Microsoft Access Basics – Forms, Queries and Macros

Microsoft Access provides an intuitive user interface that enables individuals to input data directly into tables. In addition, this program includes tools for software development and programming – such as macros that automate processes such as opening forms or running queries – making life simpler for software developers and programmers.

Microsoft Access tables are linked through primary and foreign keys to ensure data remains consistent throughout the system, as well as linking to existing data locations, which enables for viewing, querying and reporting purposes.


Forms allow you to control how data from tables appears to the user, reducing clutter and making it simpler. Forms can be created using either the Form Wizard or directly within Layout View or Design View.

Make your forms more visually appealing by organizing fields into logical groups and aligning them on a grid. Add header rows or columns as necessary, including formatting options; this is particularly important if your form requires field labels such as dates or phone numbers which must appear bolded when entering data correctly.

If you’re working with relational data (related information stored in separate tables), it can be useful to display multiple tables or queries at once on one form. Subforms provide the solution – these forms encase another form, often known as hierarchical forms or parent/child forms.

After you have placed the fields on your form, it is recommended to add some custom formatting. The Format tab on the ribbon provides numerous icons for customizing its appearance; font, color and gridline formatting options as well as adding logos are just some examples of custom formats available here.

Making your form more secure is straightforward by adding password requirements for those accessing it, or even by requiring each entry to provide a unique ID – both of which will help prevent duplicate entries and ensure accuracy in reporting data.

If you want to delete records from your database, there are various methods of doing so available to you. Queries and reports provide ways of extracting specific data from tables according to user-specified criteria; macros automate tasks such as opening forms or running queries by being activated either automatically by events or manually by users – an effective way of saving time!


Microsoft Access queries allow users to quickly view and compile data from one or more tables within a database, similar to asking detailed questions of it using specific search conditions to narrow the results you see. They allow for fast retrieval of needed information as well as being used as the foundation for creating forms or reports in Access.

Use a query as the record source for any new or existing form or report by setting its Record Source property to “query”. Additionally, Design view allows you to easily create new queries to use as record sources in forms or reports.

Queries rely on expressions, which combine operators, identifiers, functions, and constants into combinations that produce results. Understanding and writing expressions are critical skills for database designers; incorrect syntax could stop a query from running correctly if not written properly; following best naming practices helps ensure expressions remain valid and run as intended.

Select Queries are designed to retrieve data records from one or more tables and display them in Datasheet view. A query may contain multiple tables, and you can join rows from various tables by creating relationships between them – for instance if you wanted to display each book and its date it was borrowed in your Library database, you could create a query that joins both Book and Loan tables together and displayed its data in Datasheet view.

If you want to prompt users with responses when running queries, consider creating a parameter query. When running it, Access asks users for an answer before continuing the query process.

Calculation queries allow you to dynamically recalculate data each time they run them, providing a convenient solution for calculating sales tax, totalling numbers in two fields or adding the values from multiple fields in each record. Furthermore, creating one can produce the sum total of all records in your database.


Microsoft Access’ report function makes it possible to quickly create and format summaries of information from tables. It is an invaluable resource that amplifies data utility and informs strategic decision-making, and also serves as a great way to share it. To create reports, select either a table or query as your source for data before choosing from various layout and presentation options for creating them – you can even customise layouts by applying conditional formatting rules directly or group of controls within it.

Create a report from an existing table or query and add fields from the Field List pane using arrows to move them around your report. Select columns in Data tab by clicking field name then clicking Selected Fields list before clicking Next when finished.

Once a report is created, any control can be modified by right-clicking and selecting from its shortcut menu. A report can also be grouped, sorted and totaled while also including data bars to highlight areas within your database.

Print Preview lets you see what your data will look like when printed and allows for any modifications before printing, saving the report as either an Excel file, text file, PDF document or HTML file.

Use the Group, Sort and Total Pane in Layout view to implement grouping, sorting and totals in a report. This feature makes the report user friendly and easier to read – you can even add header or footers for professional touches! You can set page breaks as needed as well as select either Portrait or Landscape orientation when creating reports.


Macros can be an efficient way to accomplish complex tasks in Access without writing Module Code (VBA Code). Macros are extremely useful tools when used correctly; they can be utilized across forms, queries and reports without writing VBA. Furthermore, they can even run standalone making them an extremely versatile object. Some may dislike working with Macros; however they can be lifesaving if you lack time to develop an entire application in VBA yourself.

Macros can save time by automating tasks you perform frequently or adding functionality to forms, reports and controls. A macro can be created by setting up a series of actions it will perform when someone clicks a command button on the ribbon or one within forms, dialog boxes or record views; they can even use basic “If/Then” logic and call other macros much like subroutines do.

Your custom or shortcut menus can also be created by creating a macro object containing submacros that define menu commands, and attaching that macro object to forms, reports, or controls. A menu macro attached to a form or report runs each time that form/report is opened; alternatively you could attach one directly to databases so it would run each time that database was accessed.

Access 2010 introduced the ability to create data macros that can be attached to specific table events such as adding new records. You can build these macros using the Macro Builder, similar to what was described earlier.

Macro Builder-generated macros don’t require trusted status to run and can therefore be executed in databases without Macro Security enabled; however, databases with Macro Security set to Allow all macros to run or Disable all macros must be trusted to execute any macros that may exist within them. You can adjust Macro Security settings in the Database Options dialog box. In addition to making any adjustments or setting updates before working with database files.

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