Microsoft Access: Lesson 1 - Introduction to Miscrosoft Access

Introduction to Microsoft Access


Microsoft Access Launching



Microsoft Access is a computer application used to create and manage computer-based databases on desktop computers and/or on connected computers (a network). Microsoft Access can be used for personal information management (PIM), in a small business to organize and manage all data, or in an enterprise to communicate with servers.

Like any other computer application, in order to use Microsoft Access, you must first open it. There are various ways this can be done. Microsoft Access is a classic computer application and it gets launched like the usual products you have probably been using. As such, to start this program, you could click Start -> (All) Programs -> Microsoft Access:

Windows Server 2003 Menu

As a regular member of the Microsoft Office suite of applications, if your installation created a sub-menu on the Start menu, you could click Start -> New Office Application and proceed from the New dialog box.

Although Microsoft Office 97 and Microsoft Office 2000 get installed in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office folder, they treat the shortcuts that launch them differently. The applications that are part of Microsoft Office 97 designate their shortcuts with full names and these are installed in the Microsoft Office folder. Microsoft Office 2000 (Premium) uses shortcut names to designate its shortcuts and they are installed in the Microsoft Office\Office folder. This means that you could launch an application from Windows Explorer or My Computer. Therefore, in order to launch Microsoft Access, locate its shortcut in Windows Explorer or My Computer and double-click it:

Microsoft Access Location

If you have a Microsoft Access database such as an E-Mail attachment, a file on a floppy disk, on the network, or in any other means, once you see its icon, you can double-click it. Not only will this action launch Microsoft Access, but also it will open the file.

You can also launch Microsoft Access from a shortcut. If you happen to use the software on a regular basis, you can create a shortcut on your desktop or on the Quick Launch area. Many users also take advantage of the Microsoft Office Shortcut Bar. Sometimes, the icon you need will not be there; in that case you should insert it manually.

If you are working on a network of related computers, your database may be located in another computer. In this case the network or database administrator would create a link or shortcut to the drive that is hosting the database. You can then click or double-click this link or shortcut to open the database and, as a result, launch Microsoft Access.

Keys to open Microsoft Access

Microsoft Access Shortcuts

Whenever you find out that you are using a particular program or file most regularly, you should have an icon on the desktop that can lead you to it quickly. This icon is called a shortcut. There are various techniques used to create a shortcut. Probably the first thing you should find out is where your application is located. You can find out by doing a search on the computer. Except on Microsoft Windows 95, you can create a shortcut from the Programs menu.

By default, the shortcuts on the Microsoft Office 97 applications are located in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office folder. And these shortcuts hold the same names as their respective programs; those will be Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPoint, etc. The shortcuts of the Microsoft Office 2000 applications are located in the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office folder. These shortcuts use another naming convention. They are Msaccess, Winword, Excel, or Frontpg, just to name a few.

To create a shortcut from Windows Explorer or My Computer, you can right-click the icon or the shortcut of the application, position your mouse on Send To, and click Desktop (Create Shortcut).

To create a shortcut from the Start menu, click Start -> (All) Programs. When the program appears, you can right-click it, position the mouse pointer on Send To and click Desktop (Create Shortcut). 

Practical Learning: Creating a Shortcut 

  1. Right-click on an empty area of the Desktop ->  New -> Shortcut
  2. On the first page of the wizard, click the Browse button
  3. Make sure the Look In combo box is displaying the C: drive
  4. Double-click Program Files
  5. Double-click Microsoft Office
  6. If you are using Microsoft Access 97, click Microsoft Access. If you are using Microsoft Access 2000, double-click Office. Then click Msaccess:
  7. Click Open
  8. Click Next
  9. If you are using Microsoft Access 97, notice the name of the shortcut
    If you are using Microsoft Access 2000 or later, change the name of the shortcut to Microsoft Access:
  10. Click Finish

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