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MS Access

Posted Dec 16, 2010

Exploring the Access 2010 Interface - Page 2

By DatabaseJournal.com Staff

Exploring the Microsoft Office Backstage View

The new Microsoft Office Backstage View in Access 2010 replaces the Microsoft Office Button from Access 2007, and you can display its collection of commands by clicking the File tab from within any database. Figure  2-5 shows you the available commands on the Info tab of the Backstage view.

You can view many commands by clicking the File tab to open the Backstage view.
Figure  2-5.  You can view many commands by clicking the File tab to open the Backstage view.

The Backstage view contains information and commands that apply to an entire database, as well as commands that were on the Microsoft Office Button in Access 2007. If you used versions of Access before 2007, the Backstage view contains commands that were on the File menu. At the upper-left section of the Backstage View, you'll see five commands that show at all times "Save, Save Object As, Save Database As, Open, and Close Database.

Using these commands, you can do any of the following:

  • Save.  Save design changes for the database object that is open and has the focus in the Navigation pane.
  • Save Object As.  Save a copy of the current open object that has the focus or the object that has the focus in the Navigation pane.
  • Save Database As.  Save a copy of the current database. Note that if you click this command, Access closes the database that you have open so that it can create the copy.
  • Open.  Open any existing database file on your computer or network.
  • Close Database.  Close the currently open database and return to the New tab in the Backstage view.

Listed below the first five commands on the Backstage view, Access, by default, displays the file names of the last four databases you recently opened. To open any of these databases quickly, click the file name in the list. The six main tabs of the Backstage view "Info, Recent, New, Print, Save & Publish, and Help "are beneath the list of recently opened databases. Commands and information displayed on these tabs can change depending upon the current state of your database or if you are using a client versus a web database.

Info Tab

Let's first explore the Info tab previously shown in Figure  2-5. The Info tab displays the name of your database and the full path to its location. Beneath the file path, you'll see an Enable Content button and security information about your database. You'll learn more about these settings in Understanding Content Security. The button below it, Compact & Repair Database, compacts and repairs your database file. The last button on the Info tab, Encrypt With Password, creates an encrypted version of your database with a password. On the far right of the Info tab, you'll see a thumbnail preview of your database in its current state. Beneath the preview picture, is the View And Edit Database Properties link. Click this link to open the Database Properties dialog box to review and change properties specific to this database.

Recent Tab

The Recent tab, shown in Figure  2-6, displays a list of the databases you previously opened. If the number of databases you open exceeds the space to display them, Access provides a scroll bar for you to scroll up and down to see the complete list. At the bottom of the Recent tab, you'll see a check box called Quickly Access This Number of Recent Databases, which is selected by default. Clear this check box if you do not want to show a list of recent databases you have opened above the Info tab on the Backstage view. You can also customize the number of databases you want to display above the Info tab by changing the default value of four databases in the text box at the bottom of the screen.

The Recent tab of the Backstage view displays a list of recent database files you opened.
Figure  2-6.  The Recent tab of the Backstage view displays a list of recent database files you opened.

To the right of each database file name, you'll see a pushpin button. Click this button to pin that specific database file to the displayed list of recent databases. Right-click any of the recent databases displayed, and Access provides a shortcut menu with four options, as shown in Figure  2-7. Select Open from the list, and Access opens the highlighted database. When you select the Pin To List option, Access pins that specific database file to the displayed list of recent databases. When you select the third option, Remove From List, Access removes that database file from the list of recent databases. Note that when you remove the database file from the list, you're not deleting the database from your computer; you are only removing it from this list on the Backstage view. When you select the last option on the list, Clear Unpinned Items, Access prompts you for confirmation that you want to remove all unpinned items from the list. Click Yes in the confirmation dialog box, and Access removes all database files from the list of recent database files that you have not pinned. You can use this option to quickly clear database files that you might have deleted and no longer wish to use from your list of recent databases.

Right-click a database file to see additional options you can use to manage your list of recent databases.
Figure  2-7.  Right-click a database file to see additional options you can use to manage your list of recent databases.

