Managing Databases and Objects

When working with an Access database you're working with many Access objects simultaneously. Learn to manage them here.

Working with objects

It's helpful to think of your database as a large binder or folder in which you store your data. The data itself is contained in database objects. Access treats each of these objects as separate documents, which means you will have to open and save them individually in order to work with them.

You may have noticed that this lesson contains no instructions for saving a database. This is because you cannot save an entire database at once. Rather, you must individually save the objects contained within the database.

To open an object:

  1. In the Navigation pane, locate and double-click the desired object.
    Opening an object
  2. The object will appear as a tab in the Document Tabs bar.
    The object opened in Access

By default, the most recently opened object will appear in the main window as the current object. To view another open object, click its tab in the Document Tabs bar.

Clicking a tab to open a different object

Saving objects

You'll need to save any changes you make to each object before closing your database. Remember, saving early and often can prevent your work from being lost. However, you will also be prompted to save any unsaved work when you attempt to close your database.

To save a new object:

  1. Select the object you want to save by clicking its tab in the Document Tabs bar.
  2. Click the Save command on the Quick Access Toolbar, or press Ctrl+S on your keyboard.
    Clicking the Save command
  3. The first time you save an object, you will be prompted to name it. Enter the desired object name, then click OK.
    Saving an object
  4. The object will be saved. Click the Save command again to save any changes to the object.

To close an object:

  1. Select the object you want to close, then click the X to the right of the Document Tabs bar.
    Closing an object
  2. If there are any unsaved changes to the object, you will be prompted to save it. Select Yes to save, No to close it without saving your changes, and Cancel to leave the object open.

You can also close an object by right-clicking its tab on the Document Tabs bar and selecting Close. Select Close All to close all open objects.

Right-clicking to close an object

To rename an object:

  1. If the object you want to rename is open, close it.
  2. In the Navigation pane, right-click the desired object, then select Rename.
    Clicking Rename
  3. Type the new object name, then press Enter on your keyboard.
    Renaming an object