Database Conventions


A Shepherd’s Staff database is built from MS Access. Data is entered into three different types of fields: option (drop lists), text, and date. Knowing how to use each type of field is valuable in becoming more familiar with Shepherd’s Staff.

» Text Fields—These fields contain only the data that you type into them. Some examples of these fields would be Spouse’s Name, Address, and Personal e-mail.

  1. To add or delete: Simply type in or delete/backspace out.

» Option Fields—These fields deploy a drop-down box which gives you options to choose from. Examples of option fields are Marital Status, Ministry Group, and Received By, to name a few.

  1. To add an item to an option field: Type in the item and hit TAB, or click inside the drop list, and the "Add/Remove Item from the list" button will appear to the left of the field. Type in the new option you want to add and press and click "Add"
  2. To delete an item: Click inside the drop list, and the "Add/Remove Item from the list" button will appear to the left of the field. Click on this, select the option you want to delete and click "Remove"
  3. To remove item from record but not delete from list: Click inside the field and press the backspace or delete key on your keyboard.

» Date Fields—These fields only hold a date. Examples of these fields would be Birthdate, Baptized Date, and Wedding Date.

  1. To add or delete: You can type in a date or delete a date similar to a text field. You can also click the calendar icon to the right, and that can be used to select a date from a calendar.

Note: Option, Text, or Date fields that have blue-colored font are required to be filled out.

» Using the Keyboard—The majority of functions can be accessed without using a mouse. Within Shepherd’s Staff, each word that represents a function has an underlined letter (for example, Records).

  1. Use the ALT button plus (+) the letter or number underlined, for example ALT+2 will access the Ministry tab
  2. To navigate within Shepherd’s Staff after using an ALT command, use TAB to go forward, SHIFT (+) TAB to go back. The directional buttons (left, right, up, down) can be used to navigate as well. ENTER is used for OK.
  3. The Escape button (ESC) will always close an open window.


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