MS-Access / Getting Started

Creating a Default Template for New Databases

Access 2007 introduced a new feature that allows you to create your own default database template for use with all new blank databases. Rather than set options for each new database after you create it, you can set your preferred options only one time and have those settings apply to each new database. To accomplish this, you first need to open a new blank database from the Backstage view. Click the File tab on the Backstage view and then click the Blank Database command on the New tab to display the Blank Database task pane on the right.

You must name this new database Blank for this procedure to work. Type Blank in the File Name text box, and then click Browse to open the File New Database dialog box. So that Access 2010 will use this template file for all new databases, you must place this file in a specific subfolder in the Microsoft Office folder. Navigate to the following folder on your system drive by clicking the folder icons in the left pane of the File New Database dialog box: \Program Files\Microsoft Office\Templates\1033\Access. This file path assumes a default installation of the Microsoft Office 2010 system on a 32-bit Windows installation, so your exact file path might be different if you chose a custom installation and selected a different installation path.

Click OK in the File New Database dialog box to return to the New tab on the Backstage view. If you followed the preceding instructions, the Blank Database task pane on the right. The File Name text box says Blank.accdb, and the path to the correct template location is displayed above the Create button.

Caution: If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7, you might not be able to save the Blank. accdb database into the needed template folder. Windows Vista and Windows 7 use User Account Control, which protects critical program folders. If your computer is connected to a domain, you get a prompting dialog box and then you can save to the correct folder. You might need to turn off User Account Control temporarily to save the database into the template folder. If you are in a corporate network environment, you should ask your system administrator for assistance with this procedure.

Click Create, and Access 2010 creates the new file and saves it in the appropriate template folder. By default, Access opens a new blank table called Table1. You do not need this table, so close it and do not save it.

Now that you have an empty database with no objects, open the Access Options dialog box by clicking the File tab on the Backstage view and then Options. Select all the options you want to set for any new databases in the various categories of the Access Options dialog box.

Note: You can also open the Visual Basic Editor (VBE) and select Options from the Tools menu to select options that apply to Visual Basic in all new databases. In the sample Blank. accdb database, we selected the Require Variable Declaration check box.

After you have defined all the settings you want, close the database and exit Access 2010. Each new blank database you create from the New tab on the Backstage view will now include all the settings you selected for the Blank.accdb file. To make revisions to those settings, open the Blank.accdb file in the template folder and make whatever modifications are necessary.

Creating a custom blank database template saves you time by not having to continually set your personal Access options and VBE options each time you create a new database. In addition to this timesaver, you can also include specific code modules, forms, and any other database objects with new databases. If, for example, you have some common functions and procedures stored in standard code modules that you use in all your database files, you can include them in this Blank.accdb file. Instead of having to manually import these modules into all new databases, Access does all the work for you by including them in new databases.

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