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Creating Your Database

An Excel database is a fairly basic worksheet. You type field names or column labels (such as First Name, Last Name, Address, and Home Phone) in the top row, and then you enter records in the rows below it. When creating a database, keep the following rules in mind:

  • You must enter column labels in the top row of the data area. (This may or may not be the top row of the worksheet, but all records must be entered in the rows directly below the row that contains the column labels.) Column labels describe and identify the contents of each field.

  • Do NOT skip a row between the column labels row and the first record. If you skip a row, Excel loses track of the field entries in each column.

  • If the worksheet that contains your database contains other unrelated data, leave a blank column or row between that area of the worksheet and the area that contains your database records.

  • Type each record in a separate row, with no empty rows between records.

  • The cells in a given column must contain information of the same type. For example, if you have a ZIP CODE column, all cells in that column must contain a ZIP code.

  • Keep all records on one worksheet. A database that spans several worksheets is difficult to manage, and Excel may not be able to perform all available database functions, such as sorting records, on data that’s entered on separate worksheets.


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