Join David Rivers for an in-depth discussion in this video The work environment, part of Access 2007 Essential Training.
So we now have a database open from the previous lesson. You can see the name of it up here on the title bar: Personal Inventory. It's an Access 2007 database. We open it up from the Lesson1 folder of the Exercise Files and because we've got this open in Access 2007, there are some new things in this environment we need to talk about before we move on and start creating your own. First of all across the top we've got something now called the Ribbon, and there's actually four tabs up here for Home, Create, External Data and Database Tools.
Each one of those is a separate ribbon on its own. The ribbon contains sections with a number of commands that are most frequently used and the tools you need when you need them will show up depending on what you're working on. In other words, the ribbon is context sensitive. So if I come down below here and I'm looking at the Home Inventory List form, the form has buttons for creating new assets, collecting data, e-mailing, etc. I'm going to click right here inside one of these fields. As soon as I did, a number of tools became accessible to me.
I'm going to talk about the different tabs in the ribbon, and the different sections down below. Currently on the Home tab you'll see I've got a View section, the Views drop down to look at Forms, Layout, and Design Views. Over here I've got a Clipboard section, and here's where I would go to Cut, Copy, and Paste. Right now none of these buttons is accessible. If I were to click and drag over Office Desk, for example, you'll see now that the Cut and Copy buttons are available to me. Next we've got the Font section.
The Font section contains all of the font commands. With this highlighted text I may want to change the font, the size, the alignment, the appearance with bold, italics, underline, the color. I can even work with the grid lines, if I wanted to. Another thing I want you to know is that any time you see a group with a little arrow on the bottom right-hand corner, it means we can open it up to show even more. So I'm going to click this under Font. You can see I've got Datasheet Formatting showing up now. So I can do cell effects. There's my grid line options again.
I can do background colors. I can do gridline colors, all kinds of cool things on top of these font options that you see here. I'm going to click Cancel. So just keep in mind every time you see one of these little guys in the bottom right corner, there's more that you can bring up that's related to that section. There's a Rich Text section here for working with numbered and bulleted lists, indenting and that kind of thing. In the Records section you can see I can refresh my records. I can create new records. So if I had a new inventory item that had to go on my list, I could use the New button.
That's one way of creating a new item. Here's where I can save my records, delete records, total up records, there's a spelling option and more. I've got a sort and filter option for sorting the data that you see here. I can sort it alphabetically. You can see ascending or descending, and I can choose which of these fields I want to sort by. I've also got a filtering option, so I can only see the stuff I want to see. There's a Wizard button here. Any time you see the little lightning bolt, you'll know there's a Wizard built into that to help you create the filter.
I've got a find section that includes Find and Replace options, Go To as well. And I've got other tabs. I've got a Create tab up here. Now clicking the Create tab's going to show me, guess what? A number of create options, and what can I create? I can create Tables, Forms, Reports, and over in the other section I can create Queries and Macros, all from this ribbon. So if I want to create a table from scratch, I can come up here, a new blank table. If I want to base it on an existing template, I can use table templates.
If I want to use SharePoint services I can go here, and if I want to adjust the design of any table I do create I can go to the Table Design view. Same goes for Forms. There are three different form looks to choose from. Here is a Basic Form, a Split Form, and Multiple Items type forms. Here's my Blank Form from scratch. More forms appear down here and there's a design button for working with form design as well. Same goes for reports: creating Reports, blank ones. There's a Report Wizard to help me, and look at that, another design button.
Same goes for creating queries. There's a Query Design button, and we also have the ability to create macros to automate tasks. We'll look at all of this stuff later on. The External Data tab, guess what? We can work with data outside of Access. We can import or export that data. If we import on a regular basis from another Access database, an Excel spreadsheet, a SharePoint service, a text file, whatever. If we do that over and over and over again, we may want to save that import and automate that. The same goes for exporting data to Excel spreadsheets, or Word files, or text files.
