Getting Started With Ms-Access And Its User Interface (Chapter 1 – Part 2)

This is the second part of this chapter. It is recommended that you first read part one before reading this part. If you have not read part read part one, click to read Part1: Introduction to MS-Access.

getting started with ms-access and its interface










You can download the PDF e-book file of this chapter for free and study at your convenient time. The e-book contain both parts of this chapter properly written. Click to download the e-book: Fundamentals of MS-Access Using MS-Access – 2016, 2013,2010 and 2007.

PDF: fundamentals of database administration using ms-excel
PDF: fundamentals of database administration using ms-excel


MS-Access as a DBMS is designed mainly for Windows Operating System (OS) and Apple (for Mac PC) which are user friendly Operating Systems. This makes MS-Access a user friendly DBMS.

So far, as at 2016, there are about nine versions of MS-Access namely; Access 2.0, Access 97, Access 2000, Access XP, Access 2003, Access 2007, Access 2010, Access 2013 and Access 2016.

The first three are so  obsolete that they are no more mentioned and were designed for older versions of Operating Systems such as Windows 3.1, Windows95 and 98.However, Access   XP and 2003 have most features alike such that the knowledge of either of them helps one to work with other versions easily, both older and newer versions. 

Access 2007, 2010 and 2013 also have most features alike. 
MS-Access 2010 Welcome Window

MS-Access 2013 Welcome window
However, they are quite different from the five previous versions because of the introduction of tab groups in place of the drop down menu system.
MS-Access 2013 Home panes


For those who are already conversant with older versions of MS-Access who wish to know the features added to MS-Access 2016, Access 2016 has all the functionality and features you're used to with some added enhancements and the best new features from Office 2016. Here are some of the top new features you'll find in Access 2016: 


For Access 2016, no existing features or functionality from previous versions were deprecated in this release.

Upgrading from Access 2013

If you're upgrading to Access 2016 from Access 2013, you'll still have all the features you're used to and you'll notice a few new ones as well. The first thing you’ll see when you open Access 2016 is that it has the familiar look of 2013 with a more colorful border.
MS-Access 2016 Welcome window

Do things quickly with the “Tell Me what you want to do” feature

You'll notice a text box on the ribbon in Access 2016 that says Tell me what you want to do. This is a text field where you can enter words and phrases related to what you want to do next and quickly get to features you want to use or actions you want to perform. You can also choose to get help related to what you're looking for.

Can't find a button? Click inside the Tell Me box (it's the box at the top, with the light bulb). Type a button or command, like "filter", and you'll see all of your filter-related options listed for you.
Tell me what you want to do feature
NOTE: The Tell Me box is not available in the ribbon when designing Access web apps.

New themes for the Access program

There are now two Office themes that you can apply to the Access program: Colorful and White. To access these themes, go to File > Options > General, and then click the drop down menu next to Office Theme as shown below.
Access new themes

Export linked data source information to Excel

Have you ever wanted to get a nice list of all the linked data sources from your Access database application into Excel? If you are working on a complex Access application, for example, that includes links to many different data sources; it can be helpful to have a nice list of all the various data sources and their types. This exported list can be especially helpful if you are working on an Access application you did not originally design. Now with Access 2016, you'll find this task much easier using new functionality built into the Linked Table Manager dialog.
Linked Table Manager
Open the Linked Table Manager dialog by clicking External Data > Linked Table Manager. Select the linked data sources you want to list and then click Export to Excel as shown below.

Access prompts you for a location to save the Excel workbook. After you provide a save location, Access displays the linked data sources information in the new workbook. You'll see the name of the linked data source, its source information, and the data source type as shown below.
Linked tables


The Linked Table Manager dialogue box is not available when designing Access web apps.  

Templates get a modern look and feel

If you want to organize and manage your data with Access but you'd like some help getting started with designing the database, try using a desktop database template. In Access 2016, five of the most popular database templates have been redesigned to have a more modern look and feel. To try these templates out yourself:

Go to File > New, and then search for Asset tracking, Contacts, Event management, Students, or Task Management depending on your need.

