Microsoft Access 2010: How to Add, Edit, and Delete Data in Tables

When working with Microsoft Access 2010, you will be spending a lot of your time dealing with tables. To help you get more comfortable in working with tables, this tutorial will show you how to add, edit, and delete data from tables in Access 2010.

Tables are such an integral part of databases and corresponding tasks in Access 2010 because they act as the centers that hold all the data.  They may be basic in format, but their role is undeniably important.  So, to get you up to speed on working with tables, let’s begin adding, editing, and deleting data.  These are very standard tasks that you will need to employ from time to time, so it is a good idea to start learning how to execute them now.

As is sometimes the case with our tutorials, we will be working with a specific sample.  To learn the tasks, read over the tutorial and then apply the techniques to your own sample.  As mentioned, these are all standard tasks, so you should be able to pick them up rather easily and apply them to your own unique situations.

To begin, let’s open a table by locating it under the navigation pane’s Tables section.  For this tutorial, we will select our Customers table by double-clicking it.



Our Customers table is now displayed.  You can tell it is a table not only from its actual format, but the small blue icon of a grid next to the Customers label is how Access represents tables in its interface.

A quick glimpse at the table shows that it is nothing too intimidating.  It is simply holding various pieces of data.  In this case, it holds data regarding customer names, street addresses, and email addresses.

Before we proceed, let’s discuss the proper names for different items in an Access table.  First, each row is officially called a record.  For example, the row containing data for Cindy Freeman in this table is her record that holds all of her personal information including name, address, etc.  You will see a number to the left of each record.  This is the ID, and it remains constant.  You cannot change the ID for records.

Each column is officially referred to as a field.  For example, First Name, Last Name, and Street Address are fields.  These all carry different types of data.  Each specific piece of data is held in a cell.  For example, Cindy Freeman’s data that corresponds to her email sits in a cell.

Let’s say you have a customer who has updated their email address.  To enter in the new email address, you would first delete the existing one.  Click in the cell, select the existing email address so that it is highlighted in black, and type the new email address over it.  When you click out of the cell, that new, updated data will be saved.  You can do this for any cell where you want to update data.


Changing data like this is very easy, but you may have to do it for several cells.  With that being the case, there are a few different ways for you to navigate through a table.  The most obvious is to simply use your mouse cursor to move about and select cells.  You can also use your keyboard’s arrow keys to move between consecutive cells.  Another option is to use the record navigation bar at the bottom left-hand corner of the program window.  This allows you to jump from the first to last record, between consecutive records, or to enter in the number of an exact record.  It even has a button that will allow you to create a new, blank record.  In our case, we can use this to add a new customer to the table with all of their pertinent information.  Right next to the record navigation bar is a search function that can come in handy too.



If you want to delete a record, first click the empty margin on the left side of the record to select it. 



Next, go to the Home tab up top in the Records section click on the Delete option.



A dialog box will pop up to notify you that you are about to delete a record.  Click Yes to complete the deletion.

If you know you have to make a ton of changes, but want to do it with the least work possible, the find and replace feature can be a lifesaver. 

To demonstrate find and replace, we will move on to a different table, named Products.  To begin replacing, go to the Home tab up top.  In the Find section, click on Replace. 



The Find and Replace box will appear.  In the Find What box, we enter the term we are looking for.  For instance, in our case, we want to replace the term Fall with Autumn.  So, in the Replace With box, we enter the replacement term of Autumn.  To make the function search the entire table, select Current document from the Look In drop-down menu.  For Match, select the Any Part of Field option.  Click Find Next to begin searching for the term so you can begin replacing it.



Now, you might not want to replace some terms, depending on how they are used.  Keep hitting Find Next to navigate through the document.  Every time you agree that the found word should be replaced, click Replace.  You can also click Replace All to replace all of the found terms in one swoop.  When you are finished, remember to save your work before exiting.

From this tutorial you can see just how easy it is to work with tables in Microsoft Access 2010.  Adding, editing, and deleting data is very simple, and so is finding and replacing it.  The more you practice using Access 2010, the more efficient you will become when using it to perform tasks to help keep your data organized.

Stay tuned for more Microsoft Access 2010 tutorials in the future.

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