Creating Simple Queries in Access 2010

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Querying a database involves the retrieval of some or all data from one or more tables or views. Microsoft Access 2010 offers a powerful guided query function that helps you easily build a query even if you don't know how to write a Structured Query Language script.

Explore the Query Wizard safely, without touching your data, using Access 2010 and the Northwind sample database. If you're using an earlier version of Access, you may need to follow a different procedure.

How to Create a Query in Access 2010

Create a sample query listing the names of all of Northwind's products, target inventory levels and the list price for each item. 

  1. Open the database. If you haven't already installed the Northwind sample database, add it before proceeding. If it's already installed, go to the File tab, select Open and locate the Northwind database on your computer.
  2. Switch to the Create tab. In the Access ribbon, change from the File tab to the Create tab. The icons presented to you in the ribbon will change.
  3. Click the Query Wizard icon. The Query Wizard simplifies the creation of new queries. The alternative is to use the Query Design view, which facilitates the creation of more sophisticated queries but is more complicated to use.
  4. Select a Query Type. Access will prompt you to choose the type of query you wish to create. For our purposes, we will use the Simple Query Wizard. Select it and click OK to continue.
  5. Select the appropriate table from the pull-down menu. The Simple Query Wizard will open. It includes a pull-down menu that should default to "Table: Customers." When you select the pull-down menu, you'll be presented with a listing of all the tables and queries currently stored in your Access database. These are the valid data sources for your new query. In this example, select the Products table, which contains information about the products in Northwind's inventory.
  6. Choose the fields you wish to appear in the query results.  Add fields by either double-clicking them or by single clicking the field name and then the ">" icon. Selected fields move from the Available Fields listing to the Selected Fields listing. The ">>" icon will select all available fields. The "<" icon allows you to remove the highlighted field from the Selected Fields list while the "<<" icon removes all selected fields. In this example, select the Product Name, List Price and Target Level from the Product table.
  7. Repeat steps 5 and 6 to add information from additional tables. In our example, we're pulling information from a single table. However, we're not limited to using only one table. Combine information from multiple tables and show relationships. All you have to do is select the fields -- Access will line up the fields for you. This alignment works because the Northwind database features predefined relationships between tables. If you're creating a new database, you'll need to establish these relationships yourself.
  8. Click Next. When you're finished adding fields to your query, click the Next button to continue.
  9. Choose the type of results you want to produce. For this example, generate a full listing of products and their suppliers by choosing the Detail option and clicking the Next button to continue.
  10. Give your query a title. You're almost done! On the next screen, you can give your query a title. Select something descriptive that will help you recognize this query later. We'll call this query "Product Supplier Listing."
  11. Click Finish. You'll be presented with your query's results. It contains a list of Northwind's products, desired target inventory levels, and list prices. The tab presenting these results contains the name of your query.

You've successfully created your first query using Microsoft Access 2010. Now you're armed with a powerful tool to apply to your database needs.

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