3. Mastering the Datasheet: Sorting, Searching, Filtering, and More
In chapter 1, you took your first look at the datasheet a straightforward way to browse and edit the contents of a table. As you've learned since then, the datasheet isn't the best place to build a table. (Design view's a better choice for database control freaks.) However, the datasheet is a great tool for reviewing the records in your table, making edits, and inserting new data.
Based on your experience creating the Dolls table (Section 1.2.3), you probably feel pretty confident breezing around the datasheet. However, most tables are considerably larger than the examples you've seen so far. After all, if you need to keep track of only a dozen bobbleheads, then you really don't need a databaseyou'll be just as happy jotting the list down in any old spreadsheet, word processor document, or scrap of unused Kleenex.
On the other hand, if you plan to build a small bobblehead empire (suitable for touring in international exhibitions), you need to fill your table with hundreds or thousands of records. In this situation, it's not as easy to scroll through the mass of data to find what you need. All of a sudden, the datasheet seems more than a little overwhelming.
Fortunately, Access is stocked with datasheet goodies that can simplify your life. In this chapter, you'll become a datasheet expert, with tricks like sorting, searching, and filtering at your fingertips. You'll also learn a quick-and-dirty way to print a snapshot of the data in your table.
Note: It's entirely up to you how much time you spend using datasheets . Some Access experts prefer to create forms for all their tables (as described in Part Three). With forms, you can design a completely customized window for data entry. Designing forms takes more work, but it's a great way to satisfy your inner Picasso.