Creating Simple Queries in Access 2010

What to Know

  • Install the Northwind sample database before you begin.
  • Select Create > Query Wizard > a query type > a table > fields to use > desired details > enter a title > Finish.

A database query lets you enter search terms to only return certain entries. Here's how to make a sample query using the Query Wizard and the Northwind sample database in Access 2010.

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How to Create a Query in Access 2010

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. 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. Select the Create tab.

  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 more sophisticated queries but is more complicated to use.

  4. Select a Query Type and click OK to continue. For our purposes, we will use the Simple Query Wizard.

  5. The Simple Query Wizard will open. It includes a pull-down menu that should default to "Table: Customers." In this example, select the Products table, which contains information about Northwind's product inventory.

  6. Choose the fields you wish to appear in the query results. Add fields by either double-clicking them or selecting the field name and then the ">" icon. In this example, select the Product Name, List Price, and Target Level from the Product table.

    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.

  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 create a new database, you'll need to establish these relationships yourself.

  8. Click Next when you're finished adding fields to your query 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. Select something descriptive that will help you recognize this query later. We'll call this query "Product Supplier Listing."

  11. Click Finish for your query 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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