Use a sample record to create an online form in Access 2007

No need to have your users fill out multiple sheets of paper -- build an online form in Access 2007 and have your employees enter the data for you.

If you already have a sample of the data that you want to collect, you can use that data to build a table in Access 2007.

For example, you ask your sales associates to have their customers fill out a paper form with their first and last name, home address, e-mail address, and date of visit so that you can contact them about upcoming sales events. Your associates say their customers are in too much of a hurry to fill out the forms, which are often misplaced anyway.

You decide that you will have the sales associate fill out an online form as part of the customer checkout process. Now you need to develop an online form that will allow the sales associate to collect the following data on each customer: first name, last name, home address, e-mail address, and date of visit. With a few paper forms already filled out, here's how you can build your online form:

  1. Click the Office button.
  2. Click New.
  3. In the File Name Box in the far right Blank Database column, enter Promotion Database.
  4. Click the Create button.
  5. Under the Table tab, click in the box under Add New Field.
  6. Using the information on the form, enter 2/3/2007 and press [Tab].
  7. Enter Catherine and press [Tab].
  8. Enter James and press [Tab].
  9. Enter 2 Anystreet and press [Tab].
  10. Enter Old Bridge and press [Tab].
  11. Enter NJ and press [Tab].
  12. Enter 08857 and press [Tab].
  13. Enter and press [Tab].
  14. Press [Enter] and double-click Field1.
  15. Type Last Visit and press [Tab].
  16. Double-click Field2, type First Name, and press [Tab].
  17. Double-click Field3, type Last Name, and press [Tab].
  18. Double-click Field4, type Address, and press [Tab].
  19. Double-click Field5, type City, and press [Tab].
  20. Double-click Field6, type State, and press [Tab].
  21. Double-click Field7, type Zip Code, and press [Tab].
  22. Double-click Field8, type E-mail Address, and press [Tab].
  23. Click Save on the Quick Access Toolbar.
  24. Enter Customers in the Table Name text box.
  25. Click OK.

While Access enters a data type for the fields based on the data that you entered, it is not foolproof. Note that the Zip Code field, which was given a number data type, eliminated the leading 0 from the Zip Code field. To change the field to a text field, click the Table Design button in the View group. Then, click the down arrow in the Data Type Cell for the Zip Code field and select Text.

Now you are ready to create the online form. With the table open, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Create tab in the ribbon.
  2. Click the Form button in the Forms group.
  3. Click the Save button on the Quick Access Toolbar.
  4. Type Customer Contact Information Form and then click OK.

Now your sales associates can enter new customers' information on the form. To enter the date, they can click the Calendar control and select the Today button. If entering data for a repeat customer, the associate can click in the search box at the bottom of the form and enter the customer's last name to find his or her record.

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