Read an Excerpt
[Figures are not included in this sample chapter]
Sams Teach Yourself Microsoft Access 2000 in 10 Minutes
- 3 -
STARTING AND EXITING ACCESS
In this lesson, you will learn how to start and exit Microsoft Access.
Youcan start Access in several ways, depending on how you've installed it. One wayis to use the Start menu button. Follow these steps:
1. Click the Start button. A menu appears.
2. Highlight or point to Programs. A list of your program groupsappears, with a list of separate Microsoft applications under the groups.
3. Click Microsoft Access in the list of applications. Accessstarts.
TIP: Moving Programs Around on the Start Menu If you would prefer to have Access in a different program group, open the Start menu and drag the Access item to another location of your choice.
Someother ways to start Access require more knowledge of Windows and MicrosoftOffice. If you're confused by them, stick with the primary method explained inthe preceding section.
You can create a shortcut icon for Access to sit on your desktop; youcan then start Access by double-clicking the icon. To create the shortcut icon,drag the Access item from the Start menu to the desktop.
When you're browsing files in Windows Explorer, you can double-clickany Access data file to start Access and open that data file. Access data fileshave an .mdb extension and a little icon next to them that resembles the iconnext to Microsoft Access on the Programs menu.
If you can't find Access, you can search for it. Click the Startbutton and select Find, select Files or Folders, and then typemsaccess.exe in the Named text box. Open the Look In listand select My Computer. Then click Find Now. When the fileappears on the list at the bottom of the Find window, double-click it to startAccess, or right-click and drag it to the desktop to create an Accessshortcut.
When you start Access, the first thing you'llsee is a dialog box prompting you to create a new database or open an existingone (see Figure 3.1). For now, click Cancel. (We won't be working withany particular database in this lesson.)
FIGURE 3.1 This Microsoft Access dialog box appearseach time you start Access.
Accessis much like any other Windows program: It contains menus, toolbars, a statusbar, and so on. Figure 3.2 points out these landmarks. Notice that in Figure3.2, many of the toolbar buttons are grayed out (which means you can't use themright now). There's also nothing in the work area, because no database file isopen. The Access screen will become a much busier place in later lessons whenyou begin working with a database; the buttons will become available, and yourd atabase will appear in the work area.
FIGURE 3.2 Access has the same interface landmarks asany Windows program.
Ifyou've used Windows programs before, you're probably familiar withtoolbars--rows of buttons that represent common commands you can issue.Toolbar buttons are often shortcuts for menu commands.
The Access toolbar changes depending on which type of database object you'reworking with at the time (table, form, and so on), and what you're doing to it.More toolbars sometimes appear when you're doing special activities, such asdrawing. To find out what a toolbar button does, put your mouse pointer overit; its name appears next to the pointer (see Figure 3.3). This feature is aToolTip (or a ScreenTip); you can use ToolTips even when a buttonis unavailable (grayed out).
FIGURE 3.3 To find out what a toolbar button does, point at it.
TIP: Customizing Toolbars You can choose which toolbars you view at any time, and even add and remove buttons from a toolbar. If you right-click any toolbar, a shortcut menu appears. You can select a toolbar for viewing from that list, or click Customize to open a dialog box where you can customize any toolbar.
Whenyou finish working with Access, you should exit it to free up your computer'smemory for other tasks. You can exit Access in several ways:
Select File, Exit.
Click the Access window's Close (×) button (refer to Figure3.3).
NOTE: Alt+F4? File, Exit? In this book, I use a kind of shorthand to tell you what keys to press and which menu commands to select. When you see press Alt+F4, it means hold down the Alt key on the keyboard while you press the F4 key. When you see select File, Exit, it means click the word File on the menu bar, and then click the Exit command on the menu that appears.
In this lesson, you learned how to start and exit Access, and about the mainparts of the screen, including the toolbar buttons. In the next lesson, youwill learn how to use Access's Help system.