How to Create a Database in Excel


A database in Microsoft Excel makes it easy to input formulas and organize information. This is beneficial when doing everything from staying on top of business numbers to grading term papers. Whatever the reason might be, if you’re looking at how to create a database in Excel you’ll find all the information and answers you need right here.

Entering the Data Correctly

Whenever it comes to entering in formulas and creating databases it is very important for you to focus on entering the data correctly. it sounds simple enough, but the failure to enter even one number incorrectly (or even putting the decibel in the wrong location) can throw off the entire formula and skew the database.

You don’t want to go back later and search through every single line of coding just to catch a single number that might be off. In many ways, it takes less time to just start from scratch instead of searching and trying to find these incorrect numbers. So, always take your time when entering information into the database.

Creating a Table

Creating a table in Microsoft Excel is rather straightforward. When you first open Excel you can select how many columns are in the database. You can always add more columns and rows later, so you’re not stuck with a set number.

Excel on computer monitor

Just in case you’re not sure, columns are the vertical bits of information. Every alphabetical identifier is a column. Rows, on the other hand, are horizontal. So every number is horizontal. when you create a table you will begin by creating an initial row. Each bit of information in these rows will be the heads of columns.

For example, if you’re creating a table for student information (let’s say you’re a teacher), the first header might be the student name. The second header might be the student number, and the third header might be the student grade. Each of these headers are within the same row (horizontal). However, as “headers”, the information are the tops of individual columns.

When creating a database, it is helpful to note that all rows are referred to as records, while all columns are referred to as fields. So, if someone is talking to you about the formation of a database and uses the terms records and fields, you will understand what they are referring to.

Adding Information

You can now begin to add information to your table. Follow the headers and type in the information under the appropriate headers (given the previous example, you’ll type the student names under the name header, the number under the student number header, and the grade under the grade header).

Cells That Can and Cannot Be Left Empty

When creating a database in Excel, you need to understand what cells can be left blank and what cells must have information. It is possible to leave full rows blank. You might want to include separate information under the main information of the database. You may have separate classes or other information in which you wish to keep portions of the database separate. You can do this by leaving one (or more) rows blank.

However, when it comes to how to create a database in Excel, you are not able to leave columns blank. All column information must come one after another. When you input codes and other information into the spreadsheet Excel will stop when it runs into full blank columns. So, if you leave a full column blank Excel will not look at any information to the right of this column. This is why you can’t skip any columns or leave information blank.

Turning the Spreadsheet into a Table

After you have the spreadsheet information typed upyou may want to convert it into a table within the file. This can be done in just a few short steps. First, you’ll want to highlight all the cells you want to include within the table. Once you have done this click on the “Insert” button at the top of the program window. Now choose “Table.” A pop-up window will ask you if the data for the table is correct (and if it has headers). Click “OK” and Microsoft Excel will create the headers.

Formulating the Database

Now that you have the individual table within your Excel document it can be used as a database. However, you will need to know how to use the database and how to complete the formatting of the database to finish off the creation process. Once you know how to do this, you will complete the how to create a database in Excel exercise.

There are several tools available to you when it comes to how to create a database in Excel. It comes down to what exactly you want to do with your database. Should you want to move into the individual tools and format specific cells within your database you are able to click on the “Format As Table” drop-down menu and input whatever coding you might find necessary. You can also click on the “Format Cells” box, which allows you to customize the information in each individual cell.

The exact formula you use depends on the kind of information you are using and how you want it to interact with other cells within the database. There is no one specific kind of formula to use. There are literally thousands of formulas. You can also create your own mathematical formula, which is used to implement specific equations within the database. When entering in a formula through the “Format As Table” option, make sure the information is correct, otherwise, the entire formula will give you incorrect answers for what you’re looking to accomplish.

Relational Database

Creating the relational database makes it possible to include several tables and spreadsheets into the database. To do this, after you have created the initial table you will want to press “CTRL” and “A” at the same time. This will highlight the entire table without clicking and dragging.

From here, the next step for how to create a database in Excel is you’ll want to click the “Insert” button at the top of the screen and then choose “Table.” Once this happens a new window will appear. Check off the box that reads “My Table Has Headers,” then click the “OK” button. You will want to name the table in the new window that asks for the “Table Name.” If you don’t, Excel will name the table for you, which is nothing but a series of numbers and letters that are especially confusing (and will be difficult to track down later on).

Slave Tables

There will be times where you’ll want to create what is known as a “Slave Table,” which can help with how to create a database in Excel. The slave table will include some coding or other bits of information that will influence the main table (and also carry out the requests of the main table).

In order to create the slave table (which you may find necessary when addressing the how to create a database in Excel question), you’ll want to click the “+” sign found on the Navigation bar, then add two additional spreadsheets to the selection. After you have done this, name the first spreadsheet two spreadsheets. You will want to title the new slave table after one of the fields within your master table. This will make it possible to include more data regarding the original field in the slave field. It also allows you to edit information within the master field and have it copy over into the slave field without typing the changes a second time.

Now, you’ll want to copy information from the master table and paste it into the slave table. For example, perhaps you only need the student name within the master table, but you want to provide more information based on the name in the slave table. Click inside of column A in the slave table and paster the information in. Add in whatever necessary information you might need in the slave table, then copy the entire table (you can click and drag or use the CTRL+A hotkey shortcut). Click “Insert,” followed by “Table.”

Within the slave table, there are bits of data that will influence what goes on with the master table. For example, if you have a grade point field within the master table, and a series of grades for a student within the slave table, whenever the numbers within the slave field are adjusted it will influence and change the information displayed within the master table. This way, you can always go into each individual student (as an example) and create slave tables to give you greater control over each table database.

How to Create a Database in Excel | Conclusion

If you want to utilize formulas within your spreadsheets, you will probably want to create a database in Microsoft Excel. By using this information you will learn how to create a database in Excel, which makes it easier to control the data you input. Once you have everything entered in you can always edit the data and alter the information to better fit your personal (or professional) needs.

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