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Navigating the Home and Create Ribbons

The Home, Create, External Data, and Database Tools ribbons vary only slightly as you change objects, operating modes, screen resolution, or window width. Access enables or disables a few command buttons and gallery items in response to changes of object type and view. Familiarity with the Home and Create ribbons is required to get up to speed with Access 2007, so this chapter covers these ribbons in detail.

The Home Ribbon

Figure 3.7 is a multiple-exposure, split view of the Home ribbon for table Datasheet view in 1,024x768 resolution. The View, Font Color, Text Highlight Color, Refresh All, Advanced Filter Options, and Go To galleries are open.

Figure 3.7

Figure 3.7 Control buttons on ribbons haven't replaced all hierarchical Office menus. Drop-down galleries and context menus substitute icons, lists, or both for earlier Access versions' conventional Windows menu choices.

Table 3.2 lists the Home ribbon's command buttons, keyboard shortcuts (also called KeyTips), and actions. Press Alt+H to activate the KeyTips, release the Alt key, and then sequentially press the keys shown in the Shortcut column.

Table 3.2. The Home Ribbon's Command Buttons and Their Actions in Table Datasheet View

Icon

Command Button

Shortcut Alt+H, ...

Command Action

Views Group

128icon01

Datasheet View

W, H

Changes to Datasheet view

128icon02

PivotChart View

W, O

Changes to PivotChart view

128icon03

PivotTable View

W, V

Changes to PivotTable view

128icon04

Design View

W, D

Changes to Design view

Clipboard Group

128icon05

Paste

V, P (Ctrl+V)

Pastes Clipboard content

128icon06

Paste, Special

V, S

Pastes Clipboard content in selected format

None

Paste, Append

V, N

Inserts records copied to the Clipboard

129icon01

Cut

X (Ctrl+X)

Cuts selected content to the Clipboard

129icon02

Copy

C (Ctrl+C)

Copies selected content to the Clipboard

None

Office Clipboard

F, O

Opens the Office Clipboard task pane

Font Group

129icon03

Format Painter

F, P

Copies the format from one object to another

None

Font, Face

F, F

Sets the focus to the Font Face list box

None

Font, Size

F, S

Sets the focus to the Font Size list box

129icon04

Bold

1 Ctrl+B

Applies bold attribute to selected text

129icon05

Italic

2 Ctrl+I

Applies italic attribute to selected text

129icon06

Underline

3 Ctrl+U

Applies underline attribute to selected text

129icon07

Align Left

A, L

Aligns selected text left

129icon08

Align Center

A, C

Centers selected text

129icon09

Align Right

A, R

Aligns selected text right

129icon10

Font Color

F, C

Opens font color picker

129icon11

Fill/Back Color

F, B

Opens fill/background color picker

129icon12

Gridlines

B

Opens gridlines gallery

129icon13

Alternate Fill/Back Color

F, A

Opens fill/background color picker for alternate rows

None

Datasheet Formatting

L

Opens the Datasheet Formatting dialog (see Figure 3.8)

Rich Text Group (for rich-text-enabled Memo fields only)

129icon14

Decrease List Level

A, O

Decreases rich-text indent level

129icon15

Increase List Level

A, I

Increases rich-text indent level

129icon16

Left-to-Right

A, F

Enables changing rich-text entry direction

130icon01

Numbering

N

Starts a rich-text numbered list

130icon02

Bullets

U

Starts a rich-text unordered list

130icon03

Text Highlight Color

I

Opens a color picker to highlight selected rich text

Records Group (see Chapter 6)

130icon04

Refresh All

K, R

Regenerates the Recordset and repaints the Datasheet

130icon05

New Record

K, N Ctrl++

Moves to the tentative append record

130icon06

Save

K, S Shift+Enter

Saves changes to a record

130icon07

Delete

K, D (Del)

Deletes the selected (current) record

130icon08

Totals

T

Toggles the appearance of a totals row below the tentative append record

130icon09

Spelling

S (F7)

Starts the spelling checker for the selected object and opens the Spelling: Language dialog (see Figure 3.9)

