Microsoft Access Reports Tutorial

Part 1: Getting Started

access screenshot

 In our previous tutorials, you’ve learned a good deal about Microsoft Access.  Together, we created a query, modified the query to make it more complex, and created a data entry form.  We've learned the skills necessary to put information into a database and selectively remove the exact information we're seeking.  In this tutorial, we're going to go a step further and learn how to create professionally formatted reports automatically from our database information.

  Returning to our familiar Northwind Company, we're going to design a nicely-formatted listing of employee home telephone numbers for the use of management.

The sample images in this tutorial were created using Access 2000.  If you're using Access 2010, you may wish to instead read Creating Reports in Microsoft Access 2010.  If you need a quick-start on the basics of Access before getting started, take a look at the article "Microsoft Access Fundamentals."

Once again, we're going to use the Northwind sample database.  Before we get started, open up Microsoft Access and then open the Northwind database.  If you need help with this step, please read the article "How to Install the Northwind Sample Database."

1. Choose the Reports menu.  Once you've opened Northwind, you'll be presented with the main database menu shown below.  Go ahead and click on the "Reports" selection and you'll see a list of the various reports Microsoft included in the sample database.

  If you'd like, feel free to double-click on a few of these and get a feel for what reports look like and the various types of information that they contain.

2. Create a new report.  After you've satisfied your curiosity, go ahead and click on the "New" button and we'll begin the process of creating a report from scratch.

Create a new report

3. Select the Report Wizard.  The next screen that appears will ask you to select the method you wish to use to create the report.  We're going to use the Report Wizard which will walk us through the creation process step-by-step.  After you've mastered the wizard, you might want to return to this step and explore the flexibility provided by the other creation methods.

4. Choose a table or query.  Before leaving this screen, we want to choose the source of data for our report.  If you want to retrieve information from a single table, you can select it from the drop-down box below.  Alternatively, for more complex reports, we can choose to base our report on the output of a query that we previously designed.  For our example, all of the data we need is contained within the Employees table, so choose this table and click on OK.