The Microsoft Access datasheet provides a simple way of interacting with the data in your tables. Unlike forms, which you need to create for yourself, the datasheet is built into Access and you can enter datasheet view just by double clicking any of your tables. However, by default, the datasheet is a fairly unsophisticated interface for interacting with your data. To make the datasheet more useful, Access allows you to customize it in several ways. In this article, we will examine some of the ways in which you can customize the default datasheet. Customization performed on the datasheet is not immediately saved; it is only when you close the datasheet or switch to another view that you will be prompted to save your changes. Naturally, however, you can manually save your changes at any time by clicking the Save button on the Quick Access Toolbar. Changing the widths of your columns is one simple form of customization; this is done by dragging the dividing lines between the column headings on the first row of the datasheet. As in Microsoft Excel, double-clicking this dividing line will automatically resize the column so it is just wide enough to display the longest piece of data in that column. It is also possible to rearrange the order of columns and hide any columns that are not used for data entry or that you do not need to view. To move a column, click on the column header to highlight the entire column then drag the highlighted column to the left or right. A bold vertical line is displayed, as you drag, to indicate the new position of the column. To hide a column, highlight the column then right-click the highlighted column and choose Hide Columns from the Context menu which pops up. When working with data, no computer screen is ever big enough and there will always be time when you need to scroll to the left or right. As you do so, some of the columns will disappear. One useful way of getting round this problem is to rearrange the order of columns so that the most important one appear on the left and then to freeze these columns, so that key information is always visible. To freeze a column, simply highlight it then right-click and choose Freeze Columns. You are also able to customize the format of the datasheet using the options in the Font section of the Home Tab of the Microsoft Access Ribbon. You can show and hide gridlines, set background colours and alternating background colours, change the font and font size. Any changes you make will always affect the entire datasheet. If your eyesight is not too good, one simple change you may find is to simply click on the Bold button. Any formatting changes that you make to a datasheet will normally apply only to the active table. If you find useful ways of customizing the datasheet, you will naturally want to apply then to several sheets. This can be achieved by making the formatting changes using your Microsoft Access Options rather than the Ribbon. To do this, choose Access Options from the Office Button; click on the Datasheet category on the left of the dialog then set the font and cell background options you would like for all of your datasheets.