130icon10

More choices

P

Opens a context menu with Datasheet formatting

Sort & Filter Group (see Chapter 7)

130icon11

Sort Ascending

E

Sorts the selected field/column in ascending (A–Z) order

130icon12

Sort Descending

D

Sorts the selected field/column in descending (Z–A) order

130icon13

Clear All Sorts

F, R

Removes sorts from all fields/columns

130icon14

Filter

Q

Opens the filter context menu for the selected field/column

130icon15

Selection

O

Opens a context menu that lets you filter records by selection

130icon16

Advanced Filter/Sort

FV

Opens a context menu that lets you choose advanced filter/sort features

130icon17

Toggle Filter

J

Alternately applies and removes the current filter

Find Group (see Chapter 7)

131icon01

Find

F, D Ctrl+F

Opens the Find and Replace dialog with the Find page active

131icon02

Replace

R Ctrl+H

Opens the Find dialog with the Replace page active

131icon03

Go To

G

Opens a context menu with First, Previous, Next, Last, and New choices

131icon04

Select

H

Opens a context menu with Select and Select All choices

Figure 3.8

Figure 3.8 The Datasheet Formatting dialog consolidates most Datasheet appearance settings in a single location.

Figure 3.9

Figure 3.9 Access's Spelling: Language dialog is common to all Office 2007 applications.

Context-specific Table Tools Ribbons

Opening any Access object except a module in Design view adds one or more context-specific ObjectType Design Tools ribbons. Similarly, opening a form or report in Layout view adds ObjectType Layout Tools ribbons. Opening a table in Datasheet or Design view adds a Table Tools, Datasheet ribbon. Changing to Design view substitutes a Table Tools, Design ribbon. The following sections describe these two context-sensitive ribbons briefly.

The Table Tools, Datasheet Ribbon

Microsoft encourages Access users to create tables in Datasheet view, type data in the default empty column provided, add new columns as needed, and populate the new columns. As mentioned earlier, opening a new empty database creates an empty starter table. Alternatively, you can add a starter table by clicking the Create ribbon's Table button. In either case, the Table Tools, Datasheet ribbon opens by default.

Figure 3.10 is a split view of the Table Tools, Datasheet ribbon for a database (in 1,024x768 resolution) that includes tables linked from SharePoint lists. The term SharePoint refers to Windows SharePoint Services (WSS) 3.0 or Microsoft Office SharePoint Server (MOSS) 2007.

Figure 3.10

Figure 3.10 The Table Tools, Datasheet ribbon for a database with tables linked to SharePoint adds a SharePoint Lists group with command buttons for common operational and maintenance duties for a site.

Table 3.3 lists the Table Tools, Datasheet ribbon's command buttons, shortcut keystrokes, and command actions. Like primary ribbons, you press Alt+H, release the Alt key, and then press the shortcut key. The Views button behaves identically to the same button on the Home ribbon. This ribbon doesn't have galleries, but three buttons open task panes, one button opens the Relationships window, and all buttons in the SharePoint Lists group open SharePoint pages.

Table 3.3. The Table Tools, Datasheet Ribbon's Command Buttons and Their Actions in Table Datasheet View

Icon

Command Button

Shortcut Alt+W, ...

Command Action

Fields & Columns Group (disabled for SharePoint lists)

133icon01

New Field

D

Opens the Field Templates task pane (see Figure 3.11, left) to select a data type and adds a field

133icon02

Add Existing Fields

X

Opens the Field List task pane (see Figure 3.11, center) to clone a field from any database table

134icon01

Lookup Column

L

Starts the Lookup Wizard to add lookup properties to a field

134icon02

Insert Column

I

Inserts a field to the left of existing columns

134icon03

Delete Column

T

Deletes the selected column

134icon04

Rename Column

N

Enables renaming the column, usually from Field1

Data Type and Formatting Group

None

Data Type

J

Lets you select one of Access's nine data types: Text, Memo, Number, Date/Time, Currency, Yes/No, OLE Object, Hyperlink, or Attachment (disabled for SharePoint lists)

