Are you looking to shave some time off routine Microsoft Access tasks? Access offers many features that can improve your efficiency and productivity. The key is knowing where to find these features and how to use them. Don’t be shy – get exploring and check out these 10 time-saving tips for MS Access.
1. Add Timestamps to Database Records
With the Now() function, you can automatically add the time and date to your database records. This way, anytime you pull up the records, you can determine when the data was entered.
2. Use Templates to Build Databases
Templates are your friend in MS Access. With templates, you don’t have to build a database from scratch. Choose from hundreds of options that are either made by Microsoft or someone in the Access community.
3. Import Data from Excel to Access
Importing data from Excel to Access can be a huge time-saver. You can do far more with your data using Access, including updating formulas and sorting or filtering through results. If you’re not sure if you should switch from Excel to Access, contact an MS Access support company.
4. Export Data from Access to Excel
It’s also helpful to export data from Access into Excel. Spreadsheets aren’t able to do everything databases can, but they are still useful when you only need to manage a small amount of data. Plus, most people know how to use Excel.
5. Use SQL for Advanced Queries
Structured Query Language (SQL) is a good one to fall back on if you’re having trouble designing a query. SQL is the foundation for relational databases and lets you choose the exact results that you’re looking for.
6. Backup Your Database Regularly
Your Access databases are not immune to corruption or damage, so it’s important to take the appropriate steps to protect them. The best way to do this is to backup your databases regularly.
7. Know Your Shortcuts
Take time getting familiar with the shortcuts that will be helpful for you. For instance, you can get the full power out of Access by filtering results, hiding duplicates in reports and speeding up data entry.
8. Understand Macros
Macros are tools that let you automate tasks and functionality to your forms and reports – and you don’t have to learn VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) to do so. Take your time learning macros even if they look confusing at first – you’ll be much more efficient!
9. Leverage Your Relationships
Many people use Access as a glorified spreadsheet, but you’re only limiting its potential by doing this. Relational databases track relationships between data elements, so explore how to create a relationship between two tables in any database.
10. Choose Primary Keys Carefully
MS Access lets you choose your primary keys, and you’ll want to do so wisely. When designing a new database, for example, the selected key must be unique. If it’s possible that two records share the same value for an attribute, you won’t want to use this as a primary key.
Microsoft Access is never to be underestimated. It’s a powerful database program that allows you to do more in less time. Hopefully the above 10 tips will come in handy as you learn to navigate Access 2016 in a more efficient, productive manner.