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, reading 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 will help you to recognize all the things that you see on screen when Access is running, and to understand what you'll see in a database. This part covers the use of databases in general (Chapter 1), the Access user interface (Chapter 2), and the Database Window, which is the central starting point of your Access databases (Chapter 3).
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 to use it for data storage. Topics include planning a database (Chapter 4), creating tables to hold your data (Chapter 5), connecting tables to each other (Chapter 6), and writing queries to extract information from the database (Chapter 7).
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), printed reports (Chapter 9), and Web-based pages (Chapter 10). By the time you reach the end of Chapter 10, you'll be familiar with all of the major objects that an Access database can contain, and you'll 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), queries (Chapter 12), forms (Chapter 13), and reports (Chapter 14). 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 will help point the way for further explorations in Access. Chapter 15 discusses automating your Access databases so that the program does repetitive tasks for you. Chapter 16 shows you how to exchange data between Access and a variety of other programs, so that you can make the most of Microsoft Office. In Chapter 17, you'll learn how to use Office features inside Access.
We hope you'll learn to enjoy Access as much as we do!