None

Format

F

Lets you select one of Access's seven Number or seven Date/Time formats

134icon05

Unique

U

Adds a no-duplicates index to the selected field, which requires each cell value to be unique

134icon06

Is Required

Q

Prevents users from leaving empty cells in the selected field

134icon07

Apply Currency Format

A, N

Formats the Number data with the Windows default currency format

134icon08

Apply Percentage Format

P

Multiplies the Number data by 100 and adds two decimal digits (does not affect the cell value)

134icon09

Apply Comma Number Format

K

Adds comma (or dot) thousands separators and two decimal digits

134icon10

Decrease Decimals

0

Reduces the number of decimal digits

134icon11

Increase Decimals

9

Increases the number of decimal digits

Relationships Group

134icon12

Relationships

E

Opens the Relationships window to enable establishing or editing relationships between tables

134icon13

Object Dependencies

O

Opens the Object Dependencies task pane (see Figure 3.11, right)

SharePoint List Group (visible only when a table linked to a SharePoint list is selected)

135icon01

Default View

S, V

Opens the selected linked SharePoint list's default view page in an Access Web Datasheet ActiveX control (see Figure 3.12)

135icon02

Refresh List

S, R

Causes the table to rewrite the selected linked SharePoint list data to the local Datasheet

135icon03

Modify Columns and Settings

S, M

Opens SharePoint's Customize ListName page on which you can change the design of the selected list

135icon04

Alert Me

S, A

Sends you an email message when users make specific types of changes to the selected list

135icon05

Modify Workflow

S, W

Opens SharePoint's Change Workflow Settings: ListName page for the selected linked list

135icon06

Permissions

S, P

Opens the Permissions: ListName page for the selected linked list

Figure 3.11

Figure 3.11 Access 2007 relies on task panes for operations that are more complex than galleries can handle.

Figure 3.12

Figure 3.12 An Access database has a Categories table linked to this SharePoint Categories list. Paperclip icons in a column indicate that the column uses the SharePoint (or Access) Attachment data type.

The Table Tools, Design Ribbon

Changing to table Design view replaces the Table Tools, Datasheet ribbon with the Table Tools, Design ribbon shown in Figure 3.13. Table Design view is the better choice for designing tables than typing data items to generate an ad-hoc table structure. Design view and the Table Tools, Design ribbon expose many more field and table properties than Datasheet view and the Table Tools, Datasheet ribbon.

Figure 3.13

Figure 3.13 The simpler Table Tools, Design ribbon replaces the Datasheet version in table Design view. The field design grid and the Field Properties pane set values for individual fields. Property Sheet settings apply to the entire table.

Table 3.4 lists the Table Tools, Design ribbon's command buttons, shortcut keystrokes, and command actions.

Table 3.4. The Table Tools, Design Ribbon's Command Buttons and Their Actions in Table Design View

Icon

Command Button

Shortcut Alt+D, ...

Command Action

Tools Group

137icon01

Primary Key

P

Toggles the status of the selected column(s) as the primary key for the table

137icon02

Builder

B

Opens the Expression Builder dialog when entering Default Value or Validation Rule property values

137icon03

Test Validation Rules

V

Tests new or modified validation rules with existing data

137icon04

Insert Rows

I

Inserts a new field grid row above the current row

137icon05

Delete Rows

R

Deletes the selected field grid row(s)

137icon06

Lookup Column

L

Inserts a new field grid row and starts the Lookup Wizard

Show/Hide Group

137icon07

Property Sheet

H, P

Toggles visibility of the Property Sheet pane

137icon08

Indexes

X

Opens the Indexes: TableName dialog to add indexes on fields other than the primary key field

The Create Ribbon

You use the Create ribbon to add new table, query, form, report, macro, and module objects to Access databases (see Figure 3.14).

Figure 3.14

Figure 3.14 The Create ribbon lets you add new Access objects to your database and take advantage of table and field templates, when applicable.

Table 3.5 lists the Create ribbon's command buttons, shortcut keystrokes, and command actions.

Table 3.5. The Create Ribbon's Command Buttons and Their Actions in Table Datasheet View

Icon

Command Button

Shortcut Alt+C, ...

Command Action

Tables Group (see Part II of this book)

138icon01

Table

T, N

Adds a new table with a single field in Datasheet view

138icon02

Table Templates

L

Opens a gallery that contains the following five command buttons

138icon03

Contacts

L, C

Adds an Outlook-compatible list for individuals from the Contacts and other application templates

139icon01

Tasks

L, T

Adds a task list that's suitable for managing a group's activities (from the Tasks application template)

139icon02

Issues

L, I

Adds an issue list that might be used for bug reporting and the like (from the Issues application template)

139icon03

Events

L, E

Adds a date-based list for scheduling events (from the Events application template)

139icon04

Assets

L, A

Adds a list that's designed specifically for tracking fixed assets (from the Assets application template)

139icon05

SharePoint Lists

S

Opens a gallery that contains the following six command buttons

139icon06

Contacts

S, C

Generates a Contacts list in the designated SharePoint site and links it and a User Information List to an Access table

139icon07

Tasks

S, T

Does the same for a Tasks list and table

139icon08

Issues

S, I

Does the same for an Issues list and table

139icon09

Events

S, E

Does the same for an Events list and table

139icon10

Custom

S, U

Generates a basic SharePoint list with visible ID (AutoNumber), Title (Text), and Attachments (Attachment) fields, as well as 11 hidden SharePoint-specific fields and links it to an Access table

139icon11

Existing SharePoint List

S, X

Lets you import or link the data from a SharePoint list you specify to an Access table

139icon12

Table Design

T, D

Adds a new Access table in Design view

Forms Group (see Chapters 14 and 15)

139icon13

Form

F, M

Generates a formatted columnar form from the selected table or query and adds a Datasheet subform bound to a related form, if present

139icon14

Split Form

P

Generates a formatted columnar form and a Datasheet from the selected table or query

139icon15

Multiple Items

M

Generates a formatted tabular list from the selected table or query

140icon01

PivotChart

C

Creates a form that contains a PivotChart control (see Chapter 18, "Adding Graphs, PivotCharts, and PivotTables")

140icon02

Blank Form

F, B

Creates an empty (blank) form in Layout view and opens the Field List pane

140icon03

More Forms

F, M

Opens a gallery with the following four command buttons

140icon04

Form Wizard

F, M, W

Starts the Form Wizard, which lets you create a columnar, tabular, Datasheet, or justified form from table fields or query columns you select with a format from one of 25 predesigned styles

140icon05

Datasheet

F, M, D

Creates a form that's indistinguishable from table Datasheet view

140icon06

Modal Dialog

F, M, M

Creates an empty modal dialog (overlapping window) in Layout view and opens the Field List pane

140icon07

PivotTable

F, M, T

Creates a form that contains a PivotTable control (see Chapter 18)

140icon08

Form Design

F, D

Opens a new blank form in Design view

Reports Group (see Chapters 16 and 17)

140icon09

Report

R, N

Generates a simple formatted list from the selected table or query with the same font size as forms and opens it in Report view

140icon10

Labels

B

Starts the Mailing Label Wizard to print mailing labels standard label sheets you specify

140icon11

Blank Report

R, B

Opens a blank report in Layout view for the selected table or query and opens the Field List pane

140icon12

Report Wizard

W

Starts the Report Wizard, which lets you base the report on a table or query you select, and add grouping, sort order, and format

140icon13

Report Design

R, D

Opens a new blank report for the selected table or query in Design view

Other Group (see Parts III and VII of this book)

141icon01

Query Wizard

Q, W

Opens the New Query dialog, which lets you select the Simple Query, Crosstab Query, Find Duplicates, or Find Unmatched Query Wizard to help you design a query from one or more tables

141icon02

Query Design

Q, D

Opens a new query in Design view and displays the Show Table dialog

141icon03

Macro

A

Opens a gallery with the following three command buttons

141icon03

Macro

A, A

Opens an empty standalone macro object for a nonembedded Access macro

141icon04

Module

A, M

Opens an empty VBA module in the VBA Editor application

141icon05

Class Module

A, C

Opens an empty VBA Class Module in the VBA Editor application

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