New Tab

The New tab, shown in Figure  2-8, is the first tab shown in the Backstage view when you open Access. The Office.com Templates area in the center of the screen displays different template categories grouped by subject. Click one of these categories to change the display in the center of the screen to a list of templates that you can download from the Office.com website. Note that you must be connected to the Internet to see and download any templates in each of these categories. These templates were created by the Access development team and developers in the Access community. The templates represent some of the more common uses for a database and are therefore presented to you first. Microsoft is continually adding and modifying the selections available in the Office.com categories, so the list you see might be different from that shown in Figure  2-8. Be sure to check these groups from time to time to see if a new template exists for your specific needs. You can also search for a template on the Office.com website by typing your search criteria in the Search Office.com for Templates text box.

You can create a database from a template, create a new blank or web database, or search for a database file to open on the New tab of the Backstage view in Access 2010.
Figure  2-8.  You can create a database from a template, create a new blank or web database, or search for a database file to open on the New tab of the Backstage view in Access 2010.

Just above Office.com Templates in the middle of the screen are five buttons under Available Templates. The first button on the left is labeled Blank Database. You use this button to start the process of creating a new empty client database with no objects. See Chapter  4, for details on how to create a new blank client database. The next button to the right, Blank Web Database, starts the process of creating a new empty web database with no objects. See Chapter  6, for details on how to create a new blank web database. When you click Recent Templates, Access displays a list of database templates that you recently created from this New tab. To view the list of database templates available on your local drive that were installed with Access, click Sample Templates. Five of the sample templates listed under Sample Templates are web-compatible templates --Assets, Charitable Contributions, Contacts, Issues, and Projects. The last button under Available Templates, My Templates, lists any database templates that you created and saved locally to your computer. See Chapter 26, "The Finishing Touches," on the companion CD, for details on how to create your own database template.

Just beneath the Available Templates text at the top of the screen you'll see three navigation buttons. The Back, Forward, and Home buttons function like web browser buttons. As you navigate between the various template screens, you can click Back to move you back one screen in the history of screens you've opened. Click Forward to move you forward one screen in the history of screens you've opened. Click Home to take you back to the main page of the New tab on the Backstage view.

The task pane on the right of the New tab displays a graphic of the database template you select from the list of templates. For new blank databases you create, Access leaves this graphic empty. You can type the name of a new database file in the File Name text box beneath this graphic and browse to a location to save the database using the Browse button.

Print Tab

The Print tab, shown in Figure  2-9, displays three commands "Quick Print, Print, and Print Preview. Click Quick Print to send the selected database object to the printer immediately. Be careful here, because the object that has the focus might not be the one currently on the screen. If the focus is on an object in the Navigation pane, that object is printed instead of the object currently open. When you click Print, Access opens the Print dialog box to print whatever object currently has the focus. Here again, be careful about which object has the focus. Click Print Preview to preview the printed appearance of what you are about to print on your monitor.

The Print tab of the Backstage view displays commands to print objects in your database.
Figure  2-9.  The Print tab of the Backstage view displays commands to print objects in your database.

Save & Publish Tab

The Save & Publish tab, shown in Figure  2-10, displays commands to save your database and objects in other formats and to publish your application to Access Services. In the center of the Save & Publish tab, you'll see two categories "File Types and Publish" and three commands "Save Database As, Save Object As, and Publish To Access Services. If you click one of these commands, additional commands appear in a submenu to the right. Click Save Database As and you'll see two categories for this option "Database File Types and Advanced". Under Database File Types, you can choose to save a copy of your entire database in 2007/2010 (.accdb), 2002/2003 (.mdb), or 2000 (.mdb) Access format. Note that if you choose to save the entire database, Access closes the database you have open so that it can create the copy. You can use the last option under Database File Types, Template (.accdt), to save your database as an Access database template. To start these commands, you can either double-click the command you want or highlight the command and then click the Save As button at the bottom of the screen. Under the Advanced category, the first option, Package And Sign, packages your database as a Cabinet file (CAB) and digitally signs it. Double-click the Make ACCDE command to make an execute-only version (.mde or .accde) of your database. When you double-click the Back-up Database command, Access creates a complete backup of your database file with the current date in the file name. You can choose the last command under the Advanced category, SharePoint, to publish your database to a document manager server.

