11 Must-Know Tips and Tricks in Microsoft Access 2010
Access 2010 – Tips and Tricks
1. Getting Your App on the Web
One of the most useful features in Access 2010 is the ease of pushing out a database to the Web for sharing with others. This process is further eased by Microsoft’s SharePoint Online (part of the Microsoft Office 365 suite). In this example, an “Issues” tracking Web database is created from the Web database templates available in Office 2010. To publish to SharePoint Online, click into Access’ Backstage View (shown below) and select Publish to Access Services. Under Server URL, enter the full address of your online SharePoint server.
2. Publishing an Older or Non-Web Database to the Web
Here’s what you do if you want to publish a standard Access database, instead of one created in Access 2010 as a Web database. Before publishing, run the Compatibility Checker. It will tell you what you need to do to make your application compatible with the Web. The checker can steer you in the right direction, showing you what you need to fix or change to make it work.
3. Try out Navigation Forms
Navigation Form provides an alternative to the Switchboard of previous Access versions. The menu option on the Create tab (shown below) will guide you through the process and it’s very intuitive.
4. Hide the Navigation Pane
You may not only want to hide ribbons and toolbars, but also the navigation pane that lets you browse all database objects. To do so, go into the BackStage View of the database, click on Access Options > Current Database.
Under Navigation, clear the checkmark next to Display Navigation Pane.
5. Quickly Share Reports with Non-Access Users
Want to share a report with someone who does not have access to your application?
It’s easy to do in Access 2010. From the Navigation Pane (as shown above), right click on the report you want to share and click Export. Select the file format you want to save in—Excel, PDF, HTML or other format. What’s great in Access 2010 is that if you have a report you want to send someone on a regular basis, you can save the export steps and quickly export the report without using the Export Wizard. You can also create an Outlook Task from within Access 2010 that will not only remind you when it’s time to export the report, but will also create a Run Export button in Outlook to perform the Access export. Users are given the option to create this button whenever an export task is created.
6. Output Reports to PDF
PDF output support is now incorporated into Access 2010. From the menu system, it takes about 5 clicks to get it done as can be seen in the screen shot below. This is one of those good candidates for the Quick Access toolbar, which turns it into a single click.
- File Menu > Save and Publish > Save Object As > PDF or XPS > Save As.
7. Use the Image Gallery to share images across multiple forms and reports
With Access 2010, it’s easy to add an image into the Image Gallery and then share it across multiple reports or forms. To add an image to the gallery, go to the form or report you want the image to appear in and switch to Design View. Click on Insert Image from the Controls group in the Ribbon and browse your folders for the image. Then select the image and then click on the form or report to add it. Doing so also adds the image to the Image Gallery as well as to the current form or report, so that it will be available for use across all reports and forms.
8. Use Smart Tags
Smart Tags are a great way to add additional information in a database that would usually require a lookup on the Web. For instance, we can add a Smart Tag to a form populated with a list of company names. This tag will pull up the stock ticker symbol and other financial information about that company. Smart Tags can also be used to schedule meetings, add contacts to instant messaging, and enable a slew of other conveniences all from within an Access database. To add a Smart Tag, go into the Design View of the form, report, or data access page. Right-click on the field you want to add the tag to and click on Properties. Under the Data tab on the Property Sheet, click on the button to the left of the Smart Tag row to bring up the Smart/Action tag window.
9. Use Web Browser Control to display Web pages on a form
The Web Browser Control is a cool way to place Web data onto forms in your database application. To add a Web browser control, open up a form in Design View. From the Controls grouping of icons on the Ribbon, select the Web Browser Control icon (as shown below). Click the area on the form where you want to add the control. In the Insert Hyperlink window enter the URL of the website you want the control to display. Here we created a link to Google Maps on a list of suppliers, to quickly look up their locations. Microsoft offers some solid additional information on working with Web Browser controls.
10. Take Advantage of Query Intellisense
Intellisense is now available while creating queries. It shows up in the Criteria row and the Update To row for an UPDATE query. Auto-complete will assist you in getting table and column names correct. For example, if you start typing your table.column name, a list pops up from which you can select. Functions are also exposed in the Intellisense auto-complete list.
In Access 2010, your functions are exposed with Intellisense from the criteria row, as shown in the screen shot below.
11. Shortcuts for Dialog Boxes
Article Contributor: Satish Kumar
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