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Chapter 5. Modifying Your Table Design > Before You Get Started

Before You Get Started

Microsoft Access makes it easy for you to change the design of your database, even when you already have data in your tables. You should, however, understand the potential impact of any changes you plan and take steps to ensure that you can recover your previous design if you make a mistake. Here are some things to consider before you make changes.

  • Access does not automatically propagate changes that you make in tables to any queries, forms, reports, macros, data access pages, or modules. You must make changes to dependent objects yourself, or choose Options from the Tools menu and then select the option on the General tab to ask Access to autocorrect table field name changes for you. See “Setting Table Design Options,” page 133, for more details.

  • You cannot change the data type of a field that is part of a relationship between tables. You must first delete the relationship, and then change the field’s data type and redefine the relationship.

  • You cannot change the definition of any table that you have open in a query, a form, a data access page, or a report. You must close any objects that refer to the table you want to change before you open that table in Design view. If you give other users access to your database over a network, you won’t be able to change the table definition if someone else has the table (or a query or form based on the table) open.


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