If we do that on a regular basis, we may want to save those exports as well. There's a Collect Data section for working with e-mails and managing replies, and then there's a whole SharePoint section, which is fairly advanced and we'll save that for another title. Up at the top we've got one last tab, the Database Tools tab. It shows us the database tools ribbon. You can see we've got a Macro section in here for running macros and if you're a programmer, you'll know all about Visual Basic. There's a Show/Hide section for showing and hiding relationships and object dependencies. We'll talk about that later on too.
Analyzing our database is important, with the Database Documenter. We can analyze the performance of our database to make sure it's working at its upmost peak. You can see, we can analyze tables as well, within our database. Moving data is important. Using SQL Servers and Access Databases. And then we've got Database Tools over here, like creating security options using encryption and passwords, a Switchboard Manager as well. We'll look at those later on in this title too. I'm going to go back to the Home tab now, and just keep in mind that depending on what we're working on down below, this ribbon is always changing, always offering up the tools we need at our fingertips when we need them.
Down the left-hand side we've got a Navigation pane as well, and you'll notice there's a double arrow at the top, this is our Shutter Bar to open and close our Navigation Pane, or we can click right on the Navigation Pane here, when it lights up to show the Navigation Pane. Now this is for our Home Inventory, and you can see that this is based on the Assets template, so I see below by default couple of different forms, like Home Inventory list. That's the form I'm looking at right now over here on the right, but if I want to look at a different kind of form, Asset Details, I could double-click right here.
This opens up the Asset Details form. It's the same information that I can look at or enter, but it's a different way of doing it. You can see down at the bottom here on that record 1 of 5 and I can move through the various records. I can move to the end, or to the beginning, and if I want to input a new record there's a button for that as well. I'm going to close this up for now. I can click the Close button up here or choose Close right down here, and it's always available to me in the Navigation Pane. The Navigation Pane's going to allow me to move quickly and easily through the various objects in my database.
So when we have multiple tables and different forms, and we have all kinds of queries and reports, a quick way to get around them is using this Navigation Pane. Now, if you look down below, these icons are little bit different. These little green ones represent reports. So if I want to look at my Assets by Category, I could double-click here, it opens up a report for me showing the graphical representation as well as the details down below. Another thing happened here as well. The Assets by Category tab just showed up. So another way to close up something you've opened up is to right-click its tab and choose Close from here.
All right, same goes for these other reports like Asset Details, Assets by Location, double-clicking will launch it. It gives you a tab so you can move quickly and easily between the various objects, and when you're done you can either click the Close button or right-click and choose Close. Now you'll notice that we've got the Assets section here showing us different reports and forms, but we've also got Supporting Objects. So what's in behind the scenes allowing us to use these forms and reports? Well if we click this little drop down here we'll expand this section to show a table.
There's an Assets table. Now if I double-click that you can see now we're looking at the actual table where this information is either entered or comes from. And again we've got a tab. I can right-click and close that when I'm done, and I've got two more forms down here. If I want to work with the Assets by Categories or by location, I can do that to. I can change the names of these obviously to my Inventory by Categories or Inventory by Location Chart. We're going to talk about working with forms and reports and tables and everything in upcoming lessons.
So right now I just want you to get familiar with the Navigation Pane; how to use it, when we're done looking at a section we can collapse it like so. When we're done with the Navigation Pane, we can minimize it or close it up right here and you'll see that it's always available to us down the left-hand side, and we're going to get into greater detail with the Navigation Pane later on when we start using it, and using it to navigate through the various tables and forms and reports. There are different ways to sort what you see there as well. But hopefully this gives you a nice overview of the new work environment using Access 2007.
Keep in mind the ribbon gives you the tools you need when you need them. It's context-sensitive and the Navigation Pane is always at your fingertips down the left-hand side here, to make it easy for you to go between the objects in your database, like tables and forms and reports.