MS Office User

Cynthia’s Adventures on the Access Learning Curve

Reflections of My Adventures on the Access Learning Curve

Cynthia How the Adventures Began

In the mid 1990s I had created a spreadsheet of addresses for an organization to which I belonged. I asked my son how to do a mail merge and with a few keystrokes he “threw” my spreadsheet into Microsoft Access. I’ve never looked back!

While I have no “formal” training or database courses under my belt, I have studied and learned from the best and brightest relational database instructors in the world at UAU (UtterAccess University-aka UtterAccess Forums).

I discovered UtterAccess in February 2008 while attempting to design an application that was far above my level of understanding.

There, as cpetermann, I found an online community that judges an individual not on how much they already know — but instead on their willingness to learn. Unpaid, these people share their wisdom, knowledge, experience , and time voluntarily and eagerly with anyone ready to dig in and do their homework .

I quickly became “addicted” to UtterAccess and to Microsoft Access– learning and soaking up everything the members were willing to teach about what Access can do and how to make it happen! Access is an incredible application with a lot of power. It takes time to learn how to design databases well. Members of UtterAccess from around the world were extremely patient with my questions. They are now close friends and have become like family even though we’ve never met. We rejoice, celebrate, tease, laugh, worry, pray, cry, and mourn with each other. In fact, Crystal was and still is one of favorite “professors’!

Being able to pay forward what others have taught and shared with me is extremely satisfying. �
Most people who come to an online forum with questions about Microsoft Access have a lot to learn before they can use it successfully. Seeing the “light bulb” go on as an individual begins to understand not only how to accomplish a goal using Microsoft Access, but also why the method works is an amazing “paycheck”!

I also enjoy working with Microsoft Powerpoint and Microsoft Publisher. For over a decade I created weekly Powerpoint presentations for our church. During that time I also learned how to use Powerpoint more effectively to create special presentations for events and individual achievements.
Microsoft Publisher has been my tool of choice for printed documents for many years. I use it to design programs, invitations, and newsletters. Believe it or not, our Christmas letter is one that people actually look forward to receiving.

I do wish I had discovered the excitement of relational databases sooner! Whether working on a personal Microsoft Access application or helping someone with their project, I am always excited and eager to “get to work” and often have dreams of SQL “dancing in my head”. The challenge of solving the mystery of How to make it happen and learning Why it works is so much fun!

So climb on the Learning Curve–if it gets a bit steep, just holler–there will always be a hand to grab for an assist!

The future’s so bright, you just gotta wear shades!!


Cynthia's Recent Press Releases Cynthia's Recent Posts

Calculated Data Types in Microsoft Access 2010

Storing calculated values in tables is not usually good practice, however once in a great while there may be a valid reason to do so.  Microsoft Access 2010 has the ability to calculate and store a value in the table by using the Data Type Calculated. For example: (See Video above for Step by Step) There is [...]