Unit 1. Basic elements of Access2003.

Lets look at what the basic elements of Access2003 are, the screen, the bars, etc, so as to be able to distinguish them. We will learn what their names are, where they are situated, and what they are used for. We will also learn how to get help in case of not knowing how to go on working. Once we know all of this, we will be in a position to begin creating databases on the following unit.

Opening and closing Access2003.


Lets look at the two basic ways of initiating Access2003.

From the Start button , normally situated at the bottom left corner of the screen. Situate the mouse over the Start button, click, and a menu will unfold. On situating the pointer over Programs, a list of all the programs installed on your computer will appear; look at Microsoft Office, then Microsoft Access, click, and the program will initiate.

From the Access2003 button on your desktop .

You can now initiate Access2003 to try everything we explain to you.

To close Access2003, you can use any of the following methods:


Click on the Close button  

depress the keys ALT+F4 .

Click on the File menu and then choose Exit option.

The Inicial screen


On initiating Access2003, an opening window will appear (seen below), we will now look at the basic components. This way we will get to know the names of the different elements and it will be easier for us to understand the rest of the course. The next screen we will show you (and generally all of those seen on this course) might not coincide exactly with what you will see on your own computer screen as every user can decide which elements to see at any particular time, as we will see further on.



The bars.

The title bar.

The title bar contains the name of the program. On the extreme right are the buttons to minimize, maximize/restore and close.


The menu bar.

The menu bar contains all Access2003 commands, grouped in drop down menus. By clicking on Insert for example, we will see the related operations with the different elements that can be inserted.

All operations can be executed from these menus. But the more regular things are executed more quickly from the tool bar that we will see in the next point.

Every option has an underlined letter, this means that we can access the option directly by pressing simultaneously the Alt key and the underlined letter, for example, Alt+F opens File option.

In Access2003 the menu bar has an "intelligent" behaviour, which basically consists of showing the most important and most options used by the user. If you want more information on "intelligent" behaviour" of the drop down menus clic here

The drop down menus from the menu bar contain three basic elements:

Immediate commands.

They are executed immediately on clic.

They are recognised because to the right side of, either nothing appears or a combination of keys to use to execute it will appear.

For example, in the Help menu, press F1 to enter into Microsoft Office Access Help.



Option with another drop down menu.

Once situated over this, it opens a new menu along side with more options to choose from.

Easily recognised because it has a triangle to its right as in the Help menu, Sample Databases...





Option with a dialogue box.

By clicking on this option a dialogue box appears where we are asked for more information, and has buttons to accept or cancel the option.

Easily recognised because the name ends with three dots.

For example in the Help menu, Detect and Repair...

The toolbars.

The toolbars contain buttons with which we can immediately access the most habitual commands, like Save , Open , Print , etc.

There are options that are unavailable at certain moments. Easily recognised as they will have a toned down colour.

The bar we showed you is the database, more toolbars exist for example the task pane (this occupies the right half of the sceen), these are accessible according to the screen we are on as we will see further in the course, including learning how to define our own bars.

The status bar.

The status bar
can be found at the bottom of the screen, and contains indications about the state of the application, it provides varied information according to the screen that we are on at the time.


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