Whenever you’re learning a new program, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the program window and the tools within it. Working with Access is no different. Knowing your way around the Access environment will make learning and using Access much easier.
In this lesson, you will familiarize yourself with the Access environment, including the Ribbon, Backstage view, Navigation pane, Document Tabs bar, and more. You will also learn how to navigate with a navigation form, if your database includes one.
Throughout this tutorial, we will be using a sample database. If you would like to follow along, you’ll need to download our Access 2016 sample database. You will need to have Access 2016 installed on your computer in order to open the example.
Watch the video below to learn more about getting started in Access.
Getting to know Access 2016
Access 2016 uses the Ribbon to organize commands, just like in Access 2013 and 2010. If you’ve used these versions before, Access 2016 will feel familiar. But if you are new to Access or have more experience with older versions, you should first take some time to become familiar with the Access 2016 interface.
Click the buttons in the interactive below to become familiar with the Access interface.
Working with your Access environment
If you’ve previously used Access 2013 or 2010, Access 2016 will feel familiar. It continues to use features like the Ribbon and the Quick Access Toolbar—where you will find commands to perform common tasks in Access—as well as Backstage view.
Access uses a tabbed Ribbon system instead of traditional menus. The Ribbon contains multiple tabs, each with several groups of commands. For example, the Clipboard group on the Home tab contains commands such as Cut, Copy, and Paste.
Some groups also have a small arrow in the bottom-right corner that you can click for even more options.
To minimize and maximize the Ribbon:
The Ribbon is designed to respond to your current task; however, you can choose to minimize the Ribbon if you find that it takes up too much screen space.
- Click the arrow in the lower-right corner of the Ribbon to minimize it.
- The Ribbon will be minimized. Click a tab to make the Ribbon reappear. It will disappear again when not in use.
- To maximize the Ribbon, click a tab, then click the pin icon in the lower-right corner. The Ribbon will appear at all times.