When you're done using a database file, you can either close it or exit Access altogether. Access gives you two options for closing a database:
Close a single database table.
Close the entire Access database file.
Closing a database table
Closing a single database table simply removes the data from view and leaves Access running your loaded database file. After you close a database table, you can open another one. (You don't have to close a database table to open another one, but if you know you won't need to view a particular database table, you might as well close it to get it out of the way.)
To close a database table, follow these steps:
1. Right-click the database table tab that you want to close.
A pop-up menu appears, as shown in Figure 16-12.
Choose Close to close that table from view.
2. Choose Close.
Access closes your chosen database table.
If you choose Close All, you can close all open database tables so you won't have to right-click each tab and close the tables one at a time.
Closing a database file
Closing a database file keeps Access running so you can open another database file. To close a database file but keep Access running, follow these steps:
1. Click the Office Button and then choose Close Database.
To exit Access, choose Exit Access instead.
If you haven't saved any changes to the design of your database, a dialog box appears, asking whether you want to save your changes.
2. Click Yes (or No).
Access remains running so you can load another database file.
When you save an Access database, you're saving only the changes you made to the database table or form. Access automatically saves any data you type or edit in your database file. (When you type or edit data, Access saves it as soon as you move the cursor to a new field or record.)
Searching, Sorting, and Querying a Database
If you need to find a specific name in your database, searching through the database alphabetically may be tedious but possible. However, if you need to find the names of everyone who ordered more than $50,000 worth of supplies in the past three months, trying to find this information yourself would prove tedious and time-consuming. Yet, Access can search for this information at the blink of an eye.
If you search for specific types of data on a regular basis, you probably don't want to keep telling Access what to search for over and over again. To simplify this, you can create a query. A query lets you define specific ways to search your data and save those parameters so you can search your data in the future.
Besides searching through your data, Access can also sort your data. Sorting can be as simple as organizing names alphabetically, or it can be more complicated, such as sorting names according to ZIP code, annual salary, or alphabetically by last name. Sorting simply rearranges your data so you can study it from a new point of view.
By searching, sorting, and querying your data, you can extract useful information about your data.