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Chapter 11: Using Your Data with Word and Excel

(This is section 1 of 4 in this chapter)

Access is designed to work well with other Microsoft Office programs. You can use Access with these programs to perform very powerful operations with your data. For example, you can use information in your Access tables with documents you have created in Word. Specifically, you can use Access and Word to create a mail merge that places the values stored in an Access table into appropriate locations within a Word form letter. In this way, you can quickly create a custom letter for each of your accounts.

In this chapter, you will focus on how you can make these two programs--Access and Word--function together well. By the time you finish this chapter, you will understand the following key concepts:

Why Use Other Programs with Access?

Access is great at managing your data. You can use it to maintain just about any information you may want. It is not, however, a word processor or a spreadsheet program. Recognizing that fact, Microsoft made sure that you could use your Access data with both Word and Excel, both of which are members of the Microsoft Office family of products (Access is also part of that family).

Why would you want to use data from Access with Word or Excel? Primarily because "that's where the information is." In other words, if you are already using Access to maintain raw information, there should not be a need to duplicate that information in Word or Excel. Instead, you should be able to transfer the information you need when you need it.

Now that you understand why it is preferable to use your Access information in other programs, at times, you are ready to turn your attention to how this is done. The rest of this chapter focuses on how you get your information from Access into both Word and Excel.

Note: It is not the purpose of this book to give detailed information on how to use any program besides Access. It is assumed that you have at least some familiarity with the other programs discussed in this chapter. If you need help, you might refer to a book that is geared specifically to teaching you how to use Word or Excel. You could also try free online resources, such as WordTips (for Word) or ExcelTips (for Excel).

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