The following videos on office support site demonstrate how to use these revised sample templates. You may also wish to review them.

Each of these templates includes a new Getting Started form with links to articles, videos, and other community resources.
Read this article in Microsoft support site: Use a template to create an Access desktop database to learn more about Access desktop templates.

Larger Show Table dialog

In Access 2016, the default height of the Show Table dialog has been increased so you can easily see more table and query names in your database.

To view the Show Table dialog in queries: 

Click Create > Query Design. The Show Table dialog opens by default. You can also open this dialog in queries by clicking Design > Show Table.

To view the Show Table dialog in the Relationships window: Click Database Tools > Relationships. The Show Table dialog opens by default.

You can also open this dialog in the Relationship window by clicking Design > Show Table as shown below.
Show Table dialogue box
NOTE: The Relationships window is not available in Access web apps.

Access web app features coming to SharePoint on-premise customers

With the upcoming release of SharePoint 2016, customers using SharePoint 2016 with Access Services within their organizations will see additional features and take advantage of service improvements.
Here is a list of Access web app features in Access Services coming for SharePoint 2016:
  • Cascading controls
  • Datasheet filter improvements
  • Related Item Control enhancements
  • Image storage and performance improvements
  • Office Add-ins integration with Access web apps
  • Additional packaging and upgrade functionality for Access web app packages
  • On Deploy macro action for upgrade scenarios
  • Lock tables from editing functionality
  • Download in Excel feature for datasheet views
Throughout this tutorial, I shall be using MS-Access 2013 for illustration. I will also be showing you the new ways of achieving the same step using MS-Access 2016 when the need arises. My reason for choosing MS-Access 2013 for illustration is because it is the most popular version of Access as at when this tutorial was prepared and most people find it difficult to adapt to the new operating environment. The database tabs in MS-Access 2013 contain panes which accommodates all the tools needed for database manipulation.


MS-Access is one of the programs of the multi-software package Microsoft Office. Microsoft Office package has five main Office programs namely: 
  • MS-Access (for database management)
  • MS-Excel (for spreadsheet Management)
  • MS-Word (for document editing and formatting)
  • MS-PowerPoint (for presentation in slides)
  • MS-Publisher (for book publishing and editing)
Some PC models like HP Windows 8 PC come with a pre-installed MS Office 2013 package. Search your PC to see if it came with a pre-installed   MS-Office Package. If you need MS-Office 2016, If you need MS-Office 2016, visit Microsoft store . There are some sites that allow you download a Copy of MS Office for free. Feel free to search the web. You can also get only MS-Access if you wish. MS-Office software is popular; so many software vendors will have it. Just check around few stores in your locality.


To load MS-Access into your PC memory:

Search result in windows 8

1. Click the Start button located extreme left of the task bar.

2. Type the word access to call up the search charm.
3. From your search result, click on MS-Access 2010 or MS-Access 2013 or MS-Access 2016 depending on the version installed on your PC .

4. Then windows loads the program into memory and MS-Access welcome window will display as shown below.
MS-Access 2010 Welcome window

MS-Access 2013 Welcome window
MS-Access 2016 Welcome window


To create a new or blank database:

1. Click on create button as shown below.

2. Load MS-Access into memory

3. From the MS-Access welcome window, click on Blank Desktop Database template icon.

4. A dialogue box appears. Type the database name in the file name text box.

5. Click on the lightning bolt at the right end of the text box to choose a save location for the new database file you are about to create.

Blank Desktop Database dialogue box

Access creates the database for you and also creates a table with default name Table1.


Study the diagram below to master MS-Access user interface.

MS-Access User Interface

Recommended MS Access Textbook

ms access textbook kindle format

Click Here to know more about the book.


Below are some exercises for you. Please endeavor to attempt all.
1.    What is DBMS?
2.    List and explain the importance of MS-Access as DBMS.
3.    Explain briefly the following with good examples;
i.    Field
ii.    Characters
iii.    Records
iv.    Relational Database.

In the next chapter, I will explicitly explain  Table Operations and Relationships/Join.

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