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Chapter 3. Planning and Creating a Custo... > Creating Tables in a Database

Creating Tables in a Database

After creating a database file, you need to create the tables that will store the data. There are several ways to create a new table: in Design view, in Datasheet view, with a Table Wizard, or by importing a table from another Access database. Depending on the method you choose, creating a table can involve one or more of the following:

  • Specifying the fields for the table

  • Determining the data type for each field

  • Determining the field size (for text and number fields only)

  • Assigning the primary key

  • Saving and naming the table

Methods for Creating a Table

DatasheetWhen you create a table in Datasheet view, you can start viewing and entering data right away. Access automatically assigns a data type based on the kind of information you entered in the field, and it assigns a default field size for text and number fields. After you close and save the table, Access prompts you to identify a primary key or to allow Access to designate one for you.
DesignIn Design view, you must specify the fields, specify the data type for each field, assign the size (for text and number fields), assign the primary key, and save the table yourself.
Table WizardUsing a Table Wizard, you select fields from sample tables that are appropriate for the type of database you are creating. The data type and other field properties are already defined for each field.
ImportingIf you want to use data from another Access database in the database you are creating, you can import it. When you import a table, all the field names and data types are retained with the imported data. However, you must name the new table and identify the primary key or have Access create a primary key for you. Also, you may need to change the field size and other properties after importing.
LinkingWhen you link a table, the data is retrieved from a table in another database. Linking a table saves disk space because there is only one table rather than multiple tables with the same data. Linking a table saves time because there is no need to update the same information in more than one table.

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