How to Create Columns in Access

Need to create columns in Access for your table? In this post, I’ll show you how to create columns in Access 2016.

But before we start, you’ll need to open a table that you’ve already created in Access. For more information about how to create a table, visit our post about How to Create a Table in MS Access.

Steps to create columns in Access

In the following example, we will use the table called ‘Clients’ that is saved under the All Access Objects menu.

Currently, this table contains no information.

Here are the steps you’ll need to follow in order to create your desired columns in Access:


(1) First, double-click on the table that you want to add columns:


Open your table in MS Access

(2) Then, p
ress ‘Click to Add’:

click to add ms access

 You will now see a drop-down menu, where you will be able to select the desired format for your column:


Format of your column in MS Access


(4) Choose the desired format for your column. For example, if you wish to store your client names, then you should select the format of ‘Short Text.’

The Format ‘Short Text’ seems to be suitable, considering that names are usually short in nature.


Short Text format in MS Access


(5) Type the title name for your newly created column. In this example, type: ‘Client First Name’:


Rename column in MS Access


(6) Repeat step#5, only this time create the column: ‘Client Last Name’:


Table in MS Access 2016


(7) Now, create a new column that will represent your client ID. Under this case, select the column format ‘Number’:


Choose the number format for your column in MS Access


(8) Finally, name that column as ‘Client ID’:


Column in MS Access


Congratulation, you have now created 3 columns!

Now it is time to add some information under those columns.

To add information under a specific column, simply type your desired information under that column.

For illustration purposes, I typed the following information:


Table in MS Access


But what if you would like to change the format of an existing column? In the next section, I’ll show you how to accomplish that task.

Changing the Format of an Existing Column in Access 2016

Let’s say that you wish to change the format for the column ‘Client ID.’

The current format that you defined for this column is Number.

To change the format to Large Number, for example, follow the steps below:

(1) Select the existing column (i.e., ‘Client ID’) in which you wish to change the format:


Columns MS Access

(2) Change the Data Type from ‘Number’ to ‘Large Number.’

You can find the Data Type drop-menu under the Fields Tab:


Format column in MS Access


Now let’s see how you can change the order of your columns.

Changing the Order of the Columns

Another feature offered by Access is the ability to change the order in which columns are displayed.

Let’s say that you want to place the ‘Client ID’ column before the ‘Client First Name’ column . You can simply drag the ‘Client ID’ column, and then drop it before the ‘Client First Name’ column.

The result will look as follows:


Change order of columns in MS Access

Few Last Notes about how to Create Columns in Access

It is a common practice to refer to ‘Columns’ as ‘Fields’. You can use these terms interchangeably when referring to columns in Access.

While we only covered 3 types of formats for columns, you can find assortments of formats to choose form.

For example, you can pick the ‘Currency’ format if you deal with funds-related data. Alternatively, you can choose the ‘Date/Time’ format to stores information about dates.

Finally, you can easily delete a column by selecting the column you wish to delete.  Then, right-click and choose the ‘Delete Field’ option from the drop-down list:


Delete a column in MS Access