The Save & Publish tab contains commands to save your objects and database in different formats and to publish your application to Access Services.
Figure  2-10.  The Save & Publish tab contains commands to save your objects and database in different formats and to publish your application to Access Services.

Click Save Object As under File Types on the Save & Publish tab, and Access displays a different set of commands on the right, as seen in Figure  2-11. When you double-click Save Object As on the right side, the default is to save a copy of the current open object that has the focus or the object that has the focus in the Navigation pane. Double-click PDF Or XPS to publish a copy of the current open object as a Portable Document Format (PDF) or XML Paper Specification (XPS) file. The last command for Save Object As, Save As Client Object, saves a copy of the current open web object to a client object format. See Chapter  6 for details on how to create a web database and work with web objects.

You can use the Save Object As command to save a copy of your database objects into different formats.
Figure  2-11.  You can use the Save Object As command to save a copy of your database objects into different formats.

Click Publish To Access Services under the Publish category on the Save & Publish tab, and Access displays commands and information on the right concerning the new Access Services feature in Access 2010, as seen in Figure  2-12.

You can publish your database to Access Services from the Save & Publish tab of the Backstage view.
Figure  2-12.  You can publish your database to Access Services from the Save & Publish tab of the Backstage view.

Under Access Services Overview, you'll see information and bullet points on when using Access Services might benefit you. You'll also find a link you can click to watch a prepared video demo of Access Services on the Office.com website. Click Run Compatibility Checker to scan your database and identify any issues or settings that are not supported for Access Services. (See Chapter  6 for details on how to create a web database and working with the Web Compatibility Checker.) If any issues are found during the web compatibility scan, Access enables the Web Compatibility Issues button. Click that button to open a table that lists all the issues found. If you are currently using a web database, the Publish To Access Services button is enabled. Clicking this button starts the process of publishing your web database to a Microsoft SharePoint site to become an Access Services application. To the right of the Publish To Access Services button, you'll see two text boxes "Server URL and Site Name". Enter the full Uniform Resource Locator (URL) to the SharePoint server that you want to publish to in the Server URL text box and the name of the site you want to create in the Site Name text box. You'll learn more about all the Access Services features later in this book, beginning in Chapter  6.

Help Tab

The Help tab of the Backstage view, shown in Figure  2-13, displays commands and links to helpful information concerning Access 2010 and the Office 2010 software. Under the Support category in the center of the screen, you'll see three commands, Microsoft Office Help, Getting Started, and Contact Us. Click Microsoft Office Help to open the Access Help system where you can search Access topics for assistance building your database. Click Getting Started to open a link on Office.com where you can see a list of new features and resources pertaining to Access 2010. Click Contact Us to go to a website where you can find links to support options, go to online support communities, or submit suggestions to improve the product or report a problem.

The Help tab on the Backstage view displays links to resources, help, and support for Access 2010.
Figure  2-13.  The Help tab on the Backstage view displays links to resources, help, and support for Access 2010.

Under the Tools For Working With Office category in the center of the screen, you'll see two commands, Options and Check For Updates. Click Options to open the Access Options dialog box, where you can choose different settings and preferences for your Access installation. Click Check For Updates to go to a website where you can run a program that verifies that you have the latest updates for your Office system.

On the right side of the Help tab, you'll see information about your Access 2010 and Office 2010 installed programs. Click the Change Product Key link to open the Microsoft Office setup dialog box to change your product key for your installation. Click the Additional Version and Copyright Information link to open the Access About dialog box to view the copyright information of your Access and Office installations. Click the last link on this tab, Microsoft Software License Terms, to view and print the licensing terms for your Office installation.

Beneath the Help tab, you can also find these two commands at the bottom of the Backstage view:

  • Options.  Opens the Access Options dialog box, where you can choose and define many different settings and preferences for Access. See <Modifying Global Settings via the Access Options Dialog Box, for a discussion of these options.
  • Exit.  Closes the currently open database file as well as completely exits Access.

Inside Out: Closing the Backstage view

You can close the Backstage view quickly by pressing the Esc key. When you do this, Access returns focus to where you were before opening the Backstage view.



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