This book is divided into five parts , each centered around a certain theme. The book builds on the skills you need, starting with the basics and then moving to more complex topics such as customizing databases or working with other applications. You can read the book straight through, look up topics when you have a question, or browse through the contents and read information that intrigues you. We've also included many references between chapters to help you find more information.
This section provides a quick breakdown of the parts.
Part I, "Getting to Know Access," guides you through an exploration of the Access user interface. This part of the book helps you to recognize all the things you see onscreen when Access is running and understand what you'll see in a database. This part covers the use of databases in general (Chapter 1, "Welcome to Databases"); the Access user interface (Chapter 2, "Take a Quick Tour of Access"); and the Database window, which is the central starting point of your Access databases (Chapter 3, "Exploring the Database Window").
Part II, "Building and Using a Database," contains four chapters. If you read through this part, you'll learn enough to actually build your own database and use it for data storage. Topics include planning a database (Chapter 4, "Planning a Database"), creating tables to hold your data (Chapter 5, "Building Your First Tables"), connecting tables to each other (Chapter 6, "Tapping the Power of Relationships"), and writing queries to extract information from the database (Chapter 7, "Retrieving Data with Queries").
Part III, "Putting a Friendly Face on Your Data," helps you design the user interface for your database. Here you'll learn about data entry forms (Chapter 8, "Creating and Using Data Entry Forms"), printed reports (Chapter 9, "Printing Information with Reports "), and Web-based pages (Chapter 10, "Take Your Data to the Web with Pages"). By the time you reach the end of Chapter 10, you'll be familiar with all the major objects an Access database can contain and know how to build each one.
Part IV, "Making Access Work Your Way," shows you how to fine-tune the objects you've already built. You'll learn about more techniques for tables (Chapter 11, "Customizing Your Tables"), queries (Chapter 12, "Getting Down to Business with Queries"), forms (Chapter 13, "Customizing Forms"), and reports (Chapter 14, "Dressing Up Your Reports"). You might not need this part until you've worked with Access for a few weeks or months, but skimming through it might give you some ideas.
Finally, Part V, "Letting Access Do Your Work for You," covers two topics that help point the way for further explorations in Access. Chapter 15, "Automating Your Database," discusses automating your Access databases so that the program does repetitive tasks for you. Chapter 16, "Sharing Data," shows you how to exchange data between Access and a variety of other programs, so that you can make the most of Microsoft Office.
We hope you'll learn to enjoy Access as much as we do!