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Lesson 3 Working with the Startup dialog
ObjectiveUse the Startup Dialog Options to customize the Layout of your Database and the Functionality available to users.

Use Startup Dialog Options

The Startup dialog options in Microsoft Access offer a range of possibilities for customizing the user interface and functionality of your database. Here are the steps on how you can leverage these options:
  1. Access the Startup Options: To find the Startup options, open your database and go to the 'File' tab. Choose 'Options' to open the Access Options dialog box. From here, select 'Current Database' to view the database settings.
  2. Customize Application Options:
    1. Display Form: In the 'Display Form' dropdown list, you can select a form to open automatically when the database starts. This could be a welcome screen, a login form, or a main navigation form.
    2. Application Title: Enter a title for your database in the 'Application Title' text box. This title will be displayed in the application window title bar.
    3. Application Icon: Use the 'Application Icon' option to choose a custom icon for your database. This icon will appear in the title bar and the Windows taskbar when your database is open.
    4. Document Window Options: Choose how you want database objects to be displayed when opened. 'Overlapping Windows' gives each object its own resizable window, while 'Tabbed Documents' organizes objects into tabs within a single window.
  3. Limit User Interface Options:
    1. Display Navigation Pane: Uncheck this option to hide the Navigation Pane, which shows all database objects. You can provide custom navigation through forms instead.
    2. Allow Full Menus/Allow Default Shortcut Menus: Uncheck these options to limit the available menus and shortcut menus. This can help to simplify the interface for users and restrict certain functionalities.
    3. Use Access Special Keys: Uncheck this to disable Access special keys, such as F11 for showing/hiding the Navigation Pane or ALT+F11 for opening the VBA editor.
  4. Manage Add-ins: If your database uses add-ins, you can manage their settings in the 'Access Options' dialog. Use the 'Add-in Manager' to install or remove Access add-ins, or the 'COM Add-ins' manager to control COM add-ins.
  5. Save Changes: Click 'OK' to save changes. The new settings will take effect the next time the database is opened.

These options allow you to customize your Access database, controlling the layout and what functionalities are exposed to users. Remember that these settings apply to the database and will affect all users who open it.

Use the Startup Dialog Options to customize the Layout of your Access Database and the Functionality

You can use the Startup dialog to make your database easier for others to use. This powerful feature allows you to customize the look of your database when users open it. By customizing how the database appears when it opens, you can prominently locate the tools and functionality users will need. Novice users will thank you when they do not have to hunt for the tools they need. The Startup dialog can be opened by choosing Startup from the Tools menu. The following diagram will illustrate what you can do through the Startup Dialog.

  1. This will be displayed in the Access title bar whenever the database is opened
  2. This is the file name and path of an icon file that will be used to represent your database application when it is minimized.
  3. The menu bar specified here is the one displayed when a user first opens your database. You can customize the tools on this menu bar.
  4. This option specifies whether to display and let users use Access menus.
  5. Specifies whether to display right-click menus.
  6. Allows you to set the form, or data access page, to display when the database opens.
  7. If unchecked, this will hide the Database window. Be sure to specify a form in the Display Form/Page option if you uncheck this form.
  8. Allows you to choose whether to display the Access status bar at the bottom of the Access window.
  9. The name of right-click menu bar to use.
  10. Allows you to choose whether to display built-in system toolbars.
  11. Allows you to choose whether to allow users to modify toolbars and menus./li>

As you can see, there are a lot of options that Access gives you regarding your database application. How you use them can make a big difference in how professional your database is going to be to use.
To test your understanding of the Startup dialog and its purpose, check out the following simulation.

Changing the Application Title by using the Startup dialog

  1. While in the consulting407.mdb, click the Tools menu.
  2. Click Startup… located on the Tools menu.
  3. The Startup dialog has now been opened. Type the words My Consulting Database into the Application Title field, Then click Submit.
  4. The database now has a new title, as seen at the top of the Access window.

Access Tables

Because you are already in Layout view for the form, you can easily make one last change. Because this database contains customer names for a stationery store, you're going to change the form title to Customer List.
You can click the Format tab and then click Title in the Controls group. This will highlight the current title, as shown in the picture. All you need to do then is type the new title of the form. In this case, you type "Customer List." Remember to save after making this change.
There's more that you can do to customize a form. The Quick Reference Guide includes more information about customizing forms.

In the next lesson we will identify seven add-in utilities that increase the functionality of Access.