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Create a database using LibreOffice-Base free software.

Posted by gerbreown on Aug 5, 2014 in Database

Have you never created a database? Are you afraid it might be too hard?

Once you have LibreOffice installed it will eliminate this fear as it is very easy to create a new database. LibreOffice has a wizard that will walk you through all of the required steps.

I would suggest that you have LibreOffice open while reading this so that you can follow along with the steps and perform them as you read them.

The following are the Wizard basic steps to create the database.

  1. From your Start Menu select “LibreOffice x.x Base where x.x will be the version you have installed.

  2. Select database from the menu option on the left side of the Database Wizard that will open.

    1. Create a new database (default) OR
    2. Open an existing database file
    3. Then click the next button
  3. Save and proceed will show if you are creating a new database. If you are opening an existing database this will disappear.

    1. Select “Yes,register the database for me (default)
    2. Check “Open the database for editing (default)
    3. Check “Create tables using the table wizard”
    4. Click ‘Finish’ to save the database.

      1. If you are opening an existing database file it will show you a list of recently used files. Click the ‘Open’ button if you want to select a database that is not shown in the list and it will open a file selection window.

      2. If you are satisfied with the selection database then just click the ‘Finish’ button and it will open the database ready for you to work on.

  4. It will now ask for a name and location to save the file. After entering this information just click the ‘Save’ button.

  5. You will now be presented 3 options. I would select ‘Use Wizard to Create Table’. Just click this.

  6. The Table Wizard will now open for your use in the ‘Select fields’ page.

    It give you the option to select a Category of either Business or Personal and then some sample tables. From these sample tables you can select multiple fields to use in your table.

    For this sample I will select the Personal Category and the Addresses Sample table. I will then select the following fields: Address, City, CountryOrRegion, EmailAddress, FirstName, LastName, PhoneNumber, PostalCode, Salutation, and StateOrProvince.

    These can be selected in any order by clicking the ‘>’ button or select all of them by clicking the ‘>>’ button. You can then move them to the order that you want by clicking the item and then clicking the up or down arrow or by selecting the fields in the order that you want them to be in the database. When they are in the order that you want then click the ‘Next’ button.

    It will now provide information for you to ‘Set types and formats’ which will include boxes for you to change or not depending on your preferences. They are: Field name, Field type, Entry required and Length. You can either make changes or select the defaults. When finished with all of the fields just click the ‘Next’ button.

    It will ask about Setting a primary key. I would select the defaults plus checking the ‘Auto value’ button and then click the ‘Next’ button again.

    It will now create the table for you after you select or change the table name. Now you can ‘Insert data immediately’ (default). I would check ‘Create a form based on this table’. This time, instead of clicking the ‘Next’ button you will click the ‘Finish’ button and your table will be created for you and a form wizard will open.

    As all of the fields are in the order that I want, I will just click on the ‘>>’ button to use all of the fields in the form. Now you can click ‘Next’ a number of times or just click the ‘Finish’ button as no Subform will be used. This will create a form that is like a spreadsheet.

    If this is not what you want, you can open the wizard again and make changes. One change I would recommend is to select one of the other ‘Arrangements of the main form’. This can be with the label at the side of the data entry field, label above the data entry field, both left aligned and the same number of fields on each row or finally they can be arranged with variable number of fields per row.

    By clicking the ‘steps’ on the left side you can make changes or skip some of the steps. You might want to select step #7 as this will allow you to change the color and field border from 3 options.

You are now ready to start entering data into your new database.

To move from field to field either click with the mouse or press the tab key. A little icon at the bottom of the form will allow you to save the record. A little right pointing arrow will allow you to enter another record and the other arrow buttons will allow you to scroll through the records.

Now that you have data in your database there are two more items that you might want to create to convert that data into INFORMATION.

  1. The first is Queries.

    This is where you select the search criteria for your report. On the left side of the form there are 4 icons. Just select the ‘Queries’ icon. This will change the ‘Tasks’ window with 3 options for your use. As you are still new at this I would suggest that ‘Use Wizard to Create Query’ be chosen. As you become more proficient in this database creation business you might want to choose ‘Create Query in Design View’. As you hover your mouse over each of the item, in the right box it will show you a Description of each of the options.

    As I have chosen to use the Wizard a new form will open. Here you will select the Tables to include in your query. Then you will select the fields to include in your query by selecting the field and then click the ‘>’ button to add the field to the query. You can also reorder the fields by clicking on the Up/Down buttons in the right hand window.

    If you are satisfied with the order of your fields you can then click the ‘Finish’ button. If you click ‘Next’ it will take you to the ‘Sort order’ Wizard. Here you can select the fields to sort on and whether it is Ascending or Descending. As you select a field the next one will become available to add another field to sort on. There are a maximum of 4 fields available.

    The next is the ‘Select search conditions’. You can select ‘Match all of the following’ OR ‘Match any of the following’. Then enter the ‘Fields’, ‘Condition’ and ‘Value’ for the data you want to locate. Under the ‘Condition’ list there are a number of conditions for you to choose from.

    The ‘Assign aliases’ can just be clicked through unless you want to change how the field will be displayed.

    At the ‘Overview’ screen just click ‘Finish’ and your query will be displayed for you in a Table Data View, which will look like a spreadsheet form. When this is closed you will be taken back to your Query form.

  2. The next topic to discuss is Reports.

    After closing the Query data form you will be taken back to the screen with the 4 icons on the left side. This time click on the ‘Reports’ icon.

    Here will be 2 options, ‘Create Report in Design View’ OR ‘Use Wizard to Create Report’. To make this easier we will select the latter.

    This will open a Wizard with 6 steps.

    1. Field selection. This is like the other field selection windows.

    2. Labeling fields. This will show you the Labels for each field that you can accept or change.

    3. Grouping. This will allow you to group the records by the fields you choose.

    4. Sort options will allow you to sort by various fields.

    5. Choose layout will allow you to select from 6 options on how you want your data to be displayed in the report. You can also select ‘Landscape’ or ‘Portrait’ depending on your requirements.

    6. Create report. Here you can change the title of the report and select a static or dynamic report. You can also modify the report layout out or create report now by clicking the ‘Finish’ button.

    If you still need to make more changes you can click on any one of the six steps or click the ‘Back’ button to go back one step.

Once your report is created there are number of icons at the top of the screen where you can:

  1. Create a new report.
  2. Open an existing report.
  3. Edit the file.
  4. Create a PDF file.
  5. Print the file directly to your printer.
  6. Open the file in print view.

Now that you know how to create a database, you can go forward without fear as creating a database is NOT as HARD and SCARY as you might have thought.

Good luck on all of your future database creations.

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