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Lesson 3Microsoft Access Window
ObjectiveIdentify the uses for frequently used elements of the Access window.

Microsoft Access Window

As a Microsoft Access Developer, it's essential to understand the various components of the Access window and their respective use cases. Here's a breakdown of some frequently used elements and their typical applications:
  1. Navigation Pane: This is the primary means of navigating through the various objects in an Access database, such as tables, queries, forms, and reports. Use cases include quickly accessing different data structures, organizing objects into groups for better management, and providing a central point for database interaction.
  2. Ribbon: The Ribbon is a set of toolbars at the top of the window that provide quick access to most of the common tasks you'll perform in Access. Use cases include executing database commands, applying formatting to forms and reports, and accessing database tools for tasks like import/export, database maintenance, and SQL querying.
  3. Status Bar: Located at the bottom of the Access window, the Status Bar displays information about the current state of what you are viewing or editing in Access. Its use cases are to provide feedback on the current action, display any error messages, and show properties of the selected object, like record count in a table or query.
  4. Object Tabs: These tabs appear when you open multiple objects, like tables, queries, forms, or reports. They allow you to switch easily between different objects you are working on. Use cases include multi-tasking between different database elements, comparing data across different objects, and managing multiple open objects for efficiency.
  5. Query Design View: This is a powerful tool for creating and modifying queries. The use cases include visually designing complex queries, joining tables, setting criteria for data filtering, and viewing and editing SQL code.
  6. Form Design View: This is where you design the layout and functionality of forms used for data entry or data display. Use cases include creating user interfaces for database interaction, setting up data validation, and implementing business logic through VBA (Visual Basic for Applications) code.
  7. Report Design View: Similar to Form Design View, but used for creating reports. Use cases include designing printable or viewable reports, summarizing data, and creating data visualizations like charts and graphs.
  8. Property Sheet: This is used to view and set properties for various database objects, controls on forms, and report elements. Use cases include fine-tuning the behavior, appearance, and data interactions of database elements.
  9. Table View (Datasheet and Design): The Datasheet View is used for entering, editing, and viewing data in table format, while the Design View is for defining or modifying the structure of the table. Use cases include data manipulation, table design and maintenance, and setting up relationships between tables.
  10. Module and VBA Editor: This is used for writing and editing VBA code, which enhances the functionality of your database through automation, custom functions, and complex data manipulations. Use cases include creating custom scripts to automate repetitive tasks, handling complex data processing, and extending the capabilities of standard Access features.

Understanding these elements and their use cases is crucial for effective database development and management in Microsoft Access.

MS Access window

For instance the Open dialog boxes for all the Office 2000 applications are nearly identical. Many of the applications also have similar menu options—, which makes them easier to use when you are familiar with other Office applications. Office 2000 has some interface changes from Office ‘97, but Microsoft has kept the consistency across the 2000 applications. For instance, the Open dialog box has a new look, but it is the same Open dialog box that you will see in Excel 2000 and Word 2000. With Office 2000, Microsoft has changed the look of some applications. Access 2000, for instance, has a different look than Access 97, Microsoft is trying to make Access look more like Outlook by using a vertical bar to access different types of information within the application. For instance, in Outlook you use the vertical Outlook bar to display your Inbox or Calendar. In Access you use the vertical Objects bar to display tables, queries, reports, and forms.

Creating Reports

Reports are probably the most common way that users will view their data, and that is why it is one of the more robust features in Access. The Reports group of the Create Ribbon provides all of the options for creating reports through the Access UI. Much like forms, Access provides a number of different options for building predefi ned report types, many of which require an object to be selected in the Navigation Pane before the option is available. Clicking on any of these options will create a new report and open it in the main Access window. Similar to forms, there are also two designers available for building reports in Access 2010:
  1. the classic Design View designer, and
  2. the newer Layout View designer.
These designers operate in the same manner as they do with forms, but it is worth noting that the Layout View designer is extremely useful for reports because you can see the actual data that you are building the report for. The both Report designers provide two panes: the Grouping and Sorting pane, which greatly improves grouping, sorting, and fi ltering tasks in a report; and the Design Task pane, which provides the Property Sheet and the Field List. Finally, Access 2010 also provides two standard View modes for Reports:
  1. Report View is the default View mode for Reports and allows the user to interact directly with the data in the Report.
  2. Print Preview mode is a standard Windows Print Preview window that shows what the printed report will look like and provides options for actually printing the report.

Reports in Access 2010 are extremely flexible and useful for any database application.

Menus, Toolbars, and Features

The Access window contains a variety of menus, toolbars, and other features that allow you to create and work with your database. The major features of the window include the title bar, menu, toolbar, Database window, and status bar.
Place your mouse over the highlighted portions of the Access window image below to identify and learn more about each of these elements.

Apply, Filter, Sort
  1. The title bar displays the name of the program (in this case, Microsoft Access). In some cases, the title bar may also display the name of the open database. You can click and drag the title bar to move the Access window.
  2. The Database window is the table of contents for the database. Here you see the names of the tables in the database.
  3. Use the menu to execute Access commands. You may find you seldom use the menu since there is almost always another way (such as a button or a shortcut key) to give the command.
  4. The toolbar gives you quick and easy access to commonly used features. The toolbar displays different buttons depending on the type of object that is active.
  5. The Database window toolbar provides buttons to create new objects and change the way objects listed in the Database window are displayed.
  6. The status bar gives you some very general information about the status of the application and any keyboard options that are turned on (such as Num Lock).
  7. Use this button to minimize the Access window.
  8. Use this button to maximize the Access window (so that it takes up the whole screen).
  9. The Access close button closes Access and any open database. You will be prompted to save any changes as necessary.
  10. Use this button to minimize the Database window.
  11. Use this button to maximize the Database window so that it takes up the whole Access window.
  12. Use the Database window close button to close the database.
  13. You can choose the type of object you want to see listed in the Database window from the Objects bar.

Microsoft Access Window
This MouseOver shows the Access window with the Database window active. The Database window lists the objects in the database and it makes sense to think it as the table of contents for the database. You will learn more details about using each element in the image above as you move through this course, and work on building your own database in the course project exercises.
In the next lesson learn how to use the Access Help system.

Microsoft Access Window Elements

Click the link below to read about the Access window.
Microsoft Access Window Elements