How to normalize a table using Access - Part 2

This is part 2 in a 4 part series


access logo This is the second article in the series, in the first article I showed the data that we would be working with and gave an overview of the normalization process. In this article I will go through the process of actually pulling this duplicate data into its own table. In the next article I will look at how to add the new foreign key values to the original table, and then delete the original column that held the offending duplicate data. In the final article I will create a permanent parent-child relationship between the two tables and explain referential integrity.


How to normalize a table using Access - Part 1 of 4

This is part one in a 4 part series


access logoNormalizing data. The mere mention causes database developers to sit up in their seats with ears perked and fingers poised over the keyboard, and sends the layman looking for a rock to crawl under. It really isn't rocket science. In its simplest form, the act of normalizing data simply means that you're going to take any items that are duplicated in a database table and move those items to their own table, and then create a relationship between the original table and that new table.


Excel How-to: Working With Sheets

excel logoYou open Excel to see the standard three worksheets looking back at you. I've discovered over the years that there are quite a few people that work with Excel on a regular basis that don't know that you have quite a bit of flexibility with the worksheets. You can change the default number of sheets that a new workbook will start with, you can have almost as many as you want, you can rename, drag and drop, copy and duplicate, and even change the colors (kind of).


Save jpg Files - Never Save Over Original

In typical 'you never get something for nothing' fashion, the greatest asset of a jpg image is also its greatest downfall. Most people know that a jpg image is a compressed image, which means that it has been compressed using an algorithm that makes the file size smaller. This can be a huge advantage when trying to transfer the image electronically, which is what you're doing every time someone looks at your webpage. Some people know that the method used to create jpg images is what is called a 'lossy' compression algorithm, which means the image you end up isn't quite the same as the image you started out with. What a lot of people don't know is that every time you save a jpg image you decrease the quality of that image, which can be a real problem if you don't pay attention to what you're doing.


Vector or Raster Images - Website Design Overview

website design graphics UFO 1So, you're hanging out on your back porch, minding your own business, eating your surstromming and drinking a sarsaparilla when all of a sudden out of the blue this UFO goes wizzen' over your head. So, being the quick-thinking entrepreneur that you are you whip out your cell phone camera, snap a few pictures and say to yourself 'I'm gonna be rich! All I need to do is pull these pictures into my computer, blow them up like they do on CSI, put them on my website and the world will beat a path to my door!'. (To all of you outside of the US this might seem a little strange, but believe me this is a fairly common occurrence here in the states).


Excel How-to: Split and Freeze Cells

excel logoThe problem:
  • You have a very large spreadsheet with descriptive headers in the first row and in the first column. As you scroll down or across the spreadsheet you lose sight of those headers, so you can no longer tell what you're looking at.
The solution:
  • Use the split panes and freeze panes feature in Excel to lock the header rows and columns so they stay in view.

Using the Format Painter in Excel

excel logoThe format painter is one of the best-kept Microsoft Office secrets. Alright, maybe not a secret, but it is certainly under utilized. This is such a great time-saving device that someone should be yelling from the rooftops 'Hear ye, hear ye, it has been decreed that all ye users of PC's shall from this day forward, under penalty of death, dismemberment, and most painful and unpleasant torture, use the benevolent and majestic device known in the common language as 'Ye Great Format Painter'. OK, a little over the top again. Still, it's a tool that should definitely be in your arsenal of time-saving tricks.


Excel How-to: Resize Cells To Fit Content

excel logoThere are times when you would like to resize all of the cells in Excel, so that they take up the minimum amount of space necessary yet show all of the data. You could painstakingly manually resize each individual column and row (assuming that you have no life and want to keep it that way), or you could do it the easy way. Here's how...


Microsoft Word How-to: Working With Images

word logoFirst and foremost, you have to remember that Word is a word processor, which means that it was designed to create documents primarily made up of text. It was not designed as a page layout program, where you are trying to create image-intensive documents like brochures or flyers. Microsoft would like you to use Publisher for that, unfortunately that never really caught on and most people don't even know they have it.

Anybody having anything to do with the publishing business wouldn't be caught dead using Publisher (myself included), preferring to stick with Quark, PageMaker or InDesign. There are two problems with page layout programs - the good ones are expensive, and they all have a pretty steep learning curve (even the cheap or free ones are hard to use). So most times we attempt to do this with Word, because that is what we know and it is what we have.

Also, many times all we really want to do is to place an image on the document and get it to stick where we want it, and get the text to wrap around it in a certain way. The good news is that this is now a fairly simple exercise, using the Advanced Layout options available for images in Word.


Use paste special to copy values in Excel

excel logoSo here's the typical scenario. You've got some values in Excel that are the results of using a formula or formulas. You want to copy the resulting values to another area on the sheet, to another worksheet or to another workbook. The problem is, when you copy and then paste the information in the new location you are copying the formulas, not the values, so you don't get the information in the place that you wanted it. You then resort to, of all things, retyping. But wait, you don't really have to do that.

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