Viewing and Adding Table Records

In Access XP viewing table records is simple. In Access XP adding table records is easy as well. Just follow these instructions.


By the end of this lesson, you should be able to:

Entering and adding table records in Datasheet view

Each record in a table is represented by a row. Field names are represented as columns in the table. To add a new record, navigate to the last row in the table—it's a blank row—or click the new record button in the status area. Then input the requested information into each field in the new record. In this lesson, you will add a new record to the Contacts table.

To enter or add a table record in Datasheet view:

Saving your work: Information in a table is saved automatically when the mouse, an arrow key, the Tab key, or the Enter key is used to move the cursor out of that row and into a different record.

You can manually save data being entered for a record as you work your way across the different fields in the record. Choose RecordsSave on the Standard toolbar to save data without moving the cursor out of the record's row.

Resizing table columns

Adjusting a column width in Access is similar to Microsoft Excel. By default, each column in Access is 15.6667 characters wide. Each individual column can be enlarged to 363 characters wide.

When entering records, you may need to resize columns to view the information as it is being typed. The width of an address column, for example, might be smaller than the actual address. You can adjust the column width of any field so it is wide enough to view the complete field entry.

An Example Showing Where the Street Address is Larger than the Column Width

In Access, you can adjust column width manually, use AutoFit, or use the menu bar.

To manually adjust column width:

  • Place your mouse pointer to the right side of the gray column header.
  • The mouse pointer changes to the adjustment tool (double-headed arrow).

    Adjustment Tool
  • Drag the adjustment tool left or right to the desired width and release the mouse button.

    Comparison Between Before and After Column Resizing

Resizing table columns

To adjust column width using the menu bar:

  • Click anywhere in the column where the column width will be changed.
  • Choose FormatColumn Width on the Standard toolbar.
  • Type a new specification in the Column Width field.
  • Click OK to accept the change.

To AutoFit column width:

  • Place your mouse pointer to the right side of the column header.
  • The mouse pointer changes to the adjustment tool (double-headed arrow).
  • Double-click the column header border.
  • Access autofits the column, making the entire column slightly larger than the largest entry contained in it.

To access AutoFit from the menu bar, choose FormatColumn Width, and check the Best Fit check box.

Adjusting row height

Each row in Access defaults to a height of 12.75 but can be enlarged to 1638. Changing the height of a row is similar to adjusting a column width, with two exceptions: A row height change applies to all rows in a table, and AutoFit is not available at the row level.

To adjust row height:

  • Choose FormatRow Height on the Standard toolbar.

    Format and Row Heigh Menu Selections
  • Type a new specification in the Row Height field.

    Row Height Dialog Box
  • Click OK to accept the change.

Saving your work: If you changed the table layout, you will be prompted to save the changes when you exit Microsoft Access.


Open the Contacts table in Datasheet view and input the following records:

  • Bob Binford, 45 Highhouse Road, Cary, North Carolina, 27513, United States, Marcus Masonry (Company), Manager (Title), 919.555.3271 (Work Phone), and 100 (Extension)
  • Mike Allen, 65 River Road, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 64512, United States, 632.555.7819 (Work Phone)
  • Deborah Allen, 65 River Road, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 64512, United States, 632.555.7820 (Work Phone)
  • Resize the Address column using the menu bar method
  • Resize the Company Name column using the manual adjust method
  • Resize the Postal Code column using the the AutoFit method