by using the Navigation pane to select objects, highlight the object, and use Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V to make copies of and paste the objects.

This functionality has some special applicability when you are working in the design tools; for example, with a query, you can copy columns on the query grid, or with a form or report, you can copy sets of controls.

It is also possible to copy rows of data between tables (subject to the tables having an identical structure), or within a table.

In this exercise, you’ll copy data to the Clipboard to paste into other applications.

  1. In the Navigation pane, double-click the Customers table to open the datasheet.

  2. Open a copy of Microsoft Excel to view the results of the copy and paste operations.

  3. Click the upper-left corner of the datasheet. This will select the entire datasheet, which will darken to indicate everything is selected.

  4. Press Ctrl+C, switch to a new sheet in Excel, click in an empty cell, and then press Ctrl+V to copy the data.

  5. Returning to Access, click a column heading to select the column.

  6. Press Ctrl+C, switch to a new sheet in Excel, click in an empty cell, and then press Ctrl+V to copy the column of data.

  7. Returning to Access, in the datasheet, click in a cell under the column Company Name. Move the pointer towards the upper-left corner of the cell as the pointer shape changes to a large + symbol. Click and drag the pointer down and over associated cells.

  8. Press Ctrl+C, switch to a new sheet in Excel, click an empty cell, and then press Ctrl+V to copy the data.

Changing between tab pages and overlapping windows

Surprisingly, deciding if you want to change between tab pages and overlapping windows is probably one of the most important decisions you can make with a database. It is key for determining what you want to get out of Access, and how you envision using the product.

The first question you should ask is, “Do I intend to use Access as a tool for others to use?” If others will use what you construct in Access, then ask: “To what extent do I want to allow others to use the underlying product, and do I want to allow them to make changes to what I’ve created?”

Often, people who use Access for themselves don’t really care much about the fine detail of the interface, because they just make changes according to the tasks they want to accomplish. Basically, their goal is more flexibility and productivity with important tasks.

However, when you build something for other people to use, you must think a great deal about whom they are, what they’re trying to achieve, and what you’ll allow them to do.

Access supports two basic user interface (UI) presentations, and this is set as an option for the database. You can choose a tabbed interface, which is what we have seen so far in this chapter, where each object opens in a separate tab. The second option is to use overlapping windows. The tabbed interface can be used when designing something for your own use, but it’s often more desirable to use overlapping windows if you want to construct something for others to use. One reason is you can start to create windows which pop up on top of other windows.

In this exercise, you’ll work with tabbed interfaces and overlapping windows.

  1. From the File tab, choose Options.

  2. Select the Current Database option on the left.

  3. Change the Document Window Options to Overlapping Windows.

  4. Click OK, and OK again to close the database prompt.

  5. Close and re-open your database.

  6. In the Navigation pane, double-click any table and notice how the table opens in a separate window.