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Understanding Access's Table Windows

You're probably familiar with the terms for and behavior of many new components that comprise the basic window in which all Office 2007 applications run. Ribbons, groups, command buttons, and the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT) replace conventional hierarchical menus and toolbars. As with other Office 2007 applications, the presentation of Access windows varies with each basic function that Access performs. Because tables are the basic component of relational databases, the examples that follow use Table Datasheet view. Figure 3.6 shows Access 2007's display for run-mode operations with tables; Table 3.1 describes the window's Access-related components.

Figure 3.6

Figure 3.6 Access uses the default document interface (MDI) to display all database objects except code in modules and scripts for pages. The VBA editor and Microsoft Script editor are separate applications.

1. Office button

2. Ribbon tab

3. Quick-Access toolbar

4. Tabbed document

5. Selected cell

6. Button group

7. Contextual ribbon

8. Field headers

9. Ribbon

10. Online/Offline help

11. Document Close button

12. Gallery

13. Context menu

14. Context submenu

15. Record scrollbar

16. Status bar

17. View shortcuts

18. Field scrollbar

19. Quick Search textbox

20. Filter status

21. Record indicator

22. Record Navigation bar

23. Open subdatasheet

24. New Record

25. Status message

26. Navigation item

27. Navigation group

28. Show/Hide Navigation items

29. Navigation pane

30. Row Selection button

31. Select All button

32. Show Navigation gallery

33. Navigation pane expand/retract

34. Open View or Gallery button

Table 3.1. Components of the Access Display for Tables



Office Button

Opens the Office gallery (menu) with New, Open, Save, Save As, Print, Manage, E-Mail, Publish, and Close Database choices, as well as an Access Options button to open the Access Options dialog and an Exit Access button.

Ribbon Tab

Selects the active ribbon from the four standard ribbons—Home, Create, External Data, Database Tools—and one or two contextual (Tools) ribbons, such as Table Tools, Datasheet(w) or Table Tools, Design.

Quick Access Toolbar

Lets you add icons that act as shortcuts to command buttons on all ribbons and most galleries. The default choices are Save, Undo, and Redo.

Tabbed Document

Access 2007's default window for displaying all database objects in any view.

Selected Cell

The currently selected cell into which you can type data.

Button Group

A collection of a ribbon's command buttons that perform related tasks.

Contextual Ribbon

A ribbon that appears in response to the selected object type (table, query, form, or report) and mode (run or design).

Field Headers

Displays the name of the field and, when clicked, selects all cells of the column. Right-clicking opens a context menu with choices similar to those of the context submenu shown in Figure 3.6.


The standard navigation window for Office 2007 that's customized for each Office application.


Online/Offline Help

Opens Access's help window, which draws from help content on Office Online as well as local help files.


Document Close Button

Closes the active tabbed document.


A graphic menu with command button icons that represent choices. Access uses galleries to display buttons that aren't visible in a group.

Context Menu

An extension to a gallery or a floating right-click menu that offers choices that depend on the selected button or object type.

Context Submenu

A second or third menu hierarchy.

Record Scroll Bar

Scrolls table records or query rows.

Status Bar

Displays context information or user-specified text.


View Shortcuts

Provides a context-based alternative to selection from the Views group's gallery: Datasheet, PivotChart, PivotTable, Form, Report, Design.

Field Scroll Bar

Scrolls table fields or query columns.

Quick Search Text Box

Typing text searches for the first instance of the characters in any field. If a match is found, pressing Enter finds the next occurrence.

Filter Status

Advises the user if all records are visible (No Filter) or a filter has been applied (Filtered).

Record Indicator

Displays the number of the current record and the total number of records displayed.


Record Navigation Bar

Provides VCR-like buttons (First, Previous, Next, and Last) for selecting the current table record or query row and a New Row button to navigate to the tentative append record, if the table or query is updatable.


Open Subdatasheet

Opens a table's subdatasheet that displays records in a related table, if a subdatasheet has been defined.


New Record

The tentative append record that becomes a new record when you type in at least one field.

Status Message

Context information or user-specified text.

Navigation Item

A shortcut to a database object; double-clicking the item opens it in a tabbed document (the default) or a modal dialog form.

Navigation Group

A named collection of related navigation items.

Show/Hide Navigation Items

Expands or collapses the list of a navigation group's items.

Navigation Pane

An Outlook-style, customizable, shutter-bar list of all database objects, except those that are hidden deliberately.


Row Selection Button

Click to make the row the current row.

Select All Button

Click to select all rows and columns (the equivalent of pressing Ctrl+A).


Show Navigation Gallery

Click to open or close the Navigation gallery; right-click to open a context menu with Category, Sort By, View By, Show All Groups, Paste, Navigation Options, and Search Bar choices.


Navigation Pane Expand/Retract

Expand or retract the Navigation Pane. The default state is expanded.


Open View or Gallery Button

Clicking the icon displays the specified view; clicking View opens a gallery of the available views